I first came across this whilst visiting the Jerwood Drawing Prize 2015 at The Wilson Gallery in Cheltenham. From what I have seen of Crawshaw’s work since seeing this piece I have come to realise that ‘Moonshine’ is an anomaly, not that it should be taken any less seriously. There is something very special about the simplicity behind it.
The majority of his work which is available to view online is landscape based; oil paintings which are realistic to the dramatic photographs of his journeys around North Wales, with ethereal and moody tones and imagery.
‘Moonshine’ is evidently more playful. Crawshaw has created an idealistic vision of our closest celestial body on an ordinary household object.
This piece stood out to me because of the unusual choice of surface material to be drawn into, described as ‘Nail on Found Object’. I can imagine him doubled over his desk scratching away into the base of the frying-pan, possibly not realising what image he was creating. Creating an uncomfortable sound as he worked.
From a distance in the gallery, it looked like it could have been sprinkled with flour, and was only until much closer inspection that the detail of mark-making can be truly appreciated.
It is refreshing to see such a familiar found object transformed in such a successful way, going from a disused functional object to a visual experience.
The Jerwood Drawing Prize 2015 catalogue reads:
The idea for this drawing really came out of nowhere. A pan, hanging in my studio for years having survived numerous camping trips and inattentive fry-ups, presented itself as a surface for something else. It’s accumulated scuffs and scratches lured my eye into an imagined space.
It’s the kind of drawing which pushes the boundary of the conventional understanding of what makes a drawing, with no paper or pencils in sight.
It’s also the kind of drawing which will stay with me whilst I’m cooking at home, and I’m concerned that now I will always see space in my pans.