"London Grads Now. 21 is a wonderful world of stranger things, both reflecting on the pandemic & rising above it" - Ruth Millington, Art historian, critic & author
London Grads Now. 21 is a graduate-led showcase running from 4 November 2021 through to 16 January 2022. Initially conceived in 2020 as a response to the unprecedented cancellation of degree shows, the second edition aims to support and highlight emerging artists of today and features fresh work from over 200 MA graduates of seven leading London art schools, all under one roof. All the proceeds from sales of artworks are retained by the artists.
"This exhibition will showcase some of the best new artistic talent our city has to offer and represents another brilliant reason for visitors and Londoners to come back into central London to visit our world class galleries as part of the Mayor’s Let’s Do London campaign. More than 200 artworks created by the next generation of artists will be on display – each one represents a triumph for art against the setbacks faced by so many emerging artists during the pandemic."- Justine Simons OBE, Deputy Mayor for Culture and the Creative Industries
The major exhibition presents a survey of London’s emerging art scene, with new works selected, spanning moving image, assemblage, installation, performance, painting, sculpture, photography, and drawing. Curators have selected artworks focusing on themes including environmentalism, gender identity, post-pandemic reflections, UK racial politics as well as explorations of the human psyche.
The exhibition will include MA graduates from: Goldsmiths University (curated by LaTosha Monique), UAL: Camberwell College of Arts, UAL: Chelsea College of Arts (both curated by Juan Bolivar), UAL: Central Saint Martins (curated by Jingwen Weng & Lingfei Rena Song), UCL: Slade School of Art (curated by Victoria Cantons), Royal College of Art (curated by Thomas Hjelm & Lauren Bevan), and Kingston School of Art (curated remotely from Tehran, Iran by Shahrzad Jahan). The exhibition identity was developed by UAL: Camberwell College of Arts MA graduate Tom White.
Nine galleries across two floors will be utilised for this headline show, with dedicated exhibition space allocated to each school: including new participating school, Kingston University, and a Saatchi Gallery curated space featuring large-scale works from all the schools combined.
London Grads Now. 21 offers a unique insight into exceptional teaching techniques, artistic practices, and cultural approaches – a microcosm of the diversity of London.
"A second wave of provoked ingenuity; this selection of graduates continues to define themselves through their fortitude and resilience. It has been our privilege to work amongst this community of artists that relentlessly inspire and uplift one another - a willingness to embrace the raw and unknown with unflinching certainty." - Thomas Hjelm & Lauren Bevan, Royal College of Art
"The artworks selected reveal the conﬁnes of human knowledge, demonstrate the artists’ tolerance and diverse understandings of the unfamiliar and the unusual, and highlight mankind’s relentless quest for adventures and new discoveries." - Jingwen Weng & Lingfei Rena Song, UAL: Central Saint Martins
"London Grads Now .21 at Saatchi Gallery has been such a uniquely incredible project to be a part of. From my personal experience, to curate an exhibition space without even stepping foot in the gallery itself is incredible and I feel honored to be part of the project, defying the odds - a testament to the power and beauty of collaboration we must take from overcoming challenges in lockdown and how connecting virtually can sometimes be a powerful tool to connect, and break down barriers." - Shahrzad Jahan, Kingston University
"The London Grads Now. 21 exhibition is a beautiful opportunity to show the works of dedicated artists who persevered through the most challenging of times due to Covid-19. The selected work provides a look as to how creativity plays an active role in sustaining our collective well-being. This collection is reflective of the safe havens explored internally, which informed a diverse form of creative processes." – LaTosha Monique, Goldsmiths University
The Royal College of Art is a public research university in London, United Kingdom, with campuses in South Kensington, Battersea and White City. The only entirely postgraduate art and design university in the world, it offers postgraduate degrees in art and design to students from over 60 countries. Notable alumni from the twentieth and twenty-first centuries include the sculptors Barbara Hepworth and Henry Moore, painters Frank Auerbach, David Hockney, Bridget Riley, Sir Peter Blake and Charles Tunnicliffe, artists Jake and Dinos Chapman, Tracey Emin and R. B. Kitaj, fashion designers Ossie Clark and Zandra Rhodes, industrial designers James Dyson and David Mellor, film directors Tony and Ridley Scott, writer Travis Jeppesen, designers Thomas Heatherwick and Sir David Adjaye, prominent member of the suffragette movement Sylvia Pankhurst, the musician Ian Dury and the actor Alan Rickman.
The UCL Slade School of Fine Art is the art school of University College London and is based in London, United Kingdom. Founded in 1871, it has offered female students education on equal terms as men from the outset and has been ranked on numerous occasions as as the UK's top art and design educational institution. Since its inception the Slade has been at the forefront of developments in the field of contemporary art and welcomed students from all over the world. The school is organised as a department of UCL's Faculty of Arts and Humanities. Notable alumni include include Gwen John, Augustus John RA, Walter Sickert RA, Paul Nash, Sir Stanley Spencer CBE RA, Dora Carrington, Euan Uglow, Richard Hamilton CH, Derek Jarman, Martin Creed, Dame Paula Rego DBE RA, Mona Hatoum, Sir Eduardo Paolozzi CBE RA, Sir Antony Gormley OBE, Cecily Brown, Dame Rachel Whiteread DBE, Jenny Saville RA, Phyllida Barlow CBE RA, Tacita Dean CBE RA, Michael Armitage, Zhi Lin, Raymond Briggs CBE and Charli XCX.
Goldsmiths, University of London is a public research university in London, England, specialising in the arts, design, humanities, and social sciences. It is a constituent college of the University of London. It was founded in 1891 as Goldsmiths' Technical and Recreative Institute by the Worshipful Company of Goldsmiths in New Cross, London. Notable alumni include Damien Hurst, Antony Gormley, Lucian Freud, Bridget Riley, Sam Taylor-Johnson, Gary Hume, and Sarah Lucas. The inclusion of alumni from Goldsmiths was generously supported by the Exhibitions Hub, Goldsmiths University of London.
Chelsea College of Arts is a constituent college of the University of the Arts London based in London, UK, and is a leading British art and design institution with an international reputation. It offers further and higher education courses in fine art, graphic design, interior design, spatial design and textile design up to PhD level. Notable alumni include Frank Bowling, Helen Chadwick, Anish Kapoor, Steve McQueen, Haroon Mirza, Mariko Mori, Mike Nelson, Chris Ofili, James Richards, Mark Wallinger, and Saskia Olde Wolbers.
Camberwell College of Arts is a constituent college of the University of the Arts London, and is regarded as one of the UK's foremost art and design institutions. It is located in Camberwell in South London, England, with two sites, located in Peckham Road and Wilson Road. It offers further and higher education programmes, including postgraduate and PhD awards. The College has retained single degree options within Fine Art, offering specialist Bachelor of Arts courses in painting, sculpture, photography and drawing. The College also runs graduate and postgraduate courses in art conservation and fine art as well as design courses such as graphic design, illustration and 3D design. Notable alumni include Franko B (artist), Jeff Banks (graphic designer and TV presenter), Sue Clowes (fashion designer), Neisha Crosland (textile designer).
Across art, design and performance the students and staff of Central Saint Martins create ideas, materials and actions for a better future. Among our alumni shaping the world through creative action are Grace Wales Bonner, Matty Bovan, Michael Fassbender, Isamaya Ffrench, Antony Gormley, Craig Green, Isaac Julien, Jean Julien, Ib Kamara, Christopher Kane, Stella McCartney, Alexander McQueen, Morag Myerscough, Mowalola Ogunlesi, Sandy Powell, Laure Prouvost, Simone Rocha, and Yinka Shonibare.
Kingston School of Art is an art and design faculty located in south-west London. It is a constituent part of Kingston University, London. The school was first established in 1899 as Kingston School of Science and Art. In 1930 it was established as a separate school and has been based on its own art school campus since 1939. During the 2018 / 2019 academic year the school started to teach humanities and social sciences. Notable alumni include artists David Nash and Fiona Banner, designer Jaspar Morrison and fashion designers John Richmond and Helen Storey as well as architect David Chipperfield. Professors in the faculty include Mike Nelson and Elizabeth Price.