Ashurst Emerging Artist Prize 2020 - winners announced and 2021 prize launched

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    Launched in 2014, the prize has become one of the most significant awards for up and coming artists around the world. Established to support and mentor emerging artists and provide them with a platform to showcase their work, the prize has seen a variety of artists working across different mediums gain exposure to a wide and varying audience.

    This year, despite the challenges caused by the pandemic, the prize continued to attract a large number of submissions, receiving over 3,850 entries from around the world.

    Here is a run-down of all the winners:

    Overall - Pippa El-Kadhi Brown

    Through her paintings Pippa explores how we interact with space, and consider the domestic home as our ‘natural environment’, an ever-evolving habitat which we have adapted to both merge with and coexist beside. As overall winner Pippa will receive £3,000, £500 of Cass Art vouchers and a solo exhibition at Ashurst.

    Sculpture Award - Meg Shirayama

    Geometry, form, and colour are the cornerstones of Meg's artistic practice, exploring the universal language of geometrics that can be experienced mutually across various perceptual standpoints. Meg, who was awarded the sculpture prize, will receive the £1,750 cash prize, £250 of Cass Art voucher and a solo exhibition.

    Photography Award - Sine Zheng

    Sine is a photographer based in London, whose work focuses on the relationship between nature and human, questioning the modernization impact to our planet. Photography award winner Sine will receive £1,500 of Genesis Imaging vouchers and a 12 month mentorship, as well as a solo exhibition at Ashurst.

    Ashurst Employee Choice - James Hayes

    Based in the South West of Ireland, James Hayes is a painter, illustrator and qualified architect. His work is often an exploration of the complex relationship between self and surroundings. In additional to a solo exhibition, James, as voted for by Ashurst employees, will receive £1,500, and £250 of Cass Art vouchers.

    New Media - Steve Parker

    Steve is an artist, musician, and curator living in Austin, Texas. He creates communal, democratic work to examine history, systems, and behaviour. As winner of the New Media award Steve will receive £1,500 cash and a solo exhibition at Rich Mix London.

    Highly commended mentions go to Anna Davies, India Nielsen, Tatjana Panek, Naoki Yamaji. Their artworks further highlight the talent, variety of mediums, and ideas in contemporary art practice that the judge’s felts worthy of highlighting.

    Ruth Harris, Ashurst's London office managing partner, commented:

    "Our congratulations go to all the winners and we hope that the awarding of these prizes represents a major milestone for them as emerging artists. We look forward to following their developing careers, and wish them and each of our shortlisted entrants all the success for the future. I would also like to thank each of the judges for their enthusiasm and commitment to the project."

    Conrad Carvalho, Prize Director and Director of Oaktree & Tiger, added:

    “We are very grateful to Ashurst and our supporters for their hard work and commitment to supporting emerging artists, despite huge difficulties caused by COVID-19, by continuing to exhibit and promote emerging artists, when many others were cancelling their activities and exhibitions.”

    The 2021 Ashurst Emerging Artist Prize is accepting submissions until Sunday 17th January 2021. Open to artists anywhere in the world, entries are accepted in a wide range of media, including photography, sculpture and digital media. There are over £10,000 of prizes and solo exhibitions for five artists. All artists who enter before 29th November 2020 will be eligible for practical and individual feedback on their application to help support them in self-representing their practice.

    The Prize is complemented by professionally led talks providing practical guidance for artists, an extensive social media presence promoting all entrants, and furthermore all artists will receive a 20% discount voucher from Cass Art for art supplies, and 20% discount from Genesis Imaging for art services. This year, the prize also partners with Sotheby’s Institute of Art to connect entrants with emerging art professionals to help the chosen artists grow their careers, and Made in Bed, a recently launched magazine run by Sotheby’s Institute of Art students and alumni which focuses on the art market and emerging artists.

    This year's judges are Melanie Lenz, curator at the V&A Museum, Dr David Anfam, author of the catalogue raisonné ‘Mark Rothko: The Works on Canvas’, Averil Curci, an art advisor and artist liaison at Kovet.Art, Howard Lewis, director of the Schorr Collection, Dr David Bellingham, Programme Director at Sotheby’s Institute of Art and Josh McNorton, Culture Director of Wembley Park Arts, Quintain Ltd. Our guest judge for 2021 is Mark Wippell, an arts philanthropist and collector.

    For full information about how to enter, please visit