The top 10 entries out of a record 963 entries have been shortlisted for the second edition of the Robert Walters UK New Artist of the Year Award 2021.
The 10 shortlisted artists will have their work exhibited at the prestigious Saatchi Gallery in London on Thursday 4e November 2021, where the top winner of the £ 10,000 cash prize will be announced at a VIP awards night.
The exhibition will remain visible, with free public admission, from Thursday November 4 to Sunday November 7, 2021 at the Saatchi Gallery.
The finalist will receive a cash prize of £ 5,000 to help develop artists’ future careers in the industry.
The award aimed to locate and champion outstanding artists representative of contemporary Britain, and brought together three leading organizations – global recruiting consultancy Robert Walters Group, UK leading charity New Artists and renowned platform of contemporary art Saatchi Gallery – to help a springboard for the careers of emerging artists.
In the brief: Where do we go from here? Will there be a “new normal”, the judges searched for artists and works who explored the impact and consequences of what has been a globally turbulent and trying time for everyone – from our relationship to the things we once had close to, to the pressure and the obstacles that the COVID-19 pandemic has directly presented to our lives.
The judges included Robert Walters – art enthusiast, collector and CEO of Robert Walters Group; Michael Forbes – artist and Primary president; Conor Rogers – artist and 2019 award winner; Cindy Sissokho – Curator of New Art Exchange and associate curator of the Casablanca Biennale; Michelle Bowen – Director of UK New Artists; and Paul Foster – Acting Director of the Saatchi Gallery.
The award ceremony and featured exhibition at the Saatchi Gallery were hosted by Garth Gratrix, an international artist, curator and studio director based in the northwest. Gratrix’s work often presents interdisciplinary practices in diverse and unique contexts.
The 2021 finalists:
- Jukka Virkkunen (London)
- Molly Kent (Edinburgh)
- Lucy Gregory (London)
- Aimée Melaugh (Derry)
- Sam Tahmassebi (London)
- Wesley George (London)
- Jarvis Brookfield (Leicester)
- Anne von Freyburg (London)
- Maya Sophia Weisstub (London)
- Catriona Robertson (London)
Robert Walters Group CEO Robert Walters said: “Due to Covid-19, we were unable to host the UK New Artist competition in 2020. This year’s results have been exceptional and we have seen an increase of 96% of the number compared to 2019 testifies to the importance of this award.
“Providing opportunities for ambitious professionals to realize their potential is the foundation of our business and therefore we are proud to be working alongside UK New Artists and the Saatchi Gallery on such an important initiative. We are confident this will help launch the careers of the next generation of outstanding British artists. “
Michelle Bowen, Director of UK New Artists, says: “UK New Artists is proud to work with Robert Walters Group and Saatchi Gallery. We are proud to be able to share the work of these fantastic artists with new audiences. This award provides such an important platform for emerging artists and highlights the incredible work being done in the UK today. “
Saatchi Gallery Acting Director Paul Foster says: “Following the success of the 2019 exhibition, we are proud to support our patron Robert Walters to host the new edition, in partnership with UK New Artists. The award is an important platform in the career development of the UK’s diverse young talent and gives artists the opportunity to present their work to a wider audience, aligning with our charitable mission of making art contemporary accessible to all.
For more information on the rewards, Click here.
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