Gary Lawrence: Drawing Obsessive - 13 August to 29 October 2022

Gary Lawrence, My Room in Kos, felt pen, acrylic on paper, 2021

Gary Lawrence, My Room in Kos, felt pen, acrylic on paper, 2021

As someone who likes the stationery section in Tesco and Poundland as much as art stores, Gary Lawrence has long used Biro to make these drawings. An admirer of Henry Moore’s Biro sheep drawings, the medium here transforms the surface of the paper through the pressure and obsession of the mark-making, rendering a tapestry-like surface, and experience. These drawings are made over a long period of time and have diaristic references to key dates and events that happened during their making that inform the subject and content.  Notes, commentary, and references appear across the surfaces of the dense Biro drawings, apparently as written prompts for the artist, and remaining for us as viewers as axis points to the artist’s thoughts and experiences while drawing. The earliest drawing shown in the exhibition is Alternative Bananas, completed in February 2017, and made during the period of the EU referendum. The later drawings are made in pencil on paper, and have a silvery light-filled quality, and a reflective nostalgia for the memory of Greece. The artist’s intention is always to have the work seen, as in his view “it is only then complete and doing what it is meant to do, when someone else sees it”. 

Drawing Projects UK produced a short film of Gary Lawrence in his studio earlier this year, supported by Arts Council England.  It is currently available on the Drawing Projects UK YouTube channel here. All drawings are for sale, and we hold others in stock. 

Gary Lawrence (b.1959 Essex) studied at Braintree College (1976-78), BA Fine Art at Portsmouth Polytechnic (1978-81), MA Fine Art at Eastern Illinois University USA (1981-82), MFA Fine Art at Southern Illinois University USA (1990-92). Solo Exhibitions include: Beecroft Gallery Southend, 2013; Christopher Stokes Gallery, Chicago, 1996; Artemisia Gallery, Chicago, 1991. Selected group shows include: Trinity Buoy Drawing Prize 2021, London & tour; Trinity Buoy Wharf Drawing Prize 2018, London & tour; John Moores Painting Prize, Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool 2017; BP Portrait Award, National Portrait Gallery, London 2016 & 1984; Royal Academy Summer Exhibition 2015;  Lynn Painter Stainers Prize, London 2010-14; Eastern Open, Kings Lynn 2011/13/15/17; Jerwood Drawing Prize London & tour, 2012;  Discerning Eye Mall Galleries London, 1999 & 2006; Kettles Yard Open, Cambridge, 2002; Hunting Art Prize, Royal College of Art, London, 1997; Pacesetters Peterborough Museum, 1984 & 1986; Camden Annual London, 1985; Cleveland Drawing Biennale, 1974/75. 

Recent awards include: Trinity Buoy Wharf Drawing Prize 2021, First Prize; Trinity Buoy Drawing Prize 2018, Second Prize; John Moores Visitor Choice Award 2011/17; Jerwood Drawing Prize 2017, First Prize; Jerwood Drawing Prize 2011, First Prize; Pollock-Krasner Foundation New York, Major Award, 2001. Gary lives and works in Essex. 

Visitor information - please read:

Three of Gary Lawrence's drawings can be seen in our public spaces - The Entrance Hall and Long Gallery - whenever the building is open to the public. The full exhibition is open by appointment only - to arrange an appointment, please email us on: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. - please note that there are no appointments available until 23 September 2022. 

Drawing Projects UK is located in Trowbridge, the county town of Wiltshire. Our landmark building is adjacent to Trowbridge train station, which has mainline services to Bath, Bristol, Bruton, Cardiff, Gloucester, London, Salisbury, Southampton, Swindon, Westbury and Weymouth. There are several public car parks for visitors to use nearby; and a bicycle rack to the rear of the building. 

Drawing Projects UK is an accessible venue with a blue badge parking space. While assistance dogs are welcome, we operate a strict no pets policy.

Miranda's Coffee Shop at Drawing Projects UK serves delicious coffee and teas, home-made cakes, breakfasts, lunches, and cream teas, and is usually open from 8am to 4pm, Monday to Saturday.