Royal Arts Prize 2019 Shortlisted Artists 


Ellie Vandoorne

Flower Girl
Wild Flower
Girl of Paradise
Flamingo Girl

Flower Girl was heavily inspired by the 1960s with its colourful swimming caps, striking models and overall fresh and modern look. This piece would mark the beginning of my ongoing 'Girl series', a series depicting female figures with bright collaged headdresses. Like many of my pieces, my process begins by drawing the figure in pencil before scanning the artwork into photoshop to add colour, texture and collage the elements together that are to make up the headdress.


Joshua Healey Lapena

Linier 1
Reaction Reformation
Tac Cem

Being dyslexic and having Asperger’s, has not stopped me from developing an aesthetic appreciation of science and maths. overall connection is the real truth and working out what evolution and change mean may be an interesting path. As some works appear more abstract than others, their difference is more to do with the generality of the philosophical distribution: of engines to being in a cave, the language of quantities and data and to the form of squares. 


Lise Couture

In the Zone
The Pearblossom feeling
Code for I Love you
My subconscious mind

Creating is good for the soul. Through my artwork, I highlight beauty found in simple things or by creating an abstract image that makes me smile. My work has been described as joyful, whimsical, happy and energetic. When I start a new series, I never know how they will look once finished. It is the freedom of reacting in the moment of what I am creating. I use traditional materials, acrylics, oil pastels, oils, collages, writing, inks, pencils. Recently, new tools have been added as my favourites to make markings such as scrapers, trowel, sandpaper, screwdrivers, metal wool. Anything to capture contrasting markings to make the eye wander around the artwork. 


Pavol Kajan

The Enlightenment
The Three Graces

I was exposed to visual art from an early age and the oil paintings hanging on the wall of my grandparents’ house fascinated me. My artwork is about archetypal reflections of many faces of humanity and of the psyche.
It is the application of the diffuse and specular reflection of light through which I express myself as an artist. I work solely on my own, using real people as my models and my images are created optically (in camera) on the production set.


Valentina Andrees 

Decision in colours
Expectation in Colours

Born and raised in Ukraine in a family of artists. Very early at the age of 5, I was introduced to drawing and painting by my father and brothers and sisters. My love for painting shaped my life from then on. After moving to Germany, I specialized in oil painting. My love for big portrait pictures became my passion.


Francisco Jose Jimenez


The work explores the intimate and personal ways of seeing the human form. These works depict the effusive desire to capture the soul and the innocence of the human form through art. Full of feelings and ideas, textures and forms, these works reveal the essence of the human condition. This is a world of intimate places, imperfections and sensibility which follows the lines of the human body and the aura that surrounds people.


Anisha Samani

Silver Lining
The Simplicity of Elegance

Painting and writing poetry has always been a big part of my life and I am inspired by the beauty of life which comes from my childhood in Kenya where I was surrounded by the awe-inspiring landscapes, the wildlife and the diverse cultures. All this has led me to discover my own creative experiences which can be found in my paintings.


I am an Abstract Artist and my subject matter for the works presented is to extenuate the strength and beauty of the female form. Moving to London with my mother and two sisters at the age of 13, we were all brought up with a strong sense of pride and feminism which is what I aim to portray in my work. My signature style is to feature paint dripping down the canvas which can be just as powerful as a brushstroke when telling a story.


Hasti Sardashti

We live we die: Trust & Mortality
Hunted Hunters

Although all the above paintings feature elements of self-portraiture, they have had different starts in their creation.


For example I can say that the main image of 'Hunter Hunters' came in my mind following a very intense dream I had, which is very rare, By "We live, We die", is then a totally another story again, as I exactly knew why I have had that image in my head as it was like a reaction to something literally happening in my life. Obviously, no matter what the start of the initial image is in my head, they all go through a certain process till the final image is there.


Patrick Elder 

Peace Curve
Ring of Changes
Amity #13

To quote Louise Bourgeois ‘Abstract drawings come from a deep need for calm, rest, and sleep, and they spring up directly from the subconscious.


My purpose is to help create and promote a loving and peaceful world in which all may live happily and harmoniously together. To achieve this, I endeavour to work in a spontaneously creative manner, from a balanced centre of unconditional love, peace, and harmony.





Kat Fox 

Dirty Girl
My Heart is Blue
Surrounded by Animals
Tea for Two

Gals n Dolls is a photographic series examining the role of woman in a period of social regression. The digital montage style is utilized to convey an overly perfect exterior while informing the viewer that something is 'not quite right'. The series asks whether women are only to be shag dolls who dress up, look pretty, and stay silent? Is there room for subversion? Do women really want to roll back the times and return to 'traditional' gender roles circa mid-twentieth century?



Marc Abele 


Marc Abele’s pictures are a nonverbal inscription of terms. The example here shows the word “Between”. The interesting thing about “Between” is the word’s relation to space and time, to material matters or also to human sensitivities. As a preposition, “Between” is not only valid on its own, but it’s also always a reference to the circumstances ‘around’ it, from which it arises. “Between” can stand for many things – for closeness, conflict, harmony, a break, distance, vastness, isolation, for yesterday and the day after tomorrow... The multiple ways in which it is used lends the word a universal quality.


Laura Carter 

‘Untitled’, 2.42 Miles, 2017
‘Untitled’, 2.42 Miles, 2017
‘Untitled’, 2.42 Miles, 2017
‘Untitled’, 2.42 Miles, 2017

2.42 miles. Geometry tells us that the distance of the horizon, the farthest point the eye can see, depends simply on the height of the observer; making it unique to each of us. This series of landscapes taken at my eye level, exhibit the fundamental formal similarity and rhythm of the common horizon line, providing a personal space of 2.42 miles. This space is individual to each of us and yet barely considered as such when we experience the landscape. In this photographic series I wanted to explore this consistent geometric theory and the consequent juxtaposition that the horizon line offers us possibilities, yet also, so distinctly establishes a boundary.


Hatty Butler 

'I believe in me'
'A profound thought'
Through the Dark to a new Beginning

My work is about people, exploring concepts of vulnerability, gender, stereotypes and movement. I want to create work that is vivid and dynamic, questioning the viewers thoughts and preconceptions of modern day portraiture.


Daniel Holfeld


After more than ten years of working as a fine art and fashion photographer, this new body of work is a breakaway from the style traditionally associated with Daniel Holfeld’s camera lens. These photographs are the intuitive result of two years of travel to Morocco; and specifically, to El Bahia Palace in Marrakesh and the Hassan II Mosque in Casablanca. Much like a compass might guide a nomadic traveller, this site has drawn Daniel to them and makes absolutely no comment on religion or politics; it simply seeks to display and share something of the beauty and grace of the Arab aesthetic.


Catalina Christensen


My work stems from the notion of the ‘sublime experience’ in relation to memories and recollections of journeys to wild and isolated places, which invoke in me a sense of freedom. My aim is to evoke my experience of being in nature, through a painting language that depicts the essence and atmosphere of particular places, rather than focusing on their physical reality.


Yulia Lisle

Field in Spring
Red Blaze

Art has had a monumental role in my life. Over the years of my career, I have had the opportunity to develop and discover my style, to create this technique. Using my preferred medium of oils, which I love due to their wonderful saturation and viscosity. But also my cherished palette knives which are the primary instrument of my work. It is the combined force of these two tools that are used to produce the definitive volume and dimensions of my work.


Emilie Riggs 

Seascape 15
Figure 2
Sandy Texture
Sandy Texture 2

'Seascapes' is inspired by places I have been to. It started with a visit to the Ile d’Oleron, in France. Its low tide beaches offered beautiful visions of light, texture, and colours. The most recent paintings represent parts of the coast of Cornwall and Norfolk. I also regularly go to Greece where I always find wonderful inspiration in the early mornings and sunsets. I focus on the relationship between earth, sea and sky. I try to convey the osmoses I feel between these vast entities, low tide on a beach being the perfect point of junction between them.


Richard Harris 

strange fruit
strings attached
out of the mist

These photos are from a larger body of work in which I explore my feelings about the human body, particularly as depicted in digital media during the past twenty years. I have always found it an ugly/beautiful thing and decided to ‘deconstruct’ some life-size mannequins to help me understand why. After taking them apart, I hung the body parts from a scaffolding frame before photographing them in static and moving poses, sometimes swinging them in random directions to generate unpredictable and chaotic results.


Nadia Day 

Coast study I
Park study II
Coast study II
Park Study I

I am an Impressionist landscape artist painting views of nature from my doorstep - the Royal Parks and river scenes, plus seascapes and commissions further afield. I use a brisk technique of thick brushstrokes and pallet knife work to capture my view - ensuring my paintings are full of energy. The power and beauty of nature is at the core of everything I do and I aim to bring the outside in. These images were initially caught on camera as I jogged through the various landscapes, then brought to life in acrylic on canvas whilst fresh in my mind. I would describe myself as a self-taught artist, with a path evolving from illustration and advertising visuals to today's very painterly style.


Jo Holdsworth

City Dwellers
View Towards Westminster Cathedral
Where Next
Reflections in Grey

Jo Holdsworth is a London-based artist who paints contemporary figures and cityscapes as well as modern landscapes. Often centred around the theme of transitional spaces, Jo’s paintings are well sought after and she regularly undertakes commissions. Jo has exhibited widely in solo and group shows in and around London, and we were delighted to include and sell Jo's work at La Galleria Pall Mall in the Summer Show 2018. Jo's work is also often on display in commercial spaces around the capital. A recent article in Arts & Collections described Jo’s work as evoking “with uncanny semblance, the comings, and goings of everyday life. With seemingly effortless brush strokes and a limited colour palette, she crafts an artistic window into quintessentially British scenes. The figures in her work, elongated and striking, dominate her oil on canvas paintings as recurrent leitmotifs. Faceless and eerie, they are denied identity. But this anonymity means each one of them could be any one of us, adding to the undeniably potent imagery of Jo’s work. 


Deepa Khanna Sobti

No Way Out
There is only the Dream

My art style is abstract expressionist. The biggest inspiration for my work is nature and the processes of corrosion and erosion, which produce unbelievable abstractions and dramatic stories as the natural pigments, and materials blend and lose themselves in each other. I use only a palette knife since it is held differently from a brush or a pen or pencil, which due to repetitive use, unconsciously move towards already learned shapes and forms from memory. The palette knife draws more on spontaneity and pushes me to steer away from all that is known. look for all overall balance and depth without any semblance of particularized form. My eyes seem to love the colour black which inevitably seems to find itself into almost all my paintings.


Tess Gartland-Jones

Surface Currents
Shafts of Light
Niccone Valley
Secret Cove, East Coast Trail, Newfo

The elemental forces of nature in their more raw and exhilarating state are often the motivating inspiration for my interest in landscape and seeking out new experiences around the world. My love of working plein air, capturing a particular light or mood is only part of the process in making these layered and nuanced works. The initial observation is followed in the studio by an extensive layering of glazes of colour much akin to atelier training. A sense of place becomes immersed in memory and atmospheric mood.


Stefanie Schmid Rincon

On The Road
Home Sweet Home
On The Road
Home Sweet Home

Photographer  Stefanie Schmid Rincon grew up between Colombia and Germany. She moved to Berlin in 2008 where she graduated from Neue Schule für  Fotografie Berlin in 2014 and has been working as a freelance photographer ever since. Film stills, music & tour photography and diverse street photo documentaries around the world are just some of Stefanie's ongoing projects. Her  Personal work is focused on the everyday life of street situations.Wether Berlin, Barcelona or New York, Stefanie and her analogue camera are in constant inspiration and in search of new projects. Stefanie has been shortlisted in several important International Awards. Her work has been exhibited  successfully in the UK, Canada, Mexico, Colombia, Germany and U.S


Tessa Jane 

Between the moving boughs
care for can you
venetian waters
Golden glow ebb and flow

Tessa Jane specialises in a mixed media approach to her work, whether large or small-scale, regarding it as ‘paintings with purpose‘ since some pieces have a function. Her work has many layers, visually and conceptually, using painted, printed, collaged, drawn, and stitched media. She transposes her drawings onto silk-screen and builds the messages and stories by layering. This is often in response to poetry and the written word - sometimes her own. The places portrayed are precious to her, to be sustained and protected. It is fundamental to her practice to recycle and repurpose, sourcing discarded objects and giving them renewed value. The sewing machine is used as a drawing tool with both found and conventional materials.


Linda Burrows 

White tulips
Woman in yellow dress
Woman in black dress
Flower head

My figurative work mainly consists of studies of the female form. Incorporating flowers, plants, animals and water to create a narrative. I want people to enjoy finding hidden elements in some of the pieces and question what they are and have a reaction no matter how big or small. I don't want to paint just another pretty picture where the use of colour is it's only merit, I want to create talking pieces and in some cases have a message to convey.


Marie-Claude Maqua-Klein

Dans le brouillard
La falaise aux oiseaux

My work is an exploration of
the steady aspects of nature: the earth, the mountains, the stones...
and the flowing elements: the water, the wind, and life...

If I want to control nature, I destroy it.
The same goes for my paintings.

Painting is for me a reconciliation between explosion and suppression of feelings and colours.
It is between internal unrest and outside restraints.


Aysegul Balkose

The Rocks-The Waves-The Winds
Towards The Beginning
The Greatest Source of Sin
Divine Accidents

As a whole, it is a reflection of a moment that is so precious and joyful that we keep it in our hearts to fuel us during the endurance of life. The complex emotional states can be decoded and deeply understood through the senses beyond our 5 senses. I encapsulate these sparks in the form of paintings.


Stephen Bennett

Horse in the Wind
On The Road to Muckish
Tide in at Rosbeg
Fiddler With Flowers

Stephen Bennett was born in London in 1954, his father having emigrated from Co. Donegal, Ireland. Having graduated from Barking College of Art, London, Stephen spent 20 years working for leading London advertising agencies. He worked as a visualiser/illustrator on the accounts of companies such as British Airways, Cadbury’s, B.P. etc. and was part of award-winning creative teams while working for Saatchi & Saatchi and other top agencies. He left advertising in 1992 to follow his lifelong ambition of living and working as a painter in Donegal.


Clare Law 


My work has evolved from a great passion of exploring light, colour and texture. With Impressionism and the natural world as a constant inspiration, I create richly textured oil paintings using only a small painting knife. Working with a sculptural approach I aspire for the viewer to feel embraced by the scene, and just for a moment, stand by my side to drink in the view.


Lara Di Virgilio 

Lara Di Virgilio 

Bako Jungle
Inside Bar, Portobello
Mulu Jungle
Havana Print

People, animals, anthropomorphism, interior and exterior environments, colour and pattern have always inspired Lara's artwork. Working in mixed media and printmaking, she uses both real life references and imagination to express desired textures, verve, atmosphere and Lara's connection with the world. Lara's unique style and attention to detail force the audience to look twice and enjoy the work over and over again. She recently exhibited selected work at the Mall Galleries, ING Discerning Eye Exhibition 2018.


Victoria Udalova

Venezuela with a flower

Painter, Graphic Artist, Designer.Education- Art College (painting), Moscow State Art and Industry Academy of S.G. Stroganov.A member of the creative union of professional graphic artists since 1995. Since 2006 artistic leader- director of "Design Studio Victoria Udalova"


Ariel Chavarro Avila 

Dark Red Brown

Ariel Chavarro Avila has a minimalist, deep code colour style. She uses texture, intensity and vibrancy to compose these paintings created with knowledge and exhaustive study about the influence of colour in Human Psychology which Spiritually relates to Human behaviour.


Marilia Elstrodt

The World Mother
Grande Mae
The Mother of the World

Drawing, Painting, Sculpting, Printmaking are the ways in which I express myself. My work is about journeying into the Universal Soul and bringing to the World what I see there. This magical Journey is done without the limits of time and space. The tools are Silence and Truth. I invite you to make this journey with me.​


Sami Gjuka

Still Life
By The Lake
Blue Caress
Red Lake

I work with my own metaphysical ideas painted in the classical art style.​


Joyce Moloney

72 Souls
Serenity Prayer
Why am I Infatuated?

I am a visual storyteller/poet. A painting is a story without words, written instead in a visual language. I capture a rich Atmospherically unique narrative that encourages the viewer to decode a message that is either obvious or layered in the characters portrayed and held captive within the set boundaries of the canvas. I am a hopeless romantic, in which some of my characters I choose to transcribe visually encapsulates this through their mood and expressions. The world is a stage and we all have a role to play. I am an ultimate Artistic optimist, embracing the continual surprise of taking a blank canvas and illustrating a view from the playground of my imagination. I am of the belief that Art offers a respite from this frenzied world, it is my obsession my natural HIGH. It offers me the joy and torment one feels when the claws of creativity hold you captive in its journey of transformation between nothingness to create fulfilment. I do, what makes me feel alive.


Sharon Harvey

Summer Storm
Winter Valley

The 19th Century Artist, Marianne North’s, intrepid adventures and prolific paintings of botanical specimens fill me with wonder and provide inspiration for a new body of work exploring memory and our emotional response to both place and the patterns and textures of the natural world. The works whilst seemingly devoid of figuration reference a visual poem: attempting to capture through the sensory medium of paint the mood of either the place or a moment in time. Not using visual reference material is essential when making to allow my own emotion and memory to dictate the placing of colour and shape whilst providing space for the viewer to form their own response. Attempting to grasp the feeling before it disintegrates the painting becomes a metaphor for the lived experience.


Alex F. Kunst

Im Mittelpunkt des Universums
Die Brautschau im Zimmer
Der Hinterhalt Der Schönheit

The Hamburg artist Alex F. amalgamates these different aspects to great effect in her works. At first glance, her creations are reminiscent of Renaissance frescos that have been uncovered and attached to museum support panels. The “tondo” for example, a circular picture that became the defining form of her new cycle, is a product of the Renaissance. Alex F. works in exactly the opposite direction to a fresco restorer in Italy’s churches or palazzos. Just as the latter uncovers them layer by layer to snatch back priceless fragments of an earlier time, she builds up layer on layer to create a densely atmospheric expression.


Jess Merlo 

Through my exploration of natural structures, I find inspiration from sceneries and rocks extracted from specific locations that hold a special place in my heart.
The aim of this investigation was to discover new ways for these organic forms to create a compositional relationship on canvas as they do in the sceneries they
inhabit in. Through the tradition of organic abstraction, this body of work represents the beauty in those natural territories and bring them into a gallery setting.


Bernard Rangel

Late Autumn
Fish #6
Fish #5

Bernard Rangel has a diverse cultural background that is evident in his original and unique work. He is a self-taught artist and has been painting for more than 40 years. Bernard started by painting backdrops for the Amateur Hong Kong Ballet group and has since then painted household and commercial interiors, ceramics, bed linen, jeans, paper, canvas and has taken his work into the digital arena. He works with acrylic, Indian ink and oil paint and plays with a wide variety of colours. He is also the founder of the art genre Contemporary Tribal Surrealism.