Plymouth Contemporary

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, this bi-annual exhibition seeks to become 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; Plymouth University, 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.

“The first Plymouth Contemporary brought to view a new wealth of talent both from within the region and those from places all over the world who wanted their work to be seen in Plymouth. It was a privilege to be asked to select and I couldn't be more excited to see the Contemporary's second iteration.”

Helen Legg, Director, Spike Island and judge on the 2015 Plymouth Contemporary panel

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


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Plymouth Contemporary Awards

The 2017 Plymouth Contemporary, themed Visions, will run from 15 July to 2 September 2017 across the two venues of Peninsula Art 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 will be 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: £2,500

Special Recognition Award sponsored by Bond Dickinson: £1,000

New artist award sponsored by Frances May Favata, Sculptor : £1,000

Audience choice award: £500 (to be announced in the final week of the exhibition).

Submissions and selection process

The selection panel includes Ben Borthwick (Artistic Director, Plymouth Arts Centre), Sarah Chapman (Director, Peninsula Arts 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 Plymouth University and Louise Coysh, Director of Arts and Culture, University of Southampton; they will  be particularly looking for submissions that clearly reflect this year’s theme.

Find out more about the 2017 selection panel.

Please note applications are now closed. 

Selected Artists

More than 800 submissions were recieved 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

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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, scupture, paint, textile, installation and drawing were all displayed int he exhibition.

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