We are delighted to announce that BA (Hons) Fine Art Level 6 student Mary Modha has won the Surrey Sculpture Prize for her entry, Inheritance (pictured).

The judges were also extremely impressed by the entries of Livia Spinolo and Simon Yates and they had this to say about the entries:

“We thoroughly enjoyed judging such a diverse set of applications.  The winner and two highly commended pieces scored highly in respect of the pre-defined criteria

  • Development of skill in the chosen technique
  • Imaginative use of 3D materials
  • How effectively the sculptural language reflects the intention for the piece

We felt that Mary’s use of sculpture to convey a simultaneous feeling of love and rejection was particularly striking and poignant.

Congratulations to all involved and we look forward to exhibiting work from the three individuals in the coming year.”

Mary receives £500 prize money, a year’s Membership to the Surrey Sculpture Society and free entry into the Annual Surrey Sculpture Society Exhibition with the opportunity to exhibit indoors or outdoors depending on the work.

Mary Modha - Inheritance

Mary Modha – Inheritance

Congratulations to Katy Cook who won the AAL Drawing Prize 2021 with her piece Nest 3 (pictured). We were honoured to have artist and former Head of Drawing at AAL Brendan Kelly as our judge this year. Here’s what he had to say about Katy’s work…

‘As well as being a very strong drawing and a focused investigation of the unusual shapes we see in nature what appealed to me the most is its quality of curiosity. I don’t mean by saying ‘curiosity’ that it’s strange, I mean that it shows a sense of searching for understanding. It suggests an attitude of enquiry and desire to learn about the form she drew. The consequence of this curiosity in her approach to her drawing is that she has produced a powerful picture. A worthy winner, well done!’

Congratulations to Stage 2 FD Fine Art (Contemporary Portraiture) student Jess Routley who won the annual AAL Autumn Peer Prize! Voted for by Academy peers, Jess scooped the £100 cash prize with a large oil painting titled Self Portrait (On no particular day).

Image Courtesy / Jess Routley

We’re delighted to announce that BA (Hons) Fine Art students Naomi Cooke-Fleming and Mercedes Balle Quiroga, and FD Fine Art (Contemporary Portraiture) students Paul Starns and Ruth Swain have been selected for the LSM Art Awards 2020. This is the third year of Academy students being shortlisted for these awards with previous winners including Helen Stone and Sam King. This year the judges are once again incredibly impressed with our students’ submissions and we look forward to hearing about they’re mentoring with Parker Harris and the specialists from Liberty Specialty Markets.

Congratulations to students Constance Regardsoe and Paul Starns who are the joint winners of the annual Academy Peer Prize. Constance and Paul shared the £100 prize for their paintings as voted for by their fellow students.


© Constance Regardsoe – Untitled

© Paul Starns – The Fortune Teller

Congratulations to our BA students Laura Melissa Williams and Zora Owens, and Fine Art Diploma graduates Heidi Sundvik, Idris Woodroffe and Seema Manchanda on being shortlisted for this year’s Liberty Specialty Markets Art Prize! We were very proud that five of the eight shortlisted artists were Academy students and alumni; their works will be on display at LSM’s London office in Fenchurch Street for one week and they’ll have access to a development programme that includes training sessions, mentoring and workshops.



FD Fine Art (Contemporary Portraiture) Student Ruth Swain is currently exhibiting three works at two exhibitions across the country: Snoggin (pictured) is on show at the Oxford Art Society Open Exhibition until the 27th October, ‘Just Checking’ and ‘Given the Finger’ will both be at the RWA Annual Open Exhibition until 1st December 2019.


 From an early age I have been fascinated by 3D forms and how different materials and processes can affect my perception and engagement with them. In the 1990s, I started to explore my own creativity and loved the process of making sculptures. After a life-changing experience, it became to clear to me that I wanted to develop my artistic side and be challenged to explore my practice.

Finding a course that focuses on the actual making of sculptures is very difficult these days, so discovering the Academy was very exciting. The Sculpture foundation degree offers so many opportunities to explore a wide range of skills, processes and media through the Elective Skills Workshops and Studio Practice. The course is really well structured with close teaching and personalised feedback by experienced and practising artists. I believe that the focus on preparing students for future work is unique to the Academy and essential in anyones development as a working sculptor. The Professional Development module is a fascinating part of the course, introducing you to sections of the creative industries and hearing from artists about how to develop a career.

Having input from others, including students, has challenged my thinking and offered me new ways of seeing and doing things; it is always done in an incredibly supportive way. It is interesting to hear how my work is perceived and has made me reflect on what I am trying to achieve and the concepts that I am working with. I am developing a language to discuss, explain and critically assess my work, which is invaluable in order to grow and develop as an artist.

I have also become interested in understanding how my work fits in to current sculpture practice and how to make it relevant to audiences of today and the future. Tutors have an incredible knowledge of other artists and it has been fantastic to re-discover artists and be introduced to so many new ones. I am looking at art in an entirely different way now and enjoying the research that comes with the advice.

My expectations of the course were surpassed within the first few months and I still cannot believe how rapidly my practice and thinking has developed. It has opened my eyes to different ways of thinking and interpreting my ideas, and I have started using materials I never thought I would. I wanted my work to become less figurative but am surprised how quickly I have done that and with a confidence I did not know I had. I could have not done all these things without the insights and support offered by the Academy.

 Having started the course for personal reasons, my confidence is growing exponentially and I am now starting to believe that I could become a practising sculptor!