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Royal Arts Prize 2018 Shortlisted Artists

Alice Cescatti

Alice Cescatti


"Sea Water Bloom" , 64 x 64cm, acid etched silver leaf panel


Alice Cescatti is a London based Artist who grew up in New Zealand.


From an early age she became fascinated by the interaction between dramatic remote landscapes and the intense light of the South Pacific.


Cescatti's paintings are water gilded in silver leaf, a specialist technique she has mastered to describe light which dates back to the Egyptian Tomb Paintings from the 23rd Century BC.


Cescatti had her first Solo Exhibition in 2004 at the Galerie Christian Siret, Palais Royal, Paris and has subsequently exhibited extensively throughout Europe and America.

Alvïne Bautra
Bridget Adams

Alvīne Bautra


"Daydreamer”, 20 x 20cm, acrylic on canvas


The realistic paintings by Alvīne Bautra depicts human beings into nowhere. Painting compositions embodies the feeling of slow motion of movement. The artist also considers movement as a metaphor of human being, the individual multi-layered nature, diversity and also uncertainty. It is individuals’ transformation that leads into the unknown.


Alvīne Bautra, Latvian painter, born in 1990, in Latvia. In 2016 graduated Bachelor's Degree from Art Academy of Latvia department of Visual Art (painting). In 2014 participated in the Erasmus exchange program and studied at Kunsthochschule Berlin Weissensee in Germany. Participates in exhibitions in Latvia and abroad (Sweden, Lithuania, Egypt, Germany, Estonia, Luxembourg, China) since 2011. She has had three solo exhibitions: “Secret file“ in 2013, "Individual“ in 2015 and "Human creatures" in 2017 in Riga. Since 2014 regulary participates in KUBOSHOW Art Fair in Herne, Germany.

Dan Gerbo

Bridget Adams

"Organised Faith", 127 x 146cm, pencil, pen and digital collage

"I have always been a rebel....sometimes without direction or even sufficient control to be good for me however always with a genuine passion and belief in humanity and its potential for peace over self destruction and respect for all the different 'truths' and beliefs out there that are held inside us with such value and love. Comprehending and believing in humanity as a shared experience and respected right for every one of us is a treasured requisite we can all share and a common thread through all of life. Some people are lucky enough to have this truth nurtured in them and the human potential for acceptance, empathy and compassion can come more instinctively. For those of us who have not had this truth, common decent quality nurtured, it can be far more challenging to value and respect each others diversity, personality, character and right to live according to this truth, which is one we can all own. We all belong to it anyway. We are it!"


Dan Gerbo

Born in Mulhouse ( France) in 1955. After having devoted much of his career to interior design and modern figurative paintings, he now introduces a new kind of conceptual art, or better; demonstrative art. Through his works which are unique and unusual, he shows life, strength and weakness and he makes us feel stirred and surprised. This new creativity of conceptual art based on symbols releases strong surprising energy and sometimes with a little humor.

"Many artists find inspiration in misery, rage or desperation and express their turmoil through their works. I am lucky not to have been in such dramatic situations, and I try, through my art, to show that everything can change from one moment to the next, that there is nothing more important in life than happiness and certainly not material goods. Money can obviously contribute to happiness, but many people run only after money and right past happiness as if blinded by what they possess, or would like to possess. These artificial pleasures, fed by greed, narcissism or vanity, deform or destroy the notion of happiness. Through my art, I strive to denounce this kind of behaviour with humour and cynicism. Hedonism is my reason for living."

Dmytro Dobrovolskyi

"Nina", 70 x 90cm, oil on canvas

Dmytro Dobrovolsky has been a participant numerous times in Ukrainian and international exhibitions, successfully conducts solo exhibitions in the UK and Estonia (Leighton House Museum, gallery "Ice House", "Nexus gallery", gallery "Rios Art", gallery "US ART"). His paintings are in private and museum collections in Ukraine, UK, Germany, USA, Holland, Estonia, Finland, France, Canada, Russia…) Dmytro has been especially connected with the Holland Park area, having had two important exhibitions at the Leighton House Museum. His beautiful painting «Summer in Holland Park» was sold at the Princess Trust Charity Auction, organized by Prince Charles.

Elena Renaudière

Elena Renaudière


"For old times sake", 46 x 60cm, acrylic on canvas

Elena Renaudière is a contemporary abstract painter. Born in 1980 in a small town in Transylvania, she lived in Paris and travelled extensively before settling down in London a decade ago. Her paintings are abstract poetical representations of relationships in our cosmopolite and multicultural society. Elena draws inspiration from the people around her, from close family to brief acquaintances. In order to capture feelings and reactions, she continuously develops her own language that is dominated by bold colours and shapes. Elena enjoys the versatility of the acrylic mediums and paints, using pouring, spraying, glazing and other techniques to create layers and depth. She loves to explore the way the paint moves and colours blend and to experiment with the textural qualities of the paint using original and unconventional application tools. Elena participated in prestigious exhibitions like the SWA Annual Exhibition at the Mall Galleries, London and her works reside in private collections in the UK, across Europe, USA, Australia and Hong Kong

Eriko Kaniwa

Eriko Kaniwa


"Spiritual Landscape in Japan", Digital Photography.


Eriko Kaniwa is an international award winning fine art photographer based in Tokyo, and the creator of the Sensegraphia Fine Art Photography. Sensegraphia is a conceptual redefinition of photography, in which the visual aesthetics of the photograph are used to develop and express a sense of nature that enables us to recognize that humans are a part of nature and that we are centrally involved in nature's dynamics.

Kaniwa spent almost two years exploring the symbols of Japanese nature worship, which are exemplified in the “eight million gods” of Shinto, and reflecting on how ancient Japanese viewed natural scenery and symbolized it as an object of prayer. Traveling to over twenty locations throughout Japan, she used long-exposure photography to capture images of torii gates built in water, sacred “wedded rocks,” World Heritage sites, and other spiritual landscapes. These images are collected, together with text, in her book "JOKEI: Symbols of Nature Worship Sacred Places in Japan". The book was awarded internationally as the one of the best fine art photo books.

Julija Lev.

Julija Levkova

"Silence", 120 x 80 cm, c-print on plexiglass

Julija Levkova was born in Riga, Latvia, 1981. Now she lives and works between The Netherlands and Belgium. From youth she was interested in paintings form the golden age, painters such as Rembrandt, van Huysum and Rubens. Spending a lot of time in museums all over the world and in her home library filled with books about history and art. Interested in photography, she studied technical aspects in Antwerp & Breda (Academy of Fine Arts & School of Photography). Her work has been exhibited across the World including London, Paris, Venice & New York. Influenced by the Dutch Masters, Levkova's still life floral photography captures the inherently magical beauty of the floral realm. Integrating multiple images to establish scenes of hyper-natural beauty and visual abundance, Levkova’s photography achieves chromatic extremes while mirroring facets of reality. Transforming the notion of a traditional still life into contemporary portraits of nature, Levkova’s compositions become emblematic of the human condition. “I am inspired by the big themes in life: loneliness, vulnerability, and the raw pure emotions encountered daily,” Levkova explains of her process. “I just want to put things together to rebuild and discover in what way I see the world.” 

Kos Cos

Kos Cos

"The Unsaid Goodbye", 75 x 75cm, oil on canvas

"Born in Sri Lanka into an artistic family, I began drawing and painting at an early age. In the golden age of hand-drawn signage, my playground was my father's agency workshop, where I studied and practised brush skills after school. In 1999, I moved to Hong Kong to work in the advertising and film industries.


With the evolution of photography, portraiture was an endangered art, but I’ve always been more drawn to portraits than any other types of painting. A human face is complex and changes constantly with mood. When we meet someone, we look at their face to read their emotions and to understand their personality. 


As an artist, I like to challenge myself, that’s why I’ve never liked doing portraits in a traditional way. I tend to start with short sketchy strokes to capture the essence of the subject's features. Then I use large vividly-coloured brushstrokes or throw paint directly onto the canvas to add movement and energy so that the whole piece becomes more dynamic and engaging."

Kumari Nahappan

Kumari​ Nahappan

"Tango", 47 x 15 x 11cm, bronze​

Kumari Nahappan is a prominent artist in Southeast Asia. Her practice encompasses inter-disciplinary genres, paintings, sculpture and installations. She has forged a reputation for effectively reconciling the language of "international contemporary art" with her own vocabulary and developing a visual identity that is decisively shaped by her cultural roots and beliefs.


Kumari is celebrated for her iconic and monumental sculptures in landmark locations in countries such as Singapore, Malaysia, China and the Philippines. She has also shown her works in Germany, Sweden, Holland, the US, Australia, Korea, Japan, Australia, Hong Kong, and most recently at ANIMA MUNDI International Art Festival in Venice, Italy.


Kumari has also won several awards, such as the Artist of the Year Award in the 15th edition of the Shanghai Art Fair (2011).


Maisoon Al Saleh

"Money Doesn’t Float", 75 x 100cm, digital photo Lambda print​

Born in 1988, Emirati artist and entrepreneur Maisoon Al Saleh is active in her practice both in Dubai and internationally. She graduated from Zayed University in 2010, with a degree in Interior Design. Al Saleh’s first solo show was at the Maraya Art Center, Sharjah, in Autumn 2010. Al Saleh’s work has been exhibited in UAE at various exhibitions, including Art Dubai; Emirati Expression at Emirates Palace, Abu Dhabi; Macedonian Museum, Greece; Palazzo TE Museum, Italy; Centro Cultural Caja GRANADA Memoria de, Spain; and her work has also been included in many shows in the United States. Her art dives, sometimes literally, below the obvious meaning residing on the surface of stories and accounts of the past. Al Saleh focus on bones and skulls as a means of telling stories that transcend age and gender. She’s inspired in part by historic representational art, like the famous early twentieth century Calaveras (skull) prints of Mexican artist José Guadelupe Posada. In each painting, skeletal compositions reveal stories from Emirati life, culture and history, asserting new meaning that undermines the bones’ symbolic association with death and poison. 

Mika Yajima

Mika Yajima


"Composition Ryusui" (detail), 73 x 73cm, tapestry on canvas, mixed media


Born 1965 Kochi Prefecture Japan. 1988 Graduated from Tokyo Zokei University, studied under Prof. Akiko Shimanuki, a pioneer of Japan's tapestry world. In 1988 she joined the Kimono Corporation as a regular employee and spent 2 years in charge of merchandising specially selected kimono made by a variety of craftspeople including Japanese living national treasures. From the start of her freelance career 1992, she produced mainly on order artwork to hotels, corporate buildings, JAL's domestic and International lounges, etc., for architectural spaces by using original techniques. From 2006 she exhibited some conceptual installations pursuing more spirituality with stronger messages. In recent years, she has made a transformation from folk art materials to the modern arts returning to the original self-cultivated material series that continues from her art college days, while bringing in her experience of working in the production of artworks for kimono and architectural objects. Yajima is based in Japan, although exhibits her work internationally as she continues to explore the reactions of viewers overseas.


Monica Pennetti

Monica Pennetti (PennyM)


"Creation", 80 x 100cm, oil and acrylic on canvas


Born in 1974 and grown up in the Canton Zurich (Switzerland).

Studied at the London College of Contemporary Art in London. Lives and works in Zurich and surroundings; practising (oil/acrylic on canvas), textile and fashion design. She had her artist debut many years ago when she lived at the Ramblas in Barcelona. She extensively exhibits her creations in Switzerland and throughout Europe.

"Since my earliest childhood, I have a great passion for drawing and painting as well as for any other form of creativity. I usually paint without a precise idea of what I paint as if I was in a kind of trance. The result is that my paintings often show more than what you might see at first glance as if it contains some hidden images or messages. I like the idea that every canvas has its own soul, and only by working long and hard enough, it might reveal what it has inside."


Natalia Elerdashvili

Natalia Elerdashvili


"Lilacs", 54 x 65cm, oil on canvas


Natalia Elerdashvili, was born in Georgia in a family of geologists. She used to spend most of her school holidays with her parents in the geological expeditions where she had an opportunity to admire the greatness of the snow-capped mountains of the Caucasus and the magic beauty of the sunsets on the Black Sea. The love for nature from early childhood determined the main theme of Natalia’s future paintings that is landscapes. A considerable place in her art is also taken by the theme of flowers; she devotes some of her daily time to the garden of her house where she takes care of numerous species of flowers that inspire her for new artworks.

Despite the hardship, Natalia went through during civil wars in her country and life challenges faced, she managed to maintain the brightness, lightness, optimism and romantic beauty in her works.

Over the years she exhibited her works in Moscow, London, Edinburgh, New York, and Perugia. Natalia joined Georgian Union of Artists in 1997. Natalia’s works are kept in private collections in the United States, Britain, France, Italy, Russia, and other countries.



Natalia Orlowski​

Buenos Aires, 1973

Artist and Curator


The works that Orlowski will present in the exhibition are paintings of jasmine flowers and peonies which allude to life and sensuality, to an aroma that give us as a sensory enjoyment that can unconsciously take us to our memories of the past and different places which we have been. 

In Natalia's case it takes her to Guzow's Palace, in Poland, where her grandmother lived. The palace was devastated during the war and together with it all the history that the palace held. The paintings allude to the flowers and gardens that are no longer there.

All her paintings are a homage to the connection she had with her grandmother, funnily enough they were born on the same day and month, the 20th of June.

Nora Unda

Nora Unda


"Divino Brote", 39 x 32cm, plasticine


Nora Unda, Chile, 1982, holds a Bachelor’s degree in Arts with a major in Plastic Arts (2006), and a professional Sculptress degree awarded with highest distinction from the University of Chile (2009).


"My creative process stems from fragments of my memory, memories from my childhood, that have led me to translate language through intuition, interpreting abstract figures, creating a defragmentation of reality and shaping new visual narratives based on dream-like landscapes, inspired primarily by nature, animals

and life.


To develop and immortalise what’s in my imagination I use plasticine as my main medium, because it is volumetric, playful, transformable and colourful, which smoothly connects to my essence.

I am currently developing symbology through the manipulation of organic forms, steering them towards meanings tied to the origin of life."

Oli Lyon

Oli Lyon


"Figure Alone", 135 x 180.5cm


"Within my work I explore the human figure through the medium of oil paint on linen canvas. My paintings examine the physical structure of the human body, frequently presenting the figure in a state of contortion, constriction and isolation.


The subject titled ‘Figure Alone’ primarily depicts the human form alone in an empty space, focusing on isolating the figure within a vacant room or abstract landscape. 'Figure Alone' (No.19) and 'Figure Alone' (No.20) depict the figure floating through an abstract plain of colour, presenting the body gliding and fading away into a dark space."

Pelin Yazar

Pelin Yazar


"Nocturne.2", 35 x 35cm, acrylic on canvas  


Pelin Yazar is a Montréalaise painter. Originally from Istanbul, Turkey, she studied at Marmara University, earning her Bachelor of Art Education degree (in Painting & Art Education); and at Istanbul Technical University, earning her Master of Fine Arts degree (in Painting, and Visual & Environmental Arts).


Pelin has developed a great deal of experience in the profession of art education and art workshops, particularly with children and the elderly. She has taught at schools, festivals, museums, and various institutions in Turkey and North America, and has exhibited in several states in the United States as well as in her adoptive home province of Quebec. She continues to develop and explore deeper within her particular naïve style centered in the discipline and joy of colours.

Phoebe Kim

Phoebe Kim


"1956: Is this my true colour", 50 x 60cm, oil and mixed media on canvas


Phoebe Kim is an Australian artist currently residing in Berlin. Upon graduating a BVA from the Sydney College of the Arts in 2016, she has continued to develop her artistic practice in Berlin. During her time at art school her works were heavily inspired by a blind drawing exercise that lead to her singular black and white line paintings. From then she continued to develop these singular lines that now have become almost realistic but abstract portraits. They often reflect on subjects of the dysfunctional identity, the unconscious mind, memory and the everyday. Her works have been exhibited in Sydney and Berlin.

Sena Appeah

Sena Appeah



"...and so life expands", 61 x 42cm, oil on canvas


"I was born October 1996, I am self-taught. From a young age I felt inclined to paint the subconscious world of dreams. The subconscious world to me wasn't inferior to 'reality', but was a much needed counterpart- here anything could and did happen.Through dreams we have the potential to imagine and create without inhibition- so dreams became my muse. My works are visual fragments of the subconscious mind, often birthed from moments of inspiration where I'll see the whole picture or parts which spontaneously flow into other sections."


Snežana Zlatković


"Millions of City Plans Transformation: Micro Macro Atmospheres Mapping (Experiment No. 34a)", 38 x 38cm, print on plexiglass


Snežana Zlatković (b. 1988, Belgrade, Serbia) is an architect and a PhD student at the University of Belgrade Faculty of Architecture, where she obtained her Masters in Architecture in 2012. Different parts of her PhD process have been presented in various international and national architectural competitions, conferences and exhibitions. Her research has been selected for Drawing Futures Book 2016 (The Bartlett School of Architecture, University College London). The interpretation of the concept of Habitation for the Drawing of the Year 2016 (The Aarhus School of Architecture)“Habitation - Cityscape - Transformation” was awarded with Special Mention, as well as “Micro Macro Atmospheres” (in collaboration with Anđela Karabašević) with Recognition in category New Media (Sustainable Urban Society Association). Drawings “Millions of City Plans Transformation - Micro Macro Atmospheres Mapping (Experiment No. 34a,b,c, No. 35a,b,c, No. 36a,b,c)” had been awarded with Commendation - Six of the best in the RIBA Journal's Eye Line 2017 Drawing Competition.


Wei Tan

Tatawa (Wei Tan)


“Land of Imaginary Objects II”, 102 x 76 x 2cm, mixed media on canvas



Tatawa (Wei Tan, b. Malaysia, 1991) is a mixed-media abstract artist based in Berlin. With a background in music composition, she completed her Master's degree in Music Technology at New York University. In summer 2015, while developing work on image-based experimental sound art, Tatawa started exploring the world of abstract painting – first collaborating with her teacher Gina Bonati and then experimenting on her own, drawing inspirations from the great Abstract Expressionists to today’s cross-disciplinary, multimedia artists. Since then she has worked and exhibited in New York, London, Florence, Berlin, and Kuala Lumpur.


Victoria General

Victoria General


"Classroom Secrets", 46 x 60cm, charcoal


Toronto based contemporary charcoal artist.

"I capture regular every day people and moments with very quick, bold, expressionistic strokes; offering a sense of familiarity within the often unexplored urban environment. Thematically I tend to dwell on the emotional side of everyday life, with a repeated variation on universal human behaviours. There is a sense of fragility within our imperfections, and catching this can provide us with the opportunity for moments of clarity and connection wth one another. We all have a story to tell, no matter how seemingly insignificant; it is that story and our vulnerability I strive to catch."


Victoria's work has been exhibited globally, with her participating in shows throughout Canada, the US, the UK, Italy, and Greece.


Wendy Freestone

Wendy Freestone


"Family Seven", 30 x 20 x 21cm, Edition of 5, Bronze 


Wendy studied BA Fine Art at De MontFort University part time whilst her three children were young. She currently works in her studio in Oxfordshire. Alongside her practice, she undertakes commissions from small scale figures in bronze to large scale garden commissions and bespoke pieces for industry clients.

Increasingly, Wendy is commissioned to create family groups, effectively capturing a moment in time and a stage in family life. The pieces are both decorative, but are also unique to the family in question.

Wendy's work explores themes of family and home, and concepts of memory and moment, more recently in observation. She works in a variety of materials, currently casting in bronze using the lost wax process, but also works in aluminium, silver, acrylic, paper and wire. Each body of work frequently consists of multiple pieces and sometimes in a range of materials.

Her work is very much influenced by people watching;" I enjoy observing people in a group and seeing how they interact, as well as the space they take up and their presence" 

Zi Ling

Zi Ling


"Cigaret break", 91 x 71cm, watercolour and acrylic



She has been trained at the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, Chelsea College of Arts and Central Academy of Fine Arts China.


Her works of watercolour, etching, short film and performance installation have been presented at:

"SW3-Delights" (2017) - Chelsea Gallery, Chelsea Old Town Hall -  London.

"Hidden St.Martins Exhibition" (2016) - St-Martin-in-the-Fields, London

"Royal Institute of Painters in water colours" - Mall Galleries, London.

"Royal Society of Portrait Painters" - Mall Galleries, London

"National etching competition finalist Exhibition" - The National Art Museum of China.

She received the First Prize of Leathersellers Award (2016) for her watercolour painting "Rikishi" and the Rosemary & Co. Prize (2015) for her watercolour painting "Naked Lunch".

She is the co-Artistic Director of Eldarin Yeong Studio.

Zohreh Mosayebi

Zohreh Mosayebi


"Painting  no.8.", 80 x 100cm, acrylic and charcoal     


Born in 1947 Tehran.


Education: From 1966 to 1968 Zohred studied political economy and political science at the National University of Tehran and in 1976 completed her Bachelor of English Language and Literature at Pahlavi University of Shiraz.


In 1989 she began her artistic career.


Individual Exhibitions:

2014, Painting Exhibition - Shiraz

2011, La Verne University of California-America

2000, Painting Exhibition - Shiraz 1995 Painting Exhibition - Tehran 


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