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  
  • 19/20 September: shortlisted artists interviews
  • 1 October: Below Zero 2020 winner announced
  • January - March 2020: residency & exhibition in London

Please press the submit button below to enter the application portal - however do not press the submit button on the main application page until your application is finalised - thank you. 

The context for Below Zero

Below Zero, 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 will offer 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.

The Prize

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. 

The Selection Process

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

Resilient Futures is the theme for the Below Zero Art Prize 2020.  

Applicants should write a proposal in response to this theme for a new project to be developed in residence with Beaconsfield for public exhibition. The visual documentation supporting this proposal will show examples of previous projects and is not expected to anticipate the proposed project, unless the artist chooses to do so. Due to the condensed period of the residency it is fine to use ongoing research for your proposal, however it will need to be relevant to the overall theme of the prize.

The selection committee includes representatives of the The Finnish Institute in London, Beaconsfield, a London curator and an invited art luminary from Finland. 

We are very pleased to announce that the Finnish curator, researcher and writer Taru Elfving will join the 2019/20 panel.

From the initial proposals, a shortlist of up to five artists will be asked to develop their proposals over the period of a month, for a fee of £500. Interviews will establish the winner of the award. Shortlisted artists will be represented in the Below Zero catalogue.

The Residency

The winning artist is invited to work within Beaconsfield’s tradition of outward facing, public residency. We encourage artists to respond to the unique physical character of the venue and the distinctive creative identity of Beaconsfield. Stimulated by the theme specific to the prize, the artist will be invited to use Beaconsfield Gallery Vauxhall’s Upper Space as a studio to develop new work, supported with mentoring by Beaconsfield’s founding artist-directors David Crawforth and Naomi Siderfin. During the Making Phase of the residency, the studio/gallery will be open to visitors on advertised days. During the Exhibition Phase, either the Upper Space or Arch Space will be available to show the commission. The prize will include a budget for travel, exhibition materials, accommodation and daily subsistence.

A catalogue will be published to celebrate the prize. 

To start your application fill in the form below. By pressing the Save Draft box at the bottom of the main application page you can save your draft and return to complete your application by the deadline of midnight (UK time) on the 1st August 2019. 

Please note:

Deadline extended to Sunday 4th August at midnight (Finnish Time)

Only press the Submit box at the bottom of the main application page when you have finalised your application. Once submitted you cannot return to the form or make any further changes. 

Please note - we accept applications in English only.