UK New Artists of the Year Award 2022

Robert Walters Group

This summer sees the return of the Robert Walters Group UK New Artist of the Year Award for the third time, in collaboration with Saatchi Gallery and UK New Artists.Following a record-breaking 900+ entries last year, this year’s call for entries opens on Thursday 30 June 2022 under the brief:‘The Unimagined Future’ and is expected to attract a multitude of entries according to the judges.The theme of the exhibition plays into the notion that 85% of jobs in 2030 currently do not exist – and opens a wider debate as to ‘what else have we not thought about or is yet to be invented?’

Judges will include Robert Walters – art enthusiast, collector and CEO of Robert Walters Group; Paul Foster – Director of Saatchi Gallery; Lisa Gee – longstanding Director of the Harley Foundation Charitable Trust; Saad Eddine Said – internationally-acclaimed curator and Artistic Director and CEO of New Art Exchange; Won Hee Nam - CEO of Art Lab N3 and Gallery N&K based in Seoul, South Korea; and Anne von Freyburg - artist and winner of the 2021 UK New Artist of the Year awards.

The awards have a track record of providing a springboard for emerging artists where previous winners such as Conor Rogers (2019) was subsequently selected for the Freelands Foundation Artist Programme and has an upcoming show at Millenium Gallery in Sheffield, in conjunction with the National Portrait Gallery. Last year’s winner Anne von Freyburg (2021) went on to win the 'Tsivrikos Shake Emerging Artist Award' and currently has an exhibition in the Netherlands at Art Gallery O-68.2019 runner-up Camilla Hanney was awarded a Gilbert Bayes Award 2021 by the British Society of Sculptors, and has a solo exhibition launching in July at Pallas Projects in Dublin. 2021 runner-up Catriona Robertson was also awarded the Gilbert Bayes Award 2022 with the Royal Society of Sculptors.

Entries for the 2022 award open on 30 June and close on 31 August, where judges are expecting to see works from outstanding artists whose work demonstrates a strong and original voice and is of exceptional artistic quality. 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 10 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 Robert Walters Group to help fund their future career in the visual arts.

Robert Walters, CEO of Robert Walters Group comments:

“Providing a steppingstone for ambitious individuals is what the foundation of Robert Walters Group is built on, and seeing the careers of previous winners and entrants flourish post exhibiting at our awards night at Saatchi Gallery provides us with the fuel to keep this competition going.

“What’s more is how insightful is has been to see artist interpretations of our everyday work-related issues and responding to our previous briefs on diversity & inclusion, the new normal, and now the unimagined future. Getting a different perspective on such issues only further drives our own determination to innovate within our respective field of expertise. We wish all of the artists the very best in their entries.”

Michelle Bowen, Director of UK New Artists comments:

"The 2019 and 2021 Awards discovered some of the most compelling and exciting new artists working across the UK today and I am sure this year's award will show how the pressures and challenges of the last two years have been managed by this resilient and extraordinary creative sector, and how this will inform their artistic practice as they look to the future."

Paul Foster, Director of Saatchi Gallery comments:

“We are delighted to be hosting the third edition of the UK New Artist Award, an initiative which has proven to be an exciting and important opportunity for emerging artists. We extend our gratitude to Robert Walters Group for their crucial on-going support of this project.”

How to enter

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
  • 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:

  • Digital Arts:Moving image, performance video, technological arts
  • Applied arts: ceramics, glass, textiles, jewellery
  • Fine Arts: painting, printmaking, photography, installation, sculpture
  • Entries open on Thursday 30 June 2022 and close on Wednesday 31 August. For more information about the Robert Walters Group UK New Artist of the Year Award in collaboration with Saatchi Gallery, please visit,

    For further information, please contact:

    For media enquiries contact:

    Rum Gill PR Manager Robert Walters E: T: 020 7509 8178 For award entry enquiries contact: For Saatchi Gallery press enquiries contact:


    Notes to editors:

    About Robert Walters

    With more than 3,200 people in 31 countries, Robert Walters Group delivers recruitment consultancy, staffing, recruitment process outsourcing and managed services across the globe. From traditional recruitment and staffing to end-to-end talent management, our consultants are experts at matching highly skilled people to permanent, contract and interim roles across all professional disciplines, including: Accountancy & Finance, Banking & Financial Services, Engineering, Human Resources, Information Technology, Legal, Sales & Marketing, Secretarial & Support, Supply Chain & Procurement.

    About Saatchi gallery

    Since 1985, Saatchi Gallery has provided an innovative platform for contemporary art. Exhibitions have presented works by largely unseen young artists, or by international artists whose work has been rarely or never exhibited in the UK. This approach has made the Gallery one of the most recognised names in contemporary art. Since moving to its current 70,000 square feet space in the Duke of York’s Headquarters in Chelsea, London, the Gallery has welcomed over 10 million visitors. The Gallery hosts over 5,000 schools visits annually and has over 6 million followers on social media. In 2019 Saatchi Gallery became a charity, beginning a new chapter in its history. @saatchi_gallery Saatchi Gallery, Duke of York's HQ, King's Rd, Chelsea, London SW3 4RY Saatchi Gallery Registered Charity No. 1182328

    About UK New Artists (UKNA)

    UK New Artists (UKNA) is a national charity that champions artists who are in the first ten years of their practice. UKNA supports the next generation of artists working in visual arts, theatre, dance and spoken word to help develop their practice and pursue a creative career. Since its inception in 2008, UKNA has supported over 2000 artists in the UK and internationally, organised six biennials in the East Midlands, most recently the UKNA City Takeover in Leicester, and partnered with international organisations including Seojung Arts Centre, Seoul and Yiyuan Tang Museum, Shanghai. UKNA is an Arts Council England National Portfolio Organisation and is funded and supported by De Montfort University, Nottingham Trent University, University of Derby and University of Lincoln. UK New Artists was formerly known as UK Young Artists (UKYA). As of April 2020, artists at any age above 18 within the first 10 years of their professional practice are eligible for our opportunities.

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