Key dates and information

Below, you'll find important information regarding eligibility criteria and important dates for this year's award calendar.

This year's theme

In 2019, the award posed the question: What is Contemporary Britain? In 2021, as the world begins to see signs of recovery in the wake of the global pandemic, we are interested to understand: Where do we go from here? Is there to be a 'new normal'?

This year's award is preceded by a globally turbulent and trialling time. How are we emerging from this? What is our relationship to the things we once held close, now seen through the pressure and barriers that the pandemic presented?

We are interested in seeing works from artists who are taking on the challenge in unexpected and unapologetic ways; which through varying modes of communication and visualisation explore what the future may hold for artistic practice and ambition.

Key dates for 2021

  • Thursday, 1 July 2021
    Call for entries open
  • Tuesday, 31 August 2021
    Deadline for entries (11:59pm)
  • Monday, 11 October 2021
    Ten finalists announced
  • Thursday, 4 November 2021
    Exhibition and prize-giving event in London

The awards

This year, we are proud to offer three prizes, for which each of our ten shortlisted artists will eligible.

  • FIRST PRIZE
    £10,000 cash prize; the first-prize award winner's work will also be shown at the Robert Walters Group head office in London for a period of twelve months after the award is given.
  • SECOND PRIZE
    £5,000 cash prize
  • PEOPLE'S CHOICE AWARD
    The winner of the People's Choice Award will be decided by a public vote during the virtual exhibition, open from 5 November - 10 December and will be announced Monday, 13 December. The winner will have the opportunity to take part in one of UK New Artists' international presentations.

Selection criteria

Judges will be looking for works that reflect the following:

Diversity of experience

We're looking for artists who represent the UK's diverse population, and reflect their respective communities.

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, sparking new conversations within the UK art scene.

In addition to satisfying the requirements above, successful artists will demonstrate a strong and original voice with exceptional artistic quality.

Eligibility criteria

Artist eligibility
To be eligible for the award, you must be aged 18 or over, and within the first ten 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 

If you are yet to do any of these things, you must self-define the start of your professional practice. If shortlisted, you must be available to be in London for the prize-giving ceremony on Thursday, 4 November 2021.

 

Accepted media
Artists must be working within one of the following fields:

  • APPLIED ARTS
    Ceramics, glass, textiles, jewellery
  • DIGITAL ART AND MOVING IMAGE
    Moving image, performance video, technological arts
  • FINE ARTS
    Painting, printmaking, photography, installation, sculpture

Please download our briefing document for artists, which outlines all eligibility requirements as well as the terms and conditions of your participation.

Financial support for shortlisted artists

The Robert Walters Group will provide a stipend of £200 for each of the ten shortlisted artists to attend the awards event in London on Thursday, 4 November, and will cover all shipping costs for works to be delivered to and from Saatchi Gallery.

Before you apply, please download and read the full briefing document. If you have further questions, please email us here