NEW WAVE Art Prize 2024: Winners Announcement


Bloomsbury has always been a hub of creativity and the New Wave opportunities in art, music and theatre seek to nurture the new wave of talent, at the start of their professional careers, by offering exhibition space and performances during the festival with cash prizes and grant support for the winners. Bloomsbury Festival and invited panellists from local institutions and professionals have selected entries for presentation in each of the three categories of New Wave emerging talent.

Speaking about this year’s competition, Festival Director Rosemary Richards said: “We are delighted in 2024 to exhibit and present work of 20 emerging professional artists (and their associates) in fine art, music and theatre, to take this step into their chosen careers. These are all outstanding talents selected by panels of professionals, representatives of the venues, and leading specialist institutions, and we could not be prouder of the work we are sharing with our audiences”.


The 2024 selection panel was hosted by The Bedford Estates and the winner of the 2024 Art Prize is Meghan Salisbury with shortlisted artists Beth McAlester, Fabian Heckmatt, Giovanna Laiso, Mei Lock, Mengmeng Zhang and Xin Qing invited to exhibit. The winner’s exhibition will be presented at City Lit Gallery alongside two of the shortlisted entries, with St Giles London Hotel hosting the remaining shortlisted entries. Greater London Properties are also planning to host prints of the winning and shortlisted artworks at their Judd St branch.

At City Lit Gallery throughout the Festival:

Meghan Salisbury’s pulsating, bodily oil paintings give visual language to the processes and forms people are made up of, but often cannot see or feel. Meghan is a 2024 graduate of the Slade School of Fine Art, UCL.

SOUND OF PEOPLE – MENGMENG ZHANG (shortlisted artist)
Through ambient colour, Zhang’s oil paintings explore the displacement between memory and the present, inner emotion and outer environments. Mengmeng is a student at the Slade School of Fine Art, UCL.

CHILDREN OF THE STARS – XIN QING (shortlisted artist)
Children of the Stars is an animated short, the character is based on the artist’s older ‘brother’ who has Autism Disorder and shows how he behaves and reacts in various environments. Xin Qing is a graduate of London College of Communication.

At St Giles London Hotel throughout the Festival:

BETH MCALESTER (shortlisted artist)
Beth McAlester is a Northern Irish artist based in London, painting indirectly personal narratives primarily with oil on a variety of recycled surfaces. Her work explores themes of identity and belonging, specifically with reference to her home of Northern Ireland. Beth is studying for her BFA at the Slade School of Fine Art, UCL.

FABIAN HECKMATT (shortlisted artist)
Fabian explores the relationship between human experience, the quantifiable data-driven world of scientific research, and the biological interior structures that go on to create life. Fabian is a graduate of Goldsmiths University 2021 and of The Royal Drawing School, 2023.

GIOVANNA LAISO (shortlisted artist)
The Anthropomorphic Mandala – Giovanna pushes the two-dimensional nature of photography by disrupting the picture into multiple layers and constructing hybrid compositions. Giovanna is a Photography BA (Hons) student at London Metropolitan University.

MEI LOCK (shortlisted artist)
Mei’s work is narrative-based with themes and serves as an invitation to connect and learn more about British culture through the lens of first and second generation Hong Kong Chinese migrant families. Themes include food, customs and the ways in which the different cultures have influenced one another. Mei is studying an Advanced Textiles course at City Lit.

Top: I remember them with my stomach by Meghan Salisbury, New Wave Art Prize winner
Bottom: Apocalypse Now, marker/pen/colouring pencil on paper by Fabian Heckmatt, shortlisted artist


NEW WAVE Art Prize 2024: Winners Announcement