A new initiative aims to support and raise awareness of London’s young artists. Next Big Thing, a competition and a new TV series, offers an unrivalled opportunity for London’s emerging artists to showcase their work, with winners’ works to be exhibited in central London and promoted to a global audience of buyers and collectors.
The competition is open to all artists between the ages of 17 and 30 who live, work or study in London. Participators are invited to submit images or videos of their existing work in one of the competition’s five genre categories: portraiture, photography, street art, sculpture, and landscape.
Judges will select 10 winners from the five categories and the public can also vote online for their favourite artist to go through to the final. The winners will then be filmed for the new series over the period of a month, during which they will be asked to create an original piece of work which captures the spirit of London. The works will be showcased in a prestigious central London exhibition and revealed to a global audience in an online auction. There will also be a judges award and an NBT bursary.
A selection of renowned artists and arts professionals will judge the competition, including:
• BBC Arts presenter Dr James Fox
• Chief curator of National Portrait Gallery Alison Smith
• Saatchi online vice president Rebecca Wilson
• Art dealer and curator Jean-David Malat
• Dulwich Picture Gallery director Jennifer Scott
• The Other Art Fair director Jessica Chow
As well as the chance to exhibit and sell their work, the finalists will be supported by renowned artists/mentors who will offer guidance and encouragement in their respective categories. Mentors include painter Bradley Theodore, award-winning painter Miriam Escofet, and photographer Nicky Johnston.
Nicholls says: “Next Big Thing will provide potentially life-changing opportunities for young artists who might be struggling in this incredibly hard period. During tough times art has a vital role to play in providing hope and documenting history. We feel strongly about creating a space and a platform to build awareness of some of the city’s incredible young emerging artists who have potential to be the ‘Next Big Thing.”
Next Big Thing will air on London Live in spring 2021. The closing date for applications is midnight on 23 December 2020. Details of how to enter and terms and conditions can be found here: https://nextbigthing.live
Naila Scargill is the publisher and editor of horror journal Exquisite Terror. Holding a broad editorial background, she has worked with an eclectic variety of content, ranging from film and the counterculture, to political news and finance.