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Shortlist for Woon Prize 2018 revealed

8th May 2018

The 10 finalists for this year’s prestigious Woon Foundation Painting and Sculpture Prize have been announced after a record number of applications.

Delivered jointly by Northumbria University, Newcastle, and BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, the Woon Foundation Prize is one of the UK’s most generous prizes for artists and has a total value of £40,000.

The first prize is a £20,000 fellowship with a 12-month studio space in the Woon Tai Jee studio at BALTIC 39 in Newcastle city centre. The year-long fellowship includes mentoring from staff from both institutions and a final exhibition with catalogue at the end of the Fellowship. There are also two generous runner-up prizes of £9,000 and £6,000.

Last year’s first prize winner was the artist Joy Labinjo who acted as one of the four judges for this year’s prize and who helped choose the 10 finalists. Professor Dean Hughes, Head of Northumbria’s Arts department was also among the judges for this year’s prize.

“To be one of the judges for the Woon Prize in 2018 has been a thrilling experience. We saw a marvellously diverse body of work sent to us from undergraduate fine art students across the UK,” he said.

“What I found particularly compelling was the drive to locate, and find, new ways and forms of creative expression, which was evident in much of the work we saw.”

The remaining judges for this year’s Woon Prize were drawn from Northumbria and BALTIC, supported by independent external advisors. They included Alessandro Vincentelli, Curator of Exhibitions and Research at BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art; Hannah Firth, Director of Visual Arts and Programme / Deputy Director, Chapter; and Kathryn Brame, Engagement and Development Coordinator, Northern Gallery for Contemporary Art, Sunderland.

The winners of this year’s prize will be revealed at a special exhibition preview and prize giving on 9 July 2018 at Northumbria’s City Campus.

Sarah Munro, BALTIC Director added: “Excitingly, The Woon Prize is back for its sixth year. This is an important annual calendar event and a great opportunity to see the contemporary sculpture and painting that graduates are producing across the UK. This generous prize truly puts the needs of the next generation of emerging artists at its centre and all at BALTIC look forward to seeing the work by the ten shortlisted artists when this group show opens in the summer.”

The Woon Foundation Painting & Sculpture Prize is an important component of the partnership between Northumbria University and BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art. Now in its sixth year, the Prize is open to all UK undergraduate Fine Art students who are in their final year of study, graduating in summer 2018.

The Woon Prize 2018 final shortlist:

  • Josephine Rock, University for the Creative Arts, Farnham
  • Kara Chin, Slade School of Art, UCL
  • Kimberley Cookey-Gam, University of Brighton
  • Katie Watson, Newcastle University
  • Ronan Alice Porter, the University for the Creative Arts in Canterbury
  • Isaac Moss, Edinburgh College of Art
  • Harley Kuyck-Cohen, Slade School of Fine Art
  • Sebastian Sochan, Goldsmiths University
  • Rebecca Thomson Glasgow School of Art
  • Emily Stollery, Nottingham Trent University

Mr Wee Teng Woon, a Northumbria graduate and keen art collector, along with his three brothers established the Woon Foundation Art & Sculpture Prize.

The competition was launched in 2012 and has since attracted some of the UK’s most exciting artists.The first winning recipient of the Woon Foundation Prize was Holly Hendry who took up residence in the Woon Tai Jee Studio at BALTIC 39 in 2013. Just four short years on and Holly staged her first major UK institutional exhibition, Wrot, at BALTIC in 2017 and became one of the judges for that year’s prize.

Northumbria offers a wide range of courses in the arts and is rated Top 10 in the UK for Arts and Design research power following the Research Excellence Framework 2014. To find out more about studying at Northumbria go to: or sign up for one of our upcoming Open Days

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