OCTOGENARIAN DANCE: Yvonne Crossley - 23 September to 18 November 2023

Yvonne Crossley, Octogenarian Dance No11, 2022

Yvonne Crossley, Octogenarian Dance No11, 2022

Drawing Projects UK is delighted to present a solo exhibition, Octogenarian Dance, by Yvonne Crossley RWA from 23 September to 18 November 2023. The exhibition is open by appointment, special events, and each Saturday from 7 October, with the exception of 4 November. 

Octogenarian Dance is a recent body of work that both celebrates the positive elements of old age and recognises the stigma inherent in the “catastrophe” of approaching the later years of life, by an artist who is unashamedly physically old and long in life-story herself.

As we age, a multiplicity of selves proliferates, over and through time. Ageing “is a multiple, ambiguous, and contradictory process, which provides us – continuously and simultaneously – with images of past, present, lost, embodied and imagined selves” (Helen Moglen, 2008 Studies in Gender and Sexuality)

These possibilities result in a dislocation for the ageing self, residing in the tensions between the person in the mirror, the person in our minds at different points in time, and the body that others see. The pieces brought together in the exhibition Octogenarian Dance focus on this aspect of the ageing body in modern society, attentive to the way in which age, life, and memory intersect.

Until recently Crossley’s work has been formed spatially within the traditional rectangle. This new work, however, looks at elements of human form in a departure from two-dimensional boundary constraints – drawn, cut, and redrawn components, derived mainly from the body but including other elements of the narrative, can thus float free from the “edge” into an existence which allows for a new range of readings and meanings. In this assembly of body parts there are implications of the broken-but-mended, and of interchangeability, constrained movement, the votive, the ritualistic and the memorialised.

Yvonne Crossley was born in Yorkshire 1942 and studied painting at Goldsmith’s College School of Art.  She first exhibited in The Young Contemporaries (selected by Richard Hamilton, Bryan Robertson and Leslie Waddington) at the Tate Gallery, London.  Subsequently she participated in many group and open exhibitions including the Trinity Buoy Wharf Drawing Prize, Artist As Selector at the Jerwood Gallery, the Derwent Art Prize and The Sunday Times Watercolour Open and has held solo exhibitions in galleries across the UK including the Ikon Gallery - Birmingham, The Laing Gallery - Newcastle upon Tyne, The Midland Group Gallery – Nottingham, Battersea Arts Centre – London, The Academicians Gallery – Royal West of England Academy – Bristol, and Chelsea Arts Club.  She was elected as an Academician of the Royal West of England Academy in 2014 serving as both an elected Council member for 6 years and Trustee for 4 years. 

She has worked as an art educator in Higher Education at a range of institutions including Winchester School of Art, Southampton Institute, University of Portsmouth, Epsom School of Art and Wimbledon School of Art.

Her awards include an Italian Government Bursary, a Brazilian Government Scholarship and a DAAD Post-Graduate Research Grant.

She completed her PhD, ‘Marking Times - Proposals for the Funereal Artefacts for Four Women’, culminating in a solo exhibition at The Picker Gallery, London in 2001.

In 2004 she left her post as Professor and Vice-Principal (Resources) at Wimbledon School of Art to set up The Drawing Gallery in Central London - the first gallery in the UK to focus entirely on contemporary drawing. The gallery has, since opening, represented a significant number of international artists and notable emerging British artists. Clients included international museums and galleries as well as corporate and private collectors. 

In 2006 she was one of the selectors for the Jerwood Drawing Prize, in 2007 was a judge for The Hugh Casson Drawing Prize (Royal Academy Summer Exhibition), and in 2008 was on the selection panel for Re: Drawing - the third open biennial exhibition at Oriel Davies Gallery, Newtown. In 2013 & 2014 she was a member on the selection panels of the Royal West of England Academy Open “Drawn”, and was a selector for the first Derwent Art Prize.

In 2007 she moved to mid Wales, initially sharing her time between her studio practice and running The Drawing Gallery in Herefordshire, situated nine miles west of Ludlow. Since 2015 she has focussed solely upon her own practice. 

Please check back for the gallery opening times and information on the events programme. Please email prior to travelling to confirm that we are open. Please note that we are closed on Saturday 30 September. 

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