After poring through over 200 entries from graduates all over the UK, and whittling down to the best 30 to hand to our five expert judges, we’re delighted and privileged to announce the winner of the very first Zealous Visual Art Prize:

Molly Palmer, for her piece “Two Friends and Two Curtains, 2016”. Password: twofriendsandtwocurtains

Molly will receive a £1000 prize to support further artistic practice. Here’s what she had to say:

It’s amazing to win this prize – finishing my MA is a strange feeling, so many ideas and plans, no space or money with which to make them happen! The prize money will help me to start renting a studio, which is a great start – but I think what’s even more important is knowing that people value and support the work. That kind of hope and encouragement will go a long way in helping to sustain my practice long term.

With this prize, which began back in May, we set out to discover the hidden gems of recent UK graduates. We attended degree shows, chatted with inspiring students, all effusive about their craft, and scoured the net — and across everything we saw, no two works were the same. This is reflected in the submissions. We received huge installations, beautiful pottery, and — in the case of our eventual winner — a brilliantly whimsical piece of video art. Take a look at our 30-strong shortlist. This is what Zealous founder Guy Armitage has to say about the submissions and our eventual winner:

It’s truly inspiring to see the richness of creativity coming out of the UK, and we’re delighted to be supporting it. Congratulations to all of those that submitted, and to our amazing judges. If your work is anything to go by, the arts scene is in safe hands for the next generation!

The entries were judged by independent curator and author Marcelle Joseph; London-based Italian visual artist Ludovica Gioscia; gallery and publisher Arcadia Missa co-director Zhoe Granger; PHOTOFAIRS group fair manager, Georgia Griffiths, and DIVA Magazine arts editor and State Media deputy editor Anna McNay. Anna’s perspective on the quality of work submitted:

The best thing about the entries to this competition was the scope – both in terms of variety but also in terms of ambition and scale.

A huge congratulations to everyone who entered the first Zealous Visual Art Prize. Browse more opportunities today.