‘It’s just the start of an adventure’: Whistles founder, 69, shares why it’s NEVER too late to reinvent yourself and start a new career

  • Lucille Lewin, 67, reveals how a trip to Hackney convinced her to study ceramics
  • The Whistles founder who is now an award winning potter discussed her empire
  • She spoke to Femail about her recovery from a non-cancerous brain tumour

When Lucille Lewin applied for a Masters degree, her first thought was: ‘Can I really do this?’  ‘I hadn’t actually done a BA before,’ she says. ‘And the elephant in the room was my age.’

A 67-year-old mother of two grown-up sons (‘one’s a doctor, one’s a lawyer’), she’d be some 40 years older than many of the students.

It’s rare to relish starting a new career just as your contemporaries are winding down. And going to art college in your mid-60s is clearly a challenge — from coping with the super-confident, young millennials, to completing mountains of coursework — but the change is particularly shocking if, like Lucille, you once ran a legendary fashion empire.

Lucille, now a tiny, vibrant 69-year-old, says she remains endlessly curious and in fact everything in her life has happened organically

With her husband Richard, Lucille founded Whistles in 1976 and turned it into one of the High Street’s biggest success stories.

Her own designs for the brand were sized for real women, and many of us are still wearing her jewelled knits, embroidered jackets and tailored suits 20 years on.

By the time the couple sold the business in 2002, to business partner Richard Caring, it had 40 stores across the country.

The funny thing is, she admits, none of her twentysomething fellow students knew about her history. ‘All the brownie points I got in fashion were worth absolutely nothing. It was a new world completely.’

Though, she adds, they did Google her half way through the course.

Lucille’s decision to completely reinvent herself eight years ago happened by chance.

‘I walked into an evening class in Hackney, East London, by mistake. A good friend was going, and I wanted to talk to her, so I said: “I’ll drop you off.”

‘I wandered into this little basement studio, where there were a few potters potting, and the smell of the clay hit me. I connected with it at once . . . it’s a very earthy smell.’

She signed up for part-time evening classes, then decided to study ceramics full-time.

Anyone thinking of retraining mid-life, after a career, might take inspiration from Lucille. Now a tiny, vibrant 69-year-old, she remains endlessly curious. In fact, she says everything in her life has happened organically.

She married Richard on her 21st birthday and went to America after he got a place at Harvard Business School.


In 1972, they moved to the UK. Richard had a job with menswear company Burtons and, to her amazement, she landed a job as an assistant to the merchandiser at Harvey Nichols.

‘I only had ripped jeans to wear, so I went out and bought this fabulous suit and a pair of stacked heels for the interview.’ She was later promoted to buyer, but was eventually fired for being too outspoken.

So, in 1976, she decided to open her own shop on George Street in Marylebone. ‘I wanted to occupy the space between designer and High Street.’

She filled the tiny, 250 sq ft shop with black and white clothes — and it sold out.

She believes the sale of Whistles may have been a trigger for one of the most traumatic episodes in her life. In 2009, she was diagnosed with a non-cancerous brain tumour known as an acoustic neuroma.

‘The takeover was a very difficult time for me,’ she admits. ‘The company was very much my baby.

‘It was a time of unbelievable, unrelenting shock and stress. I felt powerless, and that was one of the hardest things.’

 It’s art, yes, but also a business. You don’t make ceramics just to sit looking pretty in your garage — you do it to exhibit and sell the work – Lucille Lewin

The tumour was removed during a 12-and-a-half hour operation at Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge. Afterwards, she felt very weak for three months. She says: ‘I could not shop, cook or care for myself. I was so grateful I had my family around me.’

At first, smiling was impossible and eating was a challenge.

‘Many people retreat because they can’t cope with what’s happened to their faces.

‘You lose the ability to react, you lose your smile.’

Following an intensive rehabilitation programme, her condition is barely visible — except in photographs. Having recovered, she was determined to have more pleasure in her life. She took a two-year part-time diploma in fine art and ceramics at London’s City Lit college (2012–14), after which tutors urged her to apply for a two-year postgraduate degree at the prestigious Royal College of Art.

To her delight, she won a place. As a fashion guru, she had lectured at the Royal College. Now she was a mere student. ‘I’m quite a relaxed person, so I didn’t worry about status, thank goodness,’ she laughs.

Though she says wryly that young people master technology so much better, she made friends for life on the course.

At a time when the number of part-time and mature students has dropped significantly, because people are worried about running up debt, she’s keen to stress it’s not an indulgence.

 It’s exciting. I’ve got so many things I still want to say. And I think it’s just the start of this adventure – Lucille Lewin

The course cost £9,000 a year, but by selling her work, she can recoup the cost.

‘It’s art, yes, but also a business. You don’t make ceramics just to sit looking pretty in your garage — you do it to exhibit and sell the work.’

In fact, Lewin has more than held her own alongside her classmates. In June, she won the £1,500 Young Masters Maylis Grand Ceramics Prize, after completing her MA in ceramics and glass.

The irony of being declared a ‘young master’ at the age of 69 isn’t lost on her. Since she won the prize, pretty much all of her exquisite white porcelain sculptures have sold. Now she’s preparing for an exhibition in November. Husband Richard grumbles good-naturedly that they can’t go on holiday.

‘I don’t blame him, I should be calming down a little bit,’ smiles Lucille. ‘But it’s exciting. I’ve got so many things I still want to say. And I think it’s just the start of this adventure.’

Lucille’s work is on show at The Cynthia Corbett Gallery / Young Masters Art Prize at the Royal Overseas League until September 8, young-masters.co.uk, lucillelewin.com


Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-4744632/Whistles-founder-69-starting-second-career.html#ixzz4oQXq1rnW


Young Masters Prize Giving Ceremony @ Gallery 8

Prize Giving Ceremony, on June 21st @ Gallery 8

On June 21st, Artists, Judges, Patrons, friends and family gathered at the Young Masters Art Prize Exhibition at Gallery 8 for the prize giving ceremony. Cynthia Corbett opened the ceremony by introducing the 2017 Young Masters and warmly thanked all those that helped the vision become a reality.

The chair of the judging panel Godfrey Barker announced the winner of the 2017 Young Masters Art Prize, Azita Moradkhani. Laura Hospes and Tamara Al-Mashouk were announced as Highly Commended artist for the Young Masters Art Prize. In his speech Godfrey discussed the importance of the Old Masters in the art world today.


Iranian artist Azita Moradkhani was announced as the winner of the Young Masters Art Prize and inaugural Young Masters Emerging Woman Art Prize, both generously supported by Dr. Chris Blatchley. Moradkhani was chosen from a shortlist of 18 international artists for her delicately crafted drawings. The female body is central to her work and she uses beauty as her weapon to address complex socio-political issues. Her use of traditional techniques, skill and delicacy connect her work aesthetically to the art of the past.

Azita Moradkhani’s delivered an acceptance speech from afar:


Dr. Chris Blatchley, Patron of The Young Masters Art Prize and The Young Masters Emerging Woman Art Prize, announced Isabelle van Zeijl and Katie Spragg as the two artists Highly Commended for the Emerging Woman Art Prize.


Lucille Lewin was announced by James Grand as the winner of the £1,500 Young Masters Maylis Grand Ceramics Prize, which is supported by patron, collector and philanthropist Maylis Grand. Lauren Nauman was announced as Highly Commended for Young Masters Maylis Grand Ceramics Prize.


Last but not least,  Katie Spragg was declared the winner of the Be Smart About Art award by Susan Mumford, the Founder of Be Smart About Art and Association of Women Art Dealers (AWAD).


See full details of our 2017 winners and prizes here.

Exhibition dates: 19 – 24 June
Location: Gallery 8
8 Duke Street St James’s, St. James’s, London SW1Y 6BN

Prize Giving Ceremony:
21st June, 2017


Young Masters 2017 Winners Announced

Iranian artist Azita Moradkhani has been announced as the winner of the Young Masters Art Prize and inaugural Young Masters Emerging Woman Art Prize, both generously supported by Dr Chris Blatchley. She was presented with her combined £3,000 prize at an award ceremony sponsored by Brownhill Insurance held this evening, Wednesday 21 June 2017, at Gallery 8 in London’s St James’s.

Moradkhani was chosen from a shortlist of 18 international artists for her delicately crafted drawings. The female body is central to her work and she uses beauty as her weapon to address complex socio-political issues. Her use of traditional techniques, skill and delicacy connect her work aesthetically to the art of the past.

Chair of the judges, art historian Godfrey Barker, comments: ‘The Young Masters Art Prize is a snapshot of contemporary art now. It had a huge number of entries from 55 countries, a vast majority of those from young or emerging artists. Two things we have never seen before: the prize has been overwhelmed by women (two thirds of the entries) and all nine of the awards have been given to women. Clearly this prize is now at the cutting edge, with an international emphasis that includes North America, Africa, the Middle East and the Islamic world.’

Cynthia Corbett comments: ‘We’re extremely excited about this year’s prize and winners. The additional strand of an emerging women’s prize has led to overwhelming interest from international female artists. The astounding quality of female applicants has meant that the judges have bestowed all the awards to women. I hope we can now look forward to a future of artistic meritocracy.’

5. Laura Hospes, Braid
Laura Hospes, Braid, 2015, Archival Pigment Print, Edition of 7 + 2 AP, 60 x 40cm (23.5 x 15.7in.). Courtesy Kahmann Gallery.

Two Highly Commended Prizes of £500 courtesy of the Artists’ Collecting Society (ACS) were awarded to Laura Hospes and Tamara Al-Mashouk and a new ‘Be Smart About Art’ award worth £500 was awarded to Katie Spragg.

The judges were Godfrey Barker, Melanie Gerlis, Art Market Columnist at the Financial Times and Editor-at-large at The Art Newspaper; Daisy McMullan, Curator; Hannah Rothschild, writer, filmmaker and Chair of the Board of Trustees of the National Gallery, London; Charles Saumarez Smith, Secretary and Chief Executive of the Royal Academy of Arts and Jean Wainwright, Art Historian, Critic and Professor of Contemporary Art and Photography at the University for the Creative Arts.

Tamara Al-Mashouk, License on Fire
Tamara Al-Mashouk, License, 2017, Video Installation, 6′ 18”, Sound, Edition of 3

Lucille Lewin has been announced as the winner of the £1,500 Young Masters Maylis Grand Ceramics Prize, which is supported by collector and philanthropist Maylis Grand. This strand of the Young Masters Art Prize was launched in 2014 to give a separate platform for ceramics and highlight the creative and innovative potential of this artistic medium. She was chosen from 10 shortlisted artists for her work that the judges described as ‘completely original’.

Lucille Lewin, Winner Young Masters Maylis Grand Ceramics Prize 2017.jpg
Lucille Lewin, Winner of the Young Masters Maylis Grand Ceramics Prize 2017
Lucille Lewin Babel 2017
Lucille Lewin, Babel, 2017, Porcelain and Glass, 39 x 21 x 22 cm (15 3/8 x 8 1/4 x 8 5/8 in.)

The judges, Janice Blackburn, former Curator of Arts and Crafts at Sotheby’s; collector Preston Fitzgerald; collector and philanthropist, Maylis Grand and the Crafts Council’s Daniella Wells, continued: ‘We were looking for originality and a strong voice and we were in total harmony about our choice of winner. Lucille’s work is experimental, beautifully made and totally original; this is work with a future.’

Lucille Lewin’s work is the result of research into the origins into 18th century European porcelain and the alchemists who invented it. Her pieces, which combine porcelain with other media including glass and salt crystals, reference the Victorian Cabinet of Curiosities and the early microscopic photographs of the natural world by Karl Blosfeldt. A £500 Highly Commended Prize was awarded to Lauren Nauman.

Lauren Nauman, Highly Commended Young Masters Maylis Grand Ceramics Prize
Lauren Nauman, Highly Commended for the Young Masters Maylis Grand Ceramics Prize 2017, pictured with Maylis & James Grand.

The inaugural Young Masters Emerging Woman Art Prize was introduced this year to profile and reward the work of an emerging female artist. In addition to the main prize given to Azita Moradkhani, two Highly Commended Prizes of £250 were awarded to Isabelle van Zeijl and Katie Spragg.

2. Azita Moradkhani, Becoming, colored pencils, 12x16 IN, 2016 (1)
Azita Moradkhani, Becoming (Victorious Secrets), 2016, Coloured Pencils on Paper, 30.5 x 40.6 cm, (12 1/8 x 16 in.). Courtesy Gallery Kayafas.
Isabelle van Zeijl, HER, 2017, Perspex face mounted C-print on dibond in tray frame, 110 x 100 cm (43 1/4 x 39 3/8 in.)
Highly Commended Young Masters Emerging Woman Art Prize Isabelle Van Zeijl with Judges Charles Saumarez Smith and Godfrey Barker
Isabelle van Zeijl, Highly Commended for the Young Masters Emerging Woman Art Prize 2017, pictured with Young Masters Judges Charles Saumarez Smith CBE and Godfrey Barker. Photography courtesy Cristina Schek.
Katie Spragg, Meadow, 2017. Porcelain, Oak, Plastic, Switch, Battery-powered LEDs
22 x 30 x 22 cm.

The Young Masters Emerging Woman Art Prize judges were Beth Colocci, Chair of the Trustees of UK Friends of the National Museum of Women in the Arts; Sylvie Gormezano, Chair of the Association of Women Art Dealers; award-winning designer and art collector Ronnette Riley, FAIA and Nadja Swarovski, Member of the Executive Board, Head of Corporate Branding and Communications and Chairperson of the Swarovski Foundation.

Young Masters Art Prize winners:
Azita Moradkhani, £2,000 main prize, thanks to Dr Chris Blatchley
Laura Hospes, £500 Highly Commended courtesy of the Artists’ Collecting Society
Tamara Al-Mashouk, £500 Highly Commended courtesy of the Artists’ Collecting Society
Katie Spragg, Be Smart About Art Award worth £500

Young Masters Maylis Grand Ceramics Prize winners:
Lucille Lewin, £1,500 main prize, thanks to Maylis Grand
Lauren Nauman, £500 Highly Commended, thanks to Maylis Grand

Young Masters Emerging Woman Art Prize winners:
Azita Moradkhani, £1,000 main prize thanks, to Dr Chris Blatchley
Isabelle van Zeijl, £250 Highly Commended, thanks to Dr Chris Blatchley
Katie Spragg, £250 Highly Commended, thanks to Dr Chris Blatchley

Young Masters Art Prize Shortlist Exhibition at Gallery 8, 8 Duke Street, St James’s, London, SW1Y 6BN.

Exhibition runs until 24 June 2017

Public opening times: 11am to 7pm daily (or by appointment)
Nearest tubes: Green Park or Piccadilly Circus (St. James’s exit)

Featured Image: Azita Moradkhani, Not Too Far Away (Victorious Secrets), 2016, Coloured Pencils on Paper, 30.5 x 43.2 cm, (12 1/8 x 17 1/8 in). Courtesy Gallery Kayafas.


Young Masters 2017 Be Smart About Art Award

Be Smart
Young Masters Art Prize 2017 Be Smart About Art Award
Sponsored by Be Smart About Art

Be Smart About Art is delighted to offer this Award to help one winning artist build an outstanding art career. More than five years into running our professional development programme, we understand that each artist’s situation is different. Accordingly, the YM – BSAA Award presents three award package options – each with a differing adviser, to enable the successful recipient to select the professional support package of his/her choice.

To get started: The winner will be invited to have a 20 – minute conversation with a BSAA Team Member. During this call, the artist will gain a better understanding of career support available, and similarly, the dialogue will position the BSAA Team Member to provide recommendations to help the winner make the most of the opportunity.

*Not shortlisted for the Young Masters Competition 2017? Don’t worry! You can still join the BSAA community by signing up for the Sunday Reading Blog. We’re giving away a complimentary download of the BSAA e-book, HACKING THE ARTWORLD.

Are you ready to take the next step in your career? Learn about the global BSAA membership community.

The winner of the Young Masters Art Prize 2017 Be Smart About Art Award will be announced Wednesday 21st June 2017.

Featured Image: Fabiano Parisi, Il Mondo Che Non Vedo, No 201 – Italy, 2016, C-Type photograph, 75 x 100 cm.


Introducing Young Masters Guest Artist Gordon Cheung

Imagery itself is Cheung’s medium, either co-opted in the creation of multifaceted paintings or manipulated via digital algorithms. Young Masters is proud to present Cheung’s The Course of Empire – The Arcadian or Pastoral State (after Thomas Cole), 1974-75, 2017. Taking Thomas Cole’s utopic scene of a preurban ancient Greece as point of departure, Cheung deploys a technological glitching effect, reordering the fabric of the landscape to create an image of unfamiliar beauty.

Cheung graduated from Central Saint Martins in 1998, completing an MA in painting at the Royal College of Art in 2001. Recent solo exhibitions include Unknown Knowns at Edel Assanti (2017), Here be Dragons at Nottingham Castle Museum (2016), Lines in the Sand at Leila Heller Gallery Dubai (2016), The Abyss Stares Back at Edel Assanti (2015), Altered States at the Arizona State University Art Museum (2010), The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse at the New Art Gallery Walsall (2009) and The Promised Land at Jack Shainman Gallery (2009). Cheung’s work was included in Vita Vitale, The Azerbaijan Pavilion at the 56th Venice Biennale (2015). Cheung’s works are included in major international private and public collections including MoMA, The British Museum, The Hirschhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, San Antonio Museum of Art, The Whitworth Museum, Arizona State University Art Museum, Asian Art Museum of San Francisco, Knoxville Museum, Speed Art Museum, The New Art Gallery Walsall and the Yale Center for British Art. Cheung lives and works in London.

Cheung’s The Course of Empire – The Arcadian or Pastoral State (after Thomas Cole), 1974-75, 2017, can be seen at Gallery 8, Duke Street from 19th- 24th June 2017. Click here for full details.

Featured Image: Gordon Cheung, The Course of Empire – The Arcadian or Pastoral State (after Thomas Cole), 1974-75, 2017, Giclée on canvas, 100.3 x 161.3 cm, (39 1⁄2 x 63 1⁄2 in.). Copyright Gordon Cheung. Courtesy Edel Assanti.


Young Masters Maylis Grand Ceramics Prize Shortlisted Artist: Lauren Nauman

Lauren Nauman’s work explores the boundaries within clay through experimental processes. The work starts with the industrial methods of slip-casting in plaster moulds, used in non-traditional ways. An Additive method creates pieces with minimal amounts of clay. The suggestions of vessels start out as straight cages of wet clay and through the power of the kiln’s heat and the pyroplasticity of the clay, they move like fabric to evolve into a wire-like sculpture that still holds the materiality of porcelain. Due to this process, the final form of each piece stems from minute details in the making, but mostly depends on chance.

Nauman holds an MA in ceramics and Glass from the Royal College of Art, London, and a BA in Studio Art and Art Education from Emmanuel College, Boston. She has exhibited at NCECA, Oregon, USA; Collect, London, UK; and Korea Craft & Design Foundation Insa-dong, Seoul, Korea. She undertook the Project network Residency at Guldagergaard, Denmar, in 2014, recieved the Woo Scholarship in 2015, the Newcomer Award at Ceramic ArtLondon in 2017, and has work held in the Doddington Hall Ceramic Collection.

Featured image: Lauren Nauman, Lines, large white with brass, medium striped, small black, 2017, porcelain and brass, various sizes, photography courtesy Sylvain Deleu.


A Nod to Our Young Masters Sponsors

Charles Moxon, Sarah in a Stage Curtain, 2015, oil on canvas, 40 x 30cm

We would like to thank these industry specialists for sponsoring the Young Masters Art Prize, Young Masters Maylis Grand Ceramics Prize, and Young Masters Emerging Woman Art Prize 2017.

Together, our sponsors form a significant financial contribution, enabling Young Masters to grow and develop with every edition. Young Masters is grateful for their generous support.


Brownhills Logo (Ruda)

The Love Art Insurance team at Brownhill Insurance Group specialise in insurance for collectors, dealers, galleries and artists as well as those associated with the art world. Being avid collectors themselves, the team appreciate the strong ties that collectors have to their prized possessions. Brownhill Insurance Group have a strong record of excellent customer service and take pride in offering expert cover and being able to offer clients competitive and comprehensive policies. The wider Brownhill family also cater for personal and business insurances.



The Artists’ Collecting Society (ACS) was formed in 2006 as a not-for-profit Community Interest Company to administer Artists’ Resale Right and copyright on behalf of their members. Their membership has grown to over 1,000 artists and artists’ estates, including well-known artists such as Frank Auerbach, Howard Hodgkin, Paula Rego and Martin Creed, and the estates of Lucian Freud and Barbara Hepworth. Their members also include artists whose work has only recently started to sell regularly on the UK secondary market such as Bambi, Goshka Macuga and Eine. ACS is proud to fund bursaries for art students at leading institutions, whilst sponsoring a number of art prizes and charities.

Lamport2013 CMYK

Lamport Gilbert’s core values combine dedication to quality and environmental responsibility with a commitment to building excellent relationships with our customers and business partners. Established over 100 years ago, Lamport Gilbert now uses the latest technologies in sheet-fed litho printing to produce full-colour catalogues, magazines, brochures, menus and many other point-of-sale, marketing and publicity materials.


Art Installation Services (AIS) has many years experience of installing artwork in the public, private and commercial sectors throughout the UK and abroad.  Their technicians work with discretion, quietly and quickly though with great care and are able to work at any time during the day or night. AIS are able to arrange framing, transportation, insurance and conservation of artworks as well as project management.

G4S International Logistics have shipped the most expensive artefacts in the world for almost forty years. The Fine Art division has hubs in Dubai, Hong Kong, London and New York which service their international clientele’s requirements. G4S International provides logistics services for all major auctions houses, museums, dealers, galleries and private clients that work for each of their budgets. G4S International are proud to partner with international exhibitions including Art Dubai, Dubai Design Days, Art Central and the Young Masters Art Prize in London.

Be Smart About Art’s motto is ‘Art is your life. Make it your living’. The core programme includes professional development courses, face to face and online: selling and marketing your creative enterprise, developing professional partnerships, running and growing a micro or small business, raising funds, using tech to save time and make more money, staying focused by making a plan and holding yourself accountable, and more Additional services include: networking opportunities in London, New York and online via the Member community, industry talks and tours at art fairs to give insight and support creative enterprises. 

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Hogbens Dunphy’s passion is finding new ways to improve businesses. Established in 1921, they have over 90 years of success providing caring, professional accountancy for The Arts and creative industries, including galleries and public and private art institutions. The firm offers a wide range of services and specialist knowledge of the arts sector. Hogbens Dunphy provides vital accountancy advice including: preparation of projections, cash flow and business plans, arranging finance, bookkeeping tuition and implementing management procedures and systems, tax planning, and business software.



At PLINTHS.LONDON we offer clients a stylish and unique range of plinths and display solutions that are available for hire and purchase. We provide high quality, hand crafted structures that are ideal for displaying the finest products. Our extensive range consists of laser cut wooden plinths with beveled edges, metal powder coated frames with removable tops in a range of high quality materials, clothing rails, platforms and pedestals as well as bars and beauty stations. For a plinth with real impact and opulence then why not explore our Concept range where you can choose from a selection of unique designs crafted from solid marble, metal and resin, all of which are available exclusively through www.plinths.london

Featured Image: Charlie Moxon, Sarah in a Stage Curtain, 2015. Oil on canvas. 40 x 30 cm. 15 3/4 x 11 3/4 in.


Supporting Emerging Artists! Young Masters & The Royal Academy of Arts

We are delighted that two artists shortlisted for the fourth edition of the Young Masters Art Prize, Liane Lang and Isabelle van Zeijl, Young Masters Alumni, Beatriz Elorza and Dene Leigh, and Young Masters 2017 Guest Artist, Gordon Cheung, all feature in this year’s Royal Academy Summer Exhibition.

The Royal Academy Summer Exhibition is the world’s largest open-submission and offers emerging and established artists the opportunity to exhibit their work in a leading institution. Under the curatorial direction of Eileen Cooper OBE RA, who as Keeper is responsible for supporting and guiding the RA Schools, the 2017 exhibition embodies the central ethos of the Academy, exploring themes of discovery and new talent.

Isabelle van Zeijl pictured here with her work SHE, 2016, and President of the Royal Academy Christopher Le Brun PRA.

In addition to exhibiting at the Young Masters Art Prize Exhibition later this June, Liane Lang and Isabelle van Zeijl both have work on display, coincidentally hung side-by-side, at The Royal Academy. van Zeijl’s photographic self-portrait SHE and Lang’s mixed-media works Ink Spill and Blow Out occupy the walls of Gallery IX. With Gilbert & George’s Beard Speak as a centrepiece, the Gallery is hung by Royal Academicians Eileen Cooper and Bill Jacklin. Encompassing photographs, paintings and digital works, it celebrates the messy reality of life, intimate moments, private spaces and passions.

Liane Lang, Blow Out, mixed media and pigment (No. 988. Gallery IX)
Liane Lang_Ink Post
Liane Lang, Ink Spill, pigment print and metallic ink, edition of 5. (No. 1058. Gallery IX)


Young Masters alumni have gone on to practice and exhibit worldwide, their works have been published and acquired by international museums and institutions.

2017 marks Beatriz Elorza’s second consecutive year exhibiting at the Royal Academy. Her presence is certainly felt in Burlington House this summer; not only is Elorza’s Afternoon Shade hanging boldly in the Gallery I, her painting also features in the Summer Exhibition Illustrated catalogue and is included in the select poster collection of the RA Shop!

Beatriz Elorza_Afternoon Shade
Beatriz Elorza, Afternoon Shade, mixed media (No. 160. Gallery I)


Since being shortlisted for the Young Masters Art Prize in 2014, Dene Leigh received a generous private sponsorship leading to a new body of work and solo shows in London and California. Leigh is exhibiting two pencil studies at this year’s exhibition, Triangle Face and A Prisoner to Words.


Dene Leigh Triangle Face, RA.jpg
Dene Leigh, Triangle Face, pencil on found paper (No. 513, Gallery IV) & Dene Leigh, A Prisoner to Words, pencil on found paper (No. 514, Gallery IV)


Young Masters 2017 Guest Artist, Gordon Cheung is featured in the prestigious Wohl Central Hall with his technicolour painting Minotaur 2. Young Masters is proud to present Cheung’s The Course of Empire – The Arcadian or Pastoral State (after Thomas Cole), 1974-75, 2017 at the highly anticipated Young Masters Art Prize 2017 exhibition.

Gordon Cheung, Minotaur 2.jpg
Gordon Cheung, Minotaur 2, Archival inkjet prints with hand-painting in acrylic, edition of 20. (No. 8. Wohl Central Hall)


The Young Masters Art Prize 2017 runs 19th – 24th June 2017 at Gallery 8, 8 Duke Street, St James’s, London, SW1Y 6BN.  The Private View takes place on Tuesday 20 June, 6 – 9 pm. The winner will be announced on 21 June.  Preview works  ARTSY

Royal Academy Summer Exhibition 2017, 13th June – 20th August 2017, Royal Academy of Arts, Burlington House, Piccadilly, London, W1J 0BD.

Featured Image: Isabelle van Zeijl, She, 2016, C- Type Print, Dibond / Perspex face mounted in tray frame, 110 x 100 cm, 43 1/4 x 39 3/8 in. Edition of 7 plus 3 artist’s proofs.


Young Masters Art Prize Shortlisted Artist: Sheila Rock

Sheila Rock’s unusual series of horse portraits, taken in black and white, have incredible depth and intensity. The series of photographs is titled Spirit of the Horse, inspired by the great European horse painters: Stubbs, Delacroix, Gericault, Herring, Franz Marc and others who painted lyrical and sensitive portraits of magnificent horses. Myths and legends surround the horse in many cultures. In China they expressed and symbolised unrestrained freedom. In Arabic literature they symbolised divine grace. In English and French culture, horses are expressed in romantic terms reflecting dreams and memories, especially of interest to the landed gentry who both owned horses and had the financial resources to purchase high art. These photographs were taken as traditional studio portraits, in a studio created on location at the stables, isolating the horses to make them appear regal and dignified.

Rock was born in the USA and educated at Boston University and the London Film School. She has lived and worked in London since 1970. She became an influential force shaping the look of creative magazines like The FACE magazine. Her editorial portrait and fashion work have appeared in numerous magazines, including: Time Magazine, Elle, Glamour, Rolling Stone, Architectural Digest, and the Sunday Times. Her book, Sera: the way of the Tibetan Monk, published in 2004, accompanied several international exhibitions including the Photographers Gallery, London. Images from the Sera series are in the permanent collection of the William Benton Museum of Art in Connecticut, USA. The Houston Fine Art Museum has acquired a Seascape portrait for their permanent collection. A number of Celebrity Portraits are in the National Portrait Gallery, London.

Featured Image: Sheila Rock, Horse No. 57, 2000, Silver Gelatin Archival Print, 60.7 x 50.8cm (24 x 20in.)