Irene Montemurro: Sir Denis Mahon Award Exhibition 2020

A swimming pool for when we run out of water

7 May - 7 June 2020

Irene Montemurro studied on the Royal Drawing School’s postgraduate programme, The Drawing Year, and is the 2019-20 recipient of the Sir Denis Mahon Award. The Sir Denis Mahon prize of £10,000 is awarded to an outgoing Drawing Year student each year. The award allows them to continue their practice, providing them with funding for a studio space as well as a solo exhibition at the end of the year. Irene previously studied Illustration (BA) at Camberwell College of Arts.

The exhibition was due to open in late April, but with the coronavirus pandemic preventing any physical exhibition in the School’s gallery, she has created an online exhibition in its place. 

Babes of the woods

'Babes of the Woods'
Gel ink on sketchbook paper, 25 x 18 cm, 2020

Irene describes her online, interactive exhibition as 'an improvised bedroom exhibition'. It consists of thirteen ink drawings made during the last three months. All works are for sale with 10% of all proceeds going to Calais Food Collective, a charity helping international refugees. 

Her work deals with subjects including intimacy, personal narrative and storytelling, all of which we encounter with an underlying sense of uneasiness; her work might seem diaristic at first glance, but it is full of surreal fantasy and uncanny juxtaposition that leaves the viewer uncertain about their encounter. ‘Everything I have made’ she says, ‘is both completely fictional and a way of processing my own experiences.’ Read more about how this online exhibition came to life in Irene Montemurro's blog post.

Visit the online exhibition.

The price list can be downloaded here
For any sales enquiries please contact

An archive of further works made during The Sir Denis Mahon Award 2020 can be viewed on the Royal Drawing School website here.