Paul Vivian: Crouching Billionaire GhostSafety blanket, wood, metal, tape, cut paper, heigh apprximately 100cm, 2014.
Plymouth Contemporary is an open submission exhibition that provides a platform for new up-and-coming creative talent alongside nationally and internationally significant artists.

Following the hugely successful launch of the first Plymouth Contemporary in 2015, the 2017 exhibition brings the Plymouth Contemporary closer to becoming recognised as a beacon for showcasing the latest talent and new perspectives within contemporary art.

The Plymouth Contemporary is a partnership between the three key cultural change-makers within Plymouth in the lead up to 2020; The University of Plymouth, The Box, Plymouth– the city’s £37 million visitor attraction for art and heritage, due to open during the Mayflower 400 commemorations – and KARST, Plymouth’s largest independent, artist-led contemporary art venue.

Bringing together a critically acclaimed selection panel of curators, art directors, artists and professionals whose fingers are on the pulse regarding the latest developments, the Plymouth Contemporary showcases the next generation of artists to watch from across the world.

“The Plymouth Contemporary has rapidly become recognised as an important biennial exhibition, showcasing the latest ideas within art practice.

It has been great to see the exhibition grow in size, now involving KARST and exhibiting twice as many artists.

Without exception, the calibre of work on show this year is amazing, with artists experimenting across all art forms and questioning what we might mean by Visions."

Dr Sarah Chapman, Director, The Arts Institute at the University of Plymouth.

Plymouth Contemporary Awards

The 2017 Plymouth Contemporary, themed Visions, ran from 15 July to 2 September 2017 across the two venues of the Roland Levinsky Gallery and KARST. Artists were asked to respond to the theme ‘Visions’, a pertinent subject at a time when the world, on the surface at least, seems to be going through turbulent change. 

The awards were chosen by a selection panel of curators, art directors, artists and professionals whose finger is on the pulse regarding the latest developments and will be presented on the opening night. The awards on offer are:

Plymouth Contemporary Award sponsored by Artmill Gallery & Framing Centre
Winner (£2,500): Kazuya Tsuji, for Solid I and Solid IV, graphite on paper 

Special Recognition Award sponsored by Bond Dickinson
(£1,000): Georgie Grace, for Attention Seeker

New artist award sponsored by Frances May Favata, Sculptor 
(£1,000): Andreea Anghel, for Never Saw A Wild Thing Sorry For Itself

Audience choice award
(£500): Reginald Aloysius for Departure.

Submissions and selection process

The 2017 selection panel included Ben Borthwick (Artistic Director, Plymouth Arts Centre), Sarah Chapman (Director, The Arts Institute and artist), Judith Robinson (Arts and Cultural Development Manager, Plymouth Museums Galleries Archives), Carl Slater (Director, KARST and artist), Professor Chris Bennewith, Head of the School of Art, Design and Architecture at the University of Plymouth and Louise Coysh, Director of Arts and Culture, University of Southampton.

Find out more about the 2017 selection panel.

Please note applications are now closed.

Selected artists for 2017

More than 800 submissions were received from across the world and the judges selected 41 artists to feature in the final exhibition. Entries were received from 26 countries as far afield as New Zealand, South Africa, Argentina and the USA and comprise a wide range of interpretations of that topic.

The selected artists: 

  • Martin Darbyshire
  • Georgie Grace
  • James Hardy
  • Colin Higginson and Marcus Jefferies (Higginson and Jefferies)
  • Paul Jex
  • Liam Jolly
  • James Lee and Jed Fielder
  • Johnathan Martin
  • Kes Richardson
  • Emily Rosamond
  • Marcy Saude
  • Daniel Small
  • Corinna Spencer
  • Joan Stack
  • NaoKo TakaHashi
  • David Theobald
  • Jennet Thomas

  • Dominic Watson
  • Reginald S. Aloysius
  • Andreea Anghel
  • Back in Five Minutes Squad
  • Jolanta Basova
  • Joanna Brinton
  • Dallas Collins
  • Serial Composition
  • Martyn Cross
  • Thomas Goddard
  • Naomi Frears
  • Helen Anna Flanagan
  • Keiken
  • Marcus Lanyon
  • Jenny Mellings
  • Charlotte Mortensson
  • Eva Nielsen
  • Sara Rees
  • Lorraine Robbins
  • Ben Rowe
  • Irmina Rusicka
  • Carly Seller
  • Kazuya Tsuji
  • Liam Symes, Plymouth Young Contemporary Winner.

Plymouth Contemporary 2015

Over 1,200 submissions from 450 artists were received from the UK, Ireland, Europe and beyond for the inaugural Plymouth Contemporary in 2015. Digital artwork, sculpture, paint, textile, installation and drawing were all displayed in the exhibition.

Find out more about the 2015 exhibition, winners and the artwork.

Plymouth Contemporary
Plymouth Contemporary Open