In collaboration with Saatchi Gallery

Three unique organisations are collaborating to provide a significant platform and stepping stone for new artists. Now in its third iteration, The Robert Walters Group UK New Artist of the Year Award in collaboration with Saatchi Gallery will discover and champion exceptional artists who are representative of contemporary Britain.

From a free open call across the UK we are seeking to discover 10 outstanding artists whose work demonstrates a strong and original voice, and is of exceptional artistic quality.  We’re looking for artists who represent the UK’s richly diverse population, and embody the experiences of their community. Artists who create bold, unique pieces of art that reveal their own perspectives and experiences and who represent unique viewpoints and will help start new conversations in the UK art scene.

In 2019 the award posed the question, What is Contemporary Britain? and presented 10 exceptional artists from over 500 submissions. In 2021 the award asked, Where do we go from here? Is there to be a ‘new normal’?  and presented 10 exceptional artists from almost 1000 submissions.

For 2022, the award is interested in works which address the theme, ‘The Unimagined Future’.

It has been noted that  85% of jobs that will exist in 2030 haven’t been invented yet, what else has yet to be thought about? What else has yet to be invented? Where will creative thought and ideas be in the next decade, what needs to change?

The 10 shortlisted artists’ work will be exhibited at the Saatchi Gallery in London for a VIP awards evening, as well as in a virtual gallery space, online for one month following the award.

First Award:

£10,000 cash prize

The winner’s work will be shown at the Robert Walters Group head office for a period of 12 months following the award

Second Award:  

£5,000 cash prize

People’s Choice Award:

Decided by a public vote during the virtual exhibition 11th November – 10th January and announced on Thursday 12th January

The winner will have the opportunity to take part in one of UK New Artists’ international presentations.

Eligibility:

To be eligible for the award, you must be aged 18 or over, and within the first 10 years of your professional practice, and have the right to live, work or study in the UK. Upon application, we will ask you to define the start of your professional practice using one of the following:

  • the date that you registered as a self-employed artist

  • the first public exhibition or performance you presented

  • your first paid commission

  • The year you completed your education or training

  • You are yet to do any of these things, and self-define the start of your professional practice

If shortlisted, you must be available to be in Central London on Thursday 10th November 2022  Artists should be working within the following fields:

Applied arts: ceramics, glass, textiles, jewellery,

Digital Arts: Moving image, performance video, technological arts

Fine Arts: painting, printmaking, photography, installation, sculpture.

Selection Criteria

Judges will be looking for works which reflect the question posed and who are able to demonstrate the following:

Diversity of Experience – We’re looking for artists who represent the UK’s richly diverse population, and embody the experiences of their community.

Diversity of Expression – We’re looking for artists who create bold, unique pieces of art that reveal their own perspectives and experiences.

Diversity of Thought – We’re looking for artists who represent unique viewpoints and will help start new conversations in the UK art scene.

Selection Panel

Applications will be reviewed by a selection panel which consists of representatives from the sector. Judges will include

  • Michelle Bowen, Director of UK New Artists

  • Paul Foster, Interim Director of Saatchi Gallery

  • Lisa Gee, Director of the Harley Foundation Charitable Trust

  • Won Hee Nam, Artist & CEO and founder of Art Lab N3 and Gallery N&K in Seoul, South Korea.

  • Saad Eddine Said, Artistic Director and CEO of New Art Exchange, Nottingham

  • Robert Walters – art collector and CEO of Robert Walters Group

  • Anne Von Freyburg, artist and winner of the Robert Walters Award 2021

  • Robert Walters – art collector and CEO of Robert Walters Group

The exhibition at Saatchi Gallery will be curated by Garth Gratrix, an international artist, curator and studio director of Abingdon Studios in Blackpool. Gratrix’ work often showcases cross-disciplinary practices in diverse and unique settings.

Financial Support  

Robert Walters Group will provide a stipend of £200  for each of the ten shortlisted artists to attend the awards evening in London on Thursday 10th November, and will cover all shipping costs for works to be delivered to and from the Saatchi Gallery.  The partners will also be producing an exhibition booklet and there will be extensive promotional activity of the shortlisted artists.

Key Dates

Thursday 30  June 2022 Call for Entries opens at midday

Wednesday 31  August 2022 Call for Entries closes at 11.59pm

1st – 6th September 2022 Longlisting – All submissions will be reviewed and 100 artists will progress to the next round.

Tuesday 6th September 2022 Longlisting complete (top 100 notified)

7th – 16th September 2022 Shortlisting – the judging panel will individually score the top 100 with the outcome of the ten highest scoring submissions forming the finalists.

Friday 16th September 2022 Shortlisting complete (10 finalists notified)

Monday 3rd October 2022 Finalists announced

Thursday 10th November 2022 Exhibition & prize-giving event to be held at the Saatchi. Each shortlisted artist will receive 2 VIP guest invites

Friday 11th November 2022 Digital Gallery exhibition opens, public vote opens

Tuesday 10th January 2023 Digital Gallery exhibition closes, public vote closes

Thursday 12th January 2023 Public vote winner announced


Partners Information 

Robert Walters Group

Robert Walters Group is a global recruitment group committed to powering people and organisations to fulfil their unique potential. With vast experience in helping professionals grow their careers, Robert Walters Group is now aiming to help emerging UK artists express their unique voices and launch their artistic careers.

https://www.robertwalters.co.uk

Saatchi Gallery

Saatchi Gallery was founded in 1985 with the aim of bringing contemporary art to as wide an audience as possible and make it accessible by providing an innovative platform for emerging artists to show their work. Since moving to Duke of York’s HQ in 2008 the Gallery has welcomed over 1 million visitors a year and is one of the world’s leading museums on social media. Entry to all Saatchi Gallery curated exhibitions is free.

www.saatchigallery.com

UK New Artists (UKNA)

UK New Artists (UKNA) is a registered national charity that champions the next generation of creativity, supporting collaboration and intercultural dialogue, ensuring a vibrant and diverse creative future for the UK. We develop artists’ practice through cross art form opportunities and celebrate creativity at national & international festivals.

www.uknewartists.co.uk