In Others Words

In Others Words



I can only invite you to imagine this beautiful, delicate pencil-on-paper drawing, which has been shortlisted for the 2012 Jerwood Drawing Prize. It’s a work whose accomplishment is astonishing, partly, perhaps because pencil and paper is such a democratic form of making art, open to all ages and not requiring expensive tools or a great deal of space. And yet how anyone can transform flat paper into something so subtle and gently nuanced is past my understanding.

As I stand in the gallery and look. I want to touch this pillow, confident that I’ll be rewarded with a soft gentle fabric. And I wonder who has been there to leave behind those gentle undulations? Perhaps its been left undisturbed because the imprint carries memories of that person. It might even still be warm from the heat of someone’s body. It’s not ‘a’ pillow, it is this pillow, here and now, unlike any other with its own pattern of ups and downs.’

Yvonne Craig Inskip
Accessed 8/10/2012


‘Wood’s careful recreation of a pillow spoke of trace and intimacy, and showed real drawing and observational abilities.’
Accessed 12/10/2012


‘Stretching the limits of the humble pencil: Aishan Yu’s ‘Others 2’ Is a feat of photorealism which ignites a disbelief in the viewer, likewise Tanya Wood’s ‘Pillow’ is subtly effective piece employing a skilled, light pencil technique capturing a sense of calm that the object itself never fails to deliver.’

Rachel Price
Accessed 28/9/2012


‘Tanya Wood’s ‘Pillow’ (2012), a pencil study of an outspread pillowcase, seems both a mundane rendering of creases and a tentative metaphor for the inscribed or imprinted surface – E.E. Cummings’s “pillow, dear, where our heads lived and were.” Or a Sudarium, albeit with Christ’s face washed off.’

 Jerwood Drawing Prize Review by James Cahill
Accessed 24/9/2012


‘We also admired Tanya Wood’s pillow for showing us that even the most mundane of items can be full of intricate shadows.’
Accessed 17/9/2012

‘The drawing is what feels like a painstakingly accurate representation of a pillow, with the creases representing the faint, easily removed impact we all make on the world around us. This piece almost falls into my trap of needing too much outside information for us to understand it, but there is so much skill in drawing the creases in such an ephemeral way that she misses the trap and creates something that I think is very special. Even looking at the piece on a monitor makes you want to sink your head into it.’

Michael Hewitt
Accessed 18/11/2012


‘Ever since laying my eyes on Vija Celmins’ drawings, I feel that I am always instinctively drawn(I’m sorry, that was both unavoidable and unintentional) to heavily labored graphite works that depict galaxies, or vast spaces, or the like. This was found in the work of Pippa Garty and her constellations and Tanya Wood’s absolutely amazing drawing of a pillow, where the gradient of the pencil ebbed and flowed in line with the crease lines of the pillowcase. In a way, I guess this drawing looked to human activity, capturing something that has passed.’

Wild blackberries
Accessed 22/10/2012