The 10 shortlisted artists will have the honor of having their work exhibited at the prestigious Saatchi Gallery in London on Thursday 4 November 2021, where the overall winner of the £10,000 cash prize will be announced at a VIP awards evening.
The exhibition will remain on view, with free public entry, from Thursday 4 November through Sunday 7 November 2021 at Saatchi Gallery.
The runner-up will receive a cash prize of £5,000 to go towards the development of the artists’ future career in the industry.
The award set out to discover and champion exceptional artists who are representative of contemporary Britain and has brought back together three leading organizations – global recruitment consultancy Robert Walters Group, leading arts charity UK New Artists, and renowned contemporary art platform Saatchi Gallery - to help provide a career springboard for emerging artists.
Within the brief: Where do we go from here? Is there to be a 'new normal' judges sought artists and works that explored the impact and aftermath of what has been a globally turbulent and trialing time for all – from our relationship to the things we once held close, right through to the pressure and barriers that the pandemic directly presented on our lives.
Judges included Robert Walters – art enthusiast, collector and CEO of Robert Walters Group; Michael Forbes - artist and chair of Primary; Conor Rogers - artist and winner of the 2019 award; Cindy Sissokho - Curator at New Art Exchange and Associate Curator of Casablanca Biennale; Michelle Bowen - Director of UK New Artists; and Paul Foster – Interim Gallery Director of Saatchi Gallery.
The awards ceremony and shortlist exhibition at Saatchi Gallery has been curated by Garth Gratrix, an international artist, curator and studio director based in the northwest. Gratrix' work often showcases cross-disciplinary practices in diverse and unique settings.
The 2021 finalists are: Jukka Virkkunen (London), Molly Kent (Edinburgh), Lucy Gregory (London), Aimee Melaugh (Derry), Sam Tahmassebi (London), Wesley George (London), Jarvis Brookfield (Leicester), Anne von Freyburg (London), Maayan Sophia Weisstub (London), and Catriona Robertson (London).
Robert Walters, CEO of Robert Walters Group comments:
"Due to Covid-19, we were unable to host the UK New Artist competition in 2020. The results from this year have been outstanding, and to see a 96% increase in the number of entries compared to 2019 is a testament to why this award is so important.
Providing opportunities for ambitious professionals to achieve their potential is the foundation of our business and so we are proud to be working alongside UK New Artists and Saatchi Gallery on such an important initiative. We truly believe it will help launch the careers of the next generation of exceptional UK artists."
Michelle Bowen, Director, UK New Artists adds:
“UK New Artists are proud to work with Robert Walters Group and Saatchi Gallery. We are proud to be able to share these fantastic artists’ work with new audiences. This award offers such an important platform for emerging artists and shines a light on the incredible work being made in the UK today.”
Paul Foster, Interim Gallery Director of Saatchi Gallery remarks:
“Following the success of the 2019 exhibition, we are proud to support our gallery patron Robert Walters in hosting the new edition, in partnership with UK New Artists. The award is an important platform in developing the careers of the UK’s diverse young talent and gives artists the opportunity to present their work to a wider audience, aligning with our charity mission to make contemporary art accessible to all.”
For more information about the Robert Walters Group UK New Artist of the Year Award click here.
UK New Artist of the Year
The Robert Walters Group UK New Artist of the Year Award aims to help launch the careers of emerging artists whose unique perspectives, vision and artistic originality will position them as creative leaders of tomorrow.