Meet the judges

Primary schools judging panel

Annette Wickham, Curator of Works on Paper

Annette Wickham

Curator of Works on Paper

As Curator of Works on Paper at the Royal Academy, Annette Wickham looks after the collection of prints, drawings and watercolours dating from the Renaissance to the present day. Annette previously worked as a Curator at the V&A Museum and studied History of Art at Manchester University and the Courtauld Institute of Art.

Cathie Pilkington RA, Keeper of the RA Schools

Cathie Pilkington RA

Keeper of the RA Schools

Cathie Pilkington is an artist whose work engages passionately and critically with the canonical history of figurative sculpture. She combines intensively modelled and painted sculptures within immersive installations comprising a diverse array of props, materials and studio furniture. She studied at Edinburgh College of Art and The Royal College of Art, and was elected as a Royal Academician in 2014. At the RA, Cathie was Professor of Sculpture before being elected Keeper of the Royal Academy Schools in 2020. Photograph courtesy of Hayley Benoit.

Matthew Peers, RA Schools student

Matthew Peers

RA Schools Student

Matthew Peers is an artist working across sculpture and painting; his works readily employ improvisation as a working means. Mining historical and contemporary references and craft cultures, they often call into question architecture, devices of display and bodies and objects in space. Matthew was born in Manchester and graduated from the Slade School of Fine Art in 2014. He will graduate from the Royal Academy Schools in 2022.

Nicola Gunnarsson, RA Schools student

Nicola Gunnarsson

RA Schools Student

Nicola Gunnarsson is a painter and considers her work as a play on the traditions of abstract painting. Selected material, shape, colour and text are used in order to form the outcomes of her canvases into a system. Nicola (b.1995) is from London. In 2017 she graduated from Goldsmiths College in BA Fine Art & History of Art and currently is a student at the Royal Academy Schools.

Secondary schools judging panel

Brian Griffiths, RA Schools Senior Lecturer

Brian Griffiths

RA Schools Senior Lecturer

Brian Griffiths makes sculptures and object installations full of over blown theatricality and pathos; his work values a humbleness and charm that often positions material facts with competing fictions. Brian has exhibited work at numerous museums and contemporary art centres including The Groninger Museum in the Netherlands; Tate Britain in London; The Mattress Factory Museum in Pittsburgh; BALTIC Centre of Contemporary Art in Gateshead; Camden Arts Centre, London. Photograph courtesy of Frank Kent.

Emmanuel Awuni, RA Schools Student

Emmanuel Awuni

RA Schools Student

Emmanuel Awuni’s work is concerned with the re-imaging of the architectural structures that construct our sense of hierarchy, space and time. Emmanuel completed his undergraduate at Goldsmiths University and is currently studying at the Royal Academy.

Phyllida Barlow RA

Phyllida Barlow RA

Royal Academician

Phyllida Barlow is an artist that takes inspiration from her surroundings to create imposing installations that can be at once menacing and playful. Phyllida studied at Chelsea College of Art and the Slade School of Art, and later taught at both schools. In 2019, she held an exhibition at the RA which was her interpretation of a residential cul-de-sac; by closing the exit door, she forced the viewer to revisit each sculpture anew.

Phyllida is also curating the 2021 Young Artists’ Summer Show display at the Royal Academy.

Rebecca KayJames Lomax, RA Schools Student

Rebecca Kay

RA Schools Student

Rebecca Kay is an artist that creates sculptural forms and documents that trace emotional responses to our lived experience. Rebecca’s work engages sculpture, photography, written word and curatorial practice. Rebecca (b.1991) lives in Manchester. In 2016, she graduated from Manchester School of Art and received the Woon Foundation Fellowship with Baltic Gallery & Northumbria University. She graduated from School of The Damned in 2018 and is currently in her second year at the Royal Academy Schools.