Thursday 4 September: It was announced today at the Art Gallery of New South Wales that Virginia Grayson is the winner of the 2008 Dobell Prize for Drawing for her work, No conclusions drawn – self portrait.
Virginia Grayson was awarded $20,000 for winning Australia’s most respected award for drawing. A restrained image of herself in the studio joins a collection of drawings acquired as Dobell prize winners at the Art Gallery of New South Wales since 1993. This year there were 586 drawings entered of which 49 are included in the exhibition.
"I cannot say exactly what I was thinking when I began to make No conclusions drawn except that it has some personal significance that relates to a state of uncertainty and the struggle to comprehend the notion of ‘acceptance’. I have spent the last few years fighting with my work, a lot of that time doing self portraits of which all except this one have been erased in fits of frustration. Recently I have decided I have to resist this desire to ‘wipe out’ the work, to let it go, move onto another, and return to it later if the need is still there to do so," said Virginia Grayson of her winning drawing.
The Dobell Prize for Drawing, initiated by the trustees of the Sir William Dobell Art Foundation was first awarded in 1993. There are now 16 prize-winning drawings in the collection acquired as a result of the prize, which form part of a growing collection of Australian drawings at the gallery.
This year’s judge was Anne Kirker, art historian and writer, formerly senior curator of Prints, Drawings & Photographs at Queensland Art Gallery.