5 questions to the Artist: Azita Moradkhani

While the call for artists of the 5th edition of the Young Masters Art Prize is in full play, we want to remember our past editions and our amazing alumni. Today we have talked to Azita Moradkhani, winner of the Young Masters Art Prize and Young Masters Emerging Woman Art Prize in 2017.

Azita Moradkhani

Azita Moradkhani

1. Why did you decide to apply to the Young Masters Art Prize?

The Masters are extremely relevant to my work. I maintain a traditional artistic practice, using representation to comment on the contemporary world. I’m interested in bringing back beauty and realism to contemporary art, using formality, virtuosity, and delicacy to connect my work aesthetically to art of the past. So, when I heard about the Young Masters Art Prize, I thought it would be a great fit for the kind of projects I was working on.

2. How did you choose the work you submitted, and what was is about?

In my art-making process, I take time to go through the channels of the art world and make my points aesthetically approachable, but aesthetic pleasure is not enough. There has to be a conceptual dimension as well, and I want to challenge viewers to recognise the significance of both of these and how they work together in so many of the images made available to us. Themes from the Old Masters’ works emerge in my two drawings that I submitted for the prize. In one of the drawings – “Becoming” – I used the nearly-touching hands of God and Adam from the iconic image by Michelangelo. I challenge the story of Adam’s creation as an idealised representation of the physical birth of a man rather than of a woman. My piece points out the power of women’ bodies to give birth to humankind even while we are limited in our power to make decisions about our own bodies.

Azita Moradkhani (c)  Becoming (Victorious Secrets).  2016. Coloured pencils on paper, 30.5 x 40.6 cm

Azita Moradkhani (c) Becoming (Victorious Secrets). 2016. Coloured pencils on paper, 30.5 x 40.6 cm

In another drawing – “Not Too Far Away” – I use a photograph of migrants arriving in Greece on a Turkish boat in 2015. This piece was inspired by the painting “The Raft of the Medusa” by Théodore Gericault. The figure at the top right side of the drawing, holding a piece of fabric, is repeated in the figure of a child, also holding a cloth, at the top left side. Both of these images show immigrants drifting on the sea, risking their vulnerable bodies for the hope of a better future.

Azita Moradkhani (c)  Not Too Far Away (Victorious Secrets).  2016. Coloured pencils on paper, 30.5 x 43.3 cm

Azita Moradkhani (c) Not Too Far Away (Victorious Secrets). 2016. Coloured pencils on paper, 30.5 x 43.3 cm

3. What did you get from the experience of participating in the Prize?

Winning the Young Masters Art Prize and the Young Masters Emerging Woman Art Prize from The Cynthia Corbett Gallery has been an honour for me and I am very grateful for that. Through this experience, I have had the pleasure to work with The Cynthia Corbett Gallery and meet art professionals including curators, critics, collectors, and other artists beyond the borders of America.

4. How did your career change afterwards?

After winning the prize in 2017, through The Cynthia Corbett Gallery, my work has been exhibited internationally at different places such as London Art Fair, Art New York, Royal Academy of Arts, Art Miami, The Royal Opera Arcade Gallery, and The Royal Over-Seas League. Also, I have been interviewed and my work has been reviewed in different prestige publications such as The Guardian, BBC Persian, Financial Times, Women in Art, Crafts Council, After Nyne Magazine.

5. What advice would you give to artists applying to this year’s prize?

I strongly encourage all the visual artists in different disciplines around the world to apply to this great opportunity. I advise them to read the application carefully and take the time to answer the questions about their work and artist statement. Best of luck in this journey!

Artists wishing to apply to the Young Masters Art Prize are encouraged to do so until 31 May 2019.

In conversation with the Judge: Daniella Wells

While the call for artists of the 5th edition of the Young Masters Art Prize is in full play, we want to highlight our illustrious judges. Today we have talked to Mrs Daniella Wells, Events consultant and ceramic specialist.

1. Why did you decide to support the Young Masters Art Prize?

Ceramics have been a life long love for me and I have been lucky enough that through my professional life I have seen hundreds of contemporary artists working in this field. There’s a huge interest in clay these days from 3D printing to large scale sculptures at blue chip art fairs.

The Maylis Grand Ceramics prize looks back to look forward - considering ceramic traditions and making routed in the past but by artists working today. I like that the artists we shortlist are those with a lot of detailed historical knowledge - something that I think gives a great curatorial thread.

2. What do you get from the experience of judging the Prize?

I really enjoy the conversations with other judges and gaining a deeper knowledge about works I’m less familiar with.

3. What are you most looking forward to this year?

Being introduced to new artists…

And I am really looking froward to the exhibition of the shortlisted works as well the the response to it from the audience. It’s a real pleasure to be part of an experience which brings people to really engage with contemporary work.


4. What advice would you give to artists applying to this year’s prize?

Ensure you give a concise written response to the prize brief, not just an overview of your work. It takes more preparation but worth it. Plus decent images of course and within that image selection, that's where I think you need a visual overview of your practice. Good luck!


Artists wishing to apply to the Young Masters Art Prize are encouraged to do so until 31 May 2019.

5 questions to the Artist: Christopher Stacey

While the call for artists of the 5th edition of the Young Masters Art Prize is in full play, we want to remember our past editions and our amazing alumni. Today we have talked to Christopher Stacey, our shortlisted artist of the 3d edition of the Prize in 2014.

Christopher Stacey

Christopher Stacey

1. Why did you decide to apply to the Young Masters Art Prize?

As an artist for whom authenticity, expression and the  visceral reality of human form and thought are paramount,  the overwhelming impact of say,  Bernini’s Rape of Proserpina is undeniable. Its rage, sensuality and above all, overwhelming sense of flesh are at once terrifying and  beguiling.  To be part of a prize that protects and promotes the core values of such practice anew is both exciting and an honour.

2. How did you choose the work you submitted, and what was is about?

The Physician is the largest, most ambitious of my recent ‘flower’ works. Although the arc of my work now rests on flowers, not as previously the human form, I find that I am seeking the same things, only from a somewhat different direction. It is still flesh, soul and violence. They are all still portraits.

I longed to transgress into abstract expressionism. I wanted something that lay somewhere between the lyricism of Waterhouse and the undiluted energy of de Kooning.

Christopher Stacey,  Physician

Christopher Stacey, Physician

3. What did you get from the experience of participating in the Prize?

A sense that you are part of something new as well as part of something that spans ages.

4. How did your career change afterwards?

I began a family and now have a beautiful girl and boy.  After a hiatus, I suppose it changed my practice. I began painting flowers rescued from my late parents’ garden and my work became more confident, focused and infinitely freer. Ironically, I began to receive requests for portrait commissions soon afterwards.

5. What advice would you give to artists applying to this year’s prize?

To trust yourself. To see what others do not, especially when it’s in plain sight.

Artists wishing to apply to the Young Masters Art Prize are encouraged to do so until 31 May 2019.

In conversation with the Judge: Stephen Feeke

While the call for artists of the 5th edition of the Young Masters Art Prize is in full play, we want to highlight our illustrious judges. Today we have talked to Mr Stephen Feeke, writer and curator.

Stephen Feeke

Stephen Feeke

1. Why did you decide to support the Young Masters Art Prize?

I have developed a particular interest in the resonances between the art of the past and the art of the present, many exhibitions I’ve curated have explored the creative possibilities of looking at history through a contemporary lens. I have also worked with many ceramicists, so I first heard about the ceramics aspect of the Young Masters initiative it brought together different aspects of my knowledge and experience in a very exciting way. Ultimately though it’s all about the art and the artists.

2. What do you get from the experience of judging the Prize?

For me, it’s all about supporting artists and opening up new opportunities for them.

3. What are you most looking forward to this year?

I am most excited about discovering work by new artists.


4. What advice would you give to artists applying to this year’s prize?

Look to the past, but don’t be slavish. Be bold, be original.


Artists wishing to apply to the Young Masters Art Prize are encouraged to do so until 31 May 2019.

5 questions to the Artist: Eleanor Watson

While the call for artists of the 5th edition of the Young Masters Art Prize is in full play, we want to remember our past editions and our amazing alumni. Today we have talked to Eleanor Watson, our shortlisted artist of the 3d edition of the Prize in 2014.

Eleanor Watson in her studio. (c)  Bonbon Photography

Eleanor Watson in her studio. (c) Bonbon Photography

1. Why did you decide to apply to the Young Masters Art Prize?

I felt that the focus on how artists pay homage to, and are indebted to Art History, was interesting and very relevant. My work is about historical spaces and how we consume them through engaging with the Heritage industry. Therefore, very dependent on particular references; to historical objects, furniture, tapestries, architecture, and paintings including still-life, portraiture and picturesque landscapes.

2. How did you choose the work you submitted, and what was is about?

I selected a few pieces I had already made and created new work for the exhibition itself. With a particular focus on work I felt showed its connection with Art History and the history of interior painting.

Eleanor Watson,  Conversation , oil on canvas, 150x100cm

Eleanor Watson, Conversation, oil on canvas, 150x100cm

3. What did you get from the experience of participating in the Prize?

It has been very positive. Cynthia Corbett is a great ambassador for emerging artists and through ongoing support and sales I have continued my art practice with confidence.

4. How did your career change afterwards?

I have continued to expand my understanding of how my work relates to Art History. I was subsequently accepted on to the Drawing Year at the Royal Drawing School in 2015-16, an institution which holds great regard for learning from the canon of Art History. Since then, I was awarded the Jonathan Vickers Fine Art Award, which is a very generous residency in Derbyshire, culminating in a solo exhibition, 'Dear Reader,', at the Derby Museum and Art Gallery in 2017. I am currently undertaking a Masters at City and Guilds of London Art School.

5. What advice would you give to artists applying to this year’s prize?

Go for it!

Artists wishing to apply to the Young Masters Art Prize are encouraged to do so until 31 May 2019.

Young Masters 2019 Call for Artists is now open!

Contemporary artists working in any medium and from anywhere in the world are invited to apply for the 2019 edition of the Young Masters Art Prize, and for the Young Masters Maylis Grand Ceramics Prize. This year marks the 10th anniversary of this international initiative.

The Young Masters Art Prize is a not-for-profit initiative founded in 2009 by Gallerist Cynthia Corbett to give a platform to both emerging and established artists who pay homage to the skill and innovation of the Old Masters and art of the past. Since its launch in 2009, the Prize has established itself as a significant international project and has attracted critical and public acclaim. In 2014, the Young Masters Maylis Grand Ceramics Prize was introduced to celebrate excellence in contemporary ceramics.

Artists applying for both the Young Masters Art Prize and Young Masters Maylis Grand Ceramics Prize must show an exceptional understanding of their creative medium alongside an awareness of art of the past. For the ceramics prize, they must also demonstrate an awareness of the heritage of ceramic craft, which can be interpreted in the broadest international sense. The closing date for entry is 31 May 2019.

The winner of the main Young Masters Art Prize will receive an award of £1,500, and there will be two Highly Commended Awards of £500, courtesy of the Artists’ Collecting Society (ACS).  The ceramics prize is £1,000 with Highly Commended Award of £500, both sponsored by James and Maylis Grand. There will also be an award, sponsored by Dr Chis Blatchley, of £1,000 for an emerging woman artist, who will also receive career mentoring and exhibition opportunities from The Cynthia Corbett Gallery. To mark the 10th anniversary, for the first time there will be a £500 People’s Choice Award, sponsored by longstanding Young Masters partner Brownhill Insurance.

Artists shortlisted for both strands of the Young Masters Art Prize will be selected by independent judging panels comprising influential names from the creative worlds. For the main prize, the panel will include critic Godfrey Barker, art historian Jean Wainwright and founder of the Bridgeman Art Library and Managing Director of the Artists’ Collecting Society (ACS), Lady Harriet Bridgeman, CBE. The judging panel for the Young Masters Maylis Grand Ceramics Prize comprises: collector Preston Fitzgerald; ceramics patron Maylis Grand; Director of New Art Centre - Roche Court, Stephen Feeke; the Crafts Council’s Daniella Wells and founder of Cultural Agenda, Davina Weir-Willats.

The shortlist will be announced in June, with an exhibition of their work taking place at La Galleria, Royal Opera Arcade in London’s St James’s in October during Frieze Week. The winner will be announced on 1 October 2019 at a prize ceremony held during the exhibition. 

Artists wishing to apply can do so through the Young Masters Art Prize website https://www.young-masters.co.uk/apply The closing date for entry is 31 May 2019.

Art Miami 2018: Young Masters alumni in high demand

Art Miami 2018: Young Masters alumni in high demand

The Young Masters' 2018 tour made its last stop of the year at Art Miami.

Between the 4th and 9th of December, Young Masters alumni Lluis Barba, Elisabeth Caren, Lottie Davies, Tessa Eastman, Oliver Jones, Fabiano Parisi, Zemer Peled, Dirk Staschke, Eleanor Watson and Isabelle Van Zeijl were on show at the Cynthia Corbett Gallery stand at the Art Miami Pavilion.  

Featured Artist: Lucille Lewin, winner of the Young Masters Maylis Grand Ceramics Prize 2017

Featured Artist: Lucille Lewin, winner of the Young Masters Maylis Grand Ceramics Prize 2017

Lucille Lewin's work takes a closer look at naturally occurring phenomena. With great attention to detail, Lewin's pieces simulate a microscopic view of nature, where intricate features become discernible to the naked eye. Porcelain and glass give each piece a biomorphic appearance that mimics organisms and matter evolving simultaneously, the fragile material exemplifying vulnerability.