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23.03.24 - 07.07.24

Kyffin Williams Drawing Prize 2024

In this, the sixth exhibition of its kind, all of the short listed entries for the 2024 Drawing Prize will be displayed alongside some of Kyffin's original work

Sir Kyffin Williams was a passionate advocate for the arts in Wales and was an active and enthusiastic supporter of Oriel Môn since its opening in 1991. The Sir Kyffin Williams Drawing Prize was founded in 2009 by the Sir Kyffin Williams Trust and Oriel Môn as a tribute to the support that Sir Kyffin Williams gave to artists and the value he placed on drawing skills.

a panoramic shot of the gallery
a panoramic shot of the gallery

Winners of the prestigious ‘Sir Kyffin Williams Drawing Prize’ announced at Oriel Môn.

Oriel Môn is delighted to announce the opening of the sixth ‘Sir Kyffin Williams Drawing Prize’ exhibition, which opens its doors 23 March, 2024.

The ‘Sir Kyffin Williams Drawing Prize’ was established by the Sir Kyffin Williams Trust and Oriel Môn, in memory of Wales’s most prolific and best loved artist, and for the support that he gave to other artists and the value he placed on drawing skills.

The celebrated Drawing Competition is held every three years with £3,000 awarded to the overall prize winner and £1,000 awarded to the student prize winner.

This year the Prize for the Overall Competition goes to Ian Fisher from Llanelli. Ian’s work explores the landscape and culture of Wales through etchings and drawings. His aim is not to recreate an accurate representation of a particular landscape in Wales but to capture the ‘spirit of the place’ and to look at the relationship between the Welsh landscape and the country’s culture, history, art and mythology.

Ian states, “Etchings are essentially an act of drawing, but it is possible to produce a number and variety of images and is therefore more democratic and less restrictive than other image making processes”.

On winning the prize, Ian said “I am extremely pleased and flattered to have won the ‘Kyffin Williams Drawing Prize’ being very aware of distinguished past winners such as Colin See-Paynton and Eleri Mills. My etching was inspired by a 16th century engraving the ‘Fools Cap Map of the World’. No one knows why, when and by whom the map was made, and it is probably a mystery that will never be solved”

“I wanted to produce a satirical map using this image of a jester’s cap, and my etching is based on things I have read, seen, and been told about Wales. Consequently, it contains truths and untruths, but not necessarily lies.”

The student prize goes to Joshua Griffith from Holyhead, currently studying a BA Fine Art Course at Grwp Llandrillo Menai, for his graphite and acrylic drawing entitled ‘Biomorph #1’.

Joshua said, “My most recent body of work is focused on the relationship between space and form. I typically work through the mediums of sculpture and observational drawing. I am drawn to organic forms and how they react to different environments”.

Joshua went on to state “I’d like to thank Oriel Môn and the ‘Kyffin Williams Drawing Prize’ panel for selecting my entry for the student award, drawing has always played a very important role in my creative journey, so it makes me so happy to see it celebrated in the form of this prize”.

Once again, this year’s prize has been generously sponsored by Mike Davies, an Internationally known Architect, honoured with a ‘Légion d’Honneur’ from the French President and a CBE awarded by HM Queen Elizabeth – and who was one of the founding partners in the company ‘Rogers, Stirk, Harbour and Partners’ - the architects of the Senedd Building, Cardiff.

Mr John Smith, Chairman of the Sir Kyffin Williams Trust said, “It has given the Kyffin Williams Trust great pleasure to work in partnership with Oriel Môn, to organize the Drawing Prize again this year”.

“What inspires us all are Sir Kyffin’s basic creative principals, and his emphasis on the importance of the skill of drawing. We were very fortunate to have three distinguished Welsh artists on our panel of judges this year. I would like to thank Eleri Mills, who was the winner of the prize in 2021, Luned Rhys Parri and Darren Hughes for the daunting task of shortlisting and choosing this year’s winners”.

“On behalf of the Trust, I extend my thanks to fellow Welshman and internationally prominent architect, Mike Davies, who has sponsored the Drawing Prize for the second time this year. Mike Davies spent some of his childhood in Waunfawr, where he came to love the mountains of Eryri before having Kyffin as his ‘inspirational Art Master at Highgate in the late fifties’.

“I would also like to thank all the artists who applied this year, to all the staff at Oriel Môn, and especially Nicola Gibson, Visitor Experience Manager, for her dedicated and detailed arrangements for the Drawing Prize”.

Since the inaugural Drawing Prize competition in 2009, the number of artists applying has increased considerably, with entrants from all over Wales and England. The winning art works by Ian Fisher and Joshua Griffith along with works produced by the other shortlisted artists will be on display at the ‘Kyffin Williams Drawing Prize’ exhibition at Oriel Môn, from 23 March to 7 July, 2024.

Annual Kyffin Williams Lecture
23.03.24 - 07.07.24