Pioneer of environmental art Tuula Närhinen wins the 2020 Below Zero Art Prize.

The unique UK based contemporary art prize for Finnish artists emerging on the international scene, returns to Beaconsfield Gallery Vauxhall in association with the Finnish Institute in London. For 2020 Below Zero offers a substantial production prize worth up to £15,000.

The prize offers a platform for a London residency and a new commission mentored by Beaconsfield, thereby fostering positive relations and creating new opportunities for intellectual cross-fertilisation between Finland and the UK.

Below Zero is open to Finnish artists who have studied to degree level, either in Finland or the UK, and may be resident anywhere in the world. The selection committee will focus on artists who have not previously won a prize (this does not include bursaries or educational grants) and who would benefit from a major UK commission.

Key dates

  • 10 May 2019: general application portal opens
  • 1 August: submission deadline for open call proposals (deadline extended to Sunday 4th August at midnight Finnish Time)
  • 10 August: shortlist announced to develop a full proposal
  • 15 September: submission deadline for shortlist proposals
  • 1-11 October: shortlisted artists interviewed and Below Zero 2020 winner announced
  • January – March 2020: residency & exhibition in London

The Selection Process

Artists are invited to submit an initial, digital proposal, not more than 1000 words in length, in response to the theme Resilient Futures: together with a CV and up to twelve visual components that may include still images, video or audio-works.

The guest jurist this year was curator Taru Elfving who joined Hannele Tilles, curator, Jaakko Nousianen, Head of Culture for The Finnish Institute in London and David Crawforth and Naomi Siderfin, artist-curators of Beaconsfield. From the many interesting proposals, the jury chose five candidates that they felt had responded most directly to the theme and would be best served by the opportunity.

We sincerely thank all applicants for the considerable time that will have been committed to making an application to Below Zero. We are honoured that you shared your work with us and sorry that there are always many more applicants than places available.

The shortlisted artists for 2020 are Sara Bjarland Teija and Pekka IsorättyäTuula Närhinen, Kati Roover and Elsa Salonen.

Click here to view videos of the shortlisted artists speaking about their work.