Robert Walters Announces UK New Artist 2023

This summer sees the return of the Robert Walters Group UK New Artist of the Year Award for the fourth time, in collaboration with Saatchi Gallery and UK New Artists. 

Following a record-breaking 1,400+ entries last year, this year’s call for entries opens on Thursday 29th June 2023 under the brief: ‘The Journey of Self-Actualization: Exploring the Illusion of Greener Grass and the Pursuit of the Dream’ – and is expected to attract a multitude of entries according to the judges. 

The theme of the exhibition focuses on aspirations and dreams and plays into the notion that we all share a common desire to find the perfect job or career path that brings us fulfilment and self-actualization – with this journey not always being straightforward. 

Judges will include Robert Walters – art enthusiast, collector, and Founder of Robert Walters Group; Paul Foster – Director of Saatchi Gallery; Michelle Bowen – Director of UK New Artists; Alex Zawadzki – Director and Curator of The Second Act Gallery; Harold Offeh – Artist & Educator; Inger Margrethe Stoveland – Director of Fluks – Centre for Young Art at the University of Agder, Norway; and Habib Hajallie – Artist and winner of the Robert Walters Group UK New Artist of the Year Award 2022.

The awards have a track record of providing a springboard for emerging artists where previous winners such as Conor Rogers (2019) were subsequently selected for the Freelands Foundation Artist Programme and showcased his work at National Portrait Gallery. 2021 winner Anne von Freyburg went on to win the Tsivrikos Shake Emerging Artist Award, and last year’s winners Habib Hajallie (2022) became one of youngest members elected to The Royal Society of British Artists and was named in the Forbes 30 Under 30 for Arts & Culture Europe (2023). 


The success list goes on, with 2019 runner-up Camilla Hanney being awarded a Gilbert Bayes Award 2021 by the British Society of Sculptors, and 2021 runner-up Catriona Robertson awarded the Gilbert Bayes Award 2022 by the Royal Society of Sculptors, as well as having her shortlisted runners-up piece commissioned by the RHS Chelsea Flower Show. 

Entries for the 2023 award open on 29th June and close 3rd September. Judges are expecting to see works demonstrating a strong and original voice, displaying exceptional artistic qualities. 

The final shortlist of 10 artists, selected by the judging panel will have the opportunity to have their work exhibited at London’s iconic Saatchi Gallery – with all travel and logistics costs covered by Robert Walters Group – at the awards evening on Thursday 9 November. 

The winner will receive a cash prize of £10,000 and the artist’s work will be shown at the Robert Walters Group head office in Covent Garden for 12 months. The runner-up will also receive £5,000 from the Robert Walters Group to help fund their future career in the visual arts.

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In addition, the People’s Choice Award is back by popular demand- which will be decided by a public vote during the virtual exhibition Friday 10th November – Sunday 10th December and announced on Tuesday 12th December 2023.

Toby Fowlston, CEO of Robert Walters Group comments: 

“Our purpose as a business is to power people and organisations to fulfil their unique potential – and seeing the careers of previous winners and entrants flourish after exhibiting at our awards night at Saatchi Gallery is extremely rewarding. 

“Finding purpose in your career is something we aim to help our candidates achieve daily so I am very much looking forward to seeing the artists’ interpretation of this year’s brief. We wish all the artists the very best with their entries and I look forward to meeting the finalists and celebrating with them at the awards evening.”

Michelle Bowen, Director of UK New Artists comments:

‘’The Robert Walters Group UK New Artist of the Year Awards have been a catalyst in unearthing some of the most exciting new voices working across the UK. These and many more artists show the determination and passion that can really make a change amidst these hardest of times and continue to embrace their purpose and dreams. As we embark on the fourth edition of the awards, we can’t wait to discover and celebrate those who will be shaping the future artistic landscape of the UK.”

Paul Foster, Director of Saatchi Gallery comments:

“We look forward to seeing how entrants to the UK New Artist Award in 2023 engage and confound us in new ways. Robert Walters Group has supported and nurtured a project which has surprised and delighted every year.”

How to enter

To be eligible for the award, you must be aged 18 or over, 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.

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.

Entries open on Thursday 29 June and close on Sunday 3 September 2023. For more information about the Robert Walters Group UK New Artist of the Year Award in collaboration with Saatchi Gallery click here.

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