‘Drawing Room at 20’ Artists’ Reflections: ruby onyinyechi amanze & Kathy Prendergast

Online talk Tuesday 7th June 2022

In 2022, Drawing Room celebrates its 20th birthday. To mark the anniversary we are looking back at momentous exhibitions from our recent and more distant past and talking to the artists and contributors who made them happen, examining the centrality of drawing to creative practice from the perspective of artists. In the fourth of this yearlong series we look back to the exhibition A Slice through the World: Contemporary Artists’ Drawings (2018), a group exhibition celebrating the sustained power of drawing in the digital age.

About the speakers: 

Born 1982 Port-Harcourt, ruby onyinyechi amanze lives and works in Philadelphia and Brooklyn. Graduated from BFA Fine Art with Summa Cum Laude at Tyler School of Art, Temple University (2004); and from MFA Fine Art at Cranbrook Academy of Art (2006). amanze’s large-scaled and multi-dimensional drawings are part of an ongoing, yet non-linear narrative that employ the malleability of space as the primary antagonist. A nameless, self-imagined, chimeric universe has simultaneously been positioned between nowhere and everywhere. Taking roots in architecture, design, migration histories and non-nationalist politics, the manipulation of space functions as a poetic alternative to fixed identities and geographies. Navigating fictional and conflating worlds, a cohort of aliens, hybrids and ghosts play effortlessly and access magic as their mundane, yet expansive norm.

Born Dublin 1958, Kathy Prendergast lives and works in London. Graduated from BA Fine Art at the National College of Art and Design, Dublin (1983), and MA Fine Art at Royal College of Art, London (1986). Prendergast makes work that combines drawing, sculpture and installation, and is informed by a range of interests including landscape, mapping, migration, the female body and the relationship between the individual (the solitary) and the collective (the universal). At the core of the work is the notion of the one and the many, how we interact in the world and impact on it. The crossover between history, geography, archaeology and memory as a narrative is central to her practice. She is interested in the formal and conceptual qualities of repetition, and the transformational potential inherent in familiar objects through artistic intervention.

Stephanie Straine is Senior Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art at the National Galleries of Scotland in Edinburgh. She was previously Curator of Exhibitions and Projects at Modern Art Oxford and has worked at Tate Liverpool and The Fruitmarket Gallery, Edinburgh. She publishes widely on modern and contemporary art, with a focus on artists working with drawing.