Frequently Asked Questions

Below are a series of Frequently Asked Questions regarding submission to New Contemporaries.


Who is eligible to apply?

  • Undergraduates in the final year of degree in Fine Art at a UK college*
  • Postgraduates enrolled on a degree in Fine Art at a UK college*
  • Those who graduated from either an Undergraduate or Postgraduate degree in Fine Art in the  2016 – 17 academic year*
  • Current participants on alternative learning programmes*
  • Those completing an alternative programme of study within the last 12 months

N.B. 'Fine Art' here refers to the visual arts including but not limited to painting, drawing, printmaking, sculpture, video, audio, performance and installation. Graduates of applied arts courses are not eligible. 'Applied Arts' here refers to the application of design and aesthetics to objects of function and everyday use.

N.B. 'College' here refers to Higher Education institutions offering recognised degree qualifications at undergraduate or postgraduate level. Students enrolled in Art & Design Foundation courses are not eligible.

N.B. ‘Alternative learning programme’ here refers to programmes, formally recognised by the sector that operate broadly as alternatives to BA or MA study. These programmes must have been established before 2016 and offer artists an opportunity to develop their practice in an environment outside of a ‘college’ as defined above. Regrettably, informal peer-to-peer networks that do not have a clearly defined process of application or recruitment are not eligible to apply at this point in time.


New Contemporaries recognises that tuition fees, student loans and the cost of living make it a challenging environment for artists from a broad range of backgrounds to enter Higher Education.

We also recognise the merit and value of alternative programmes of study as a means for artists to develop their practice within different pedagogical structures.

In response, from this year’s open call we will accept submissions from a number of non-degree awarding programmes. The decision to open up access to our opportunities to those developing practice outside of formal education has been taken into careful consideration and discussion with our Board. As an organisation, we understand that artists enter alternative models of education often through necessity due to financial and personal commitments, as well as through an increasing interest in the specific offer that these programmes offer.


Who are the selectors for BNC?

The selectors for Bloomberg New Contemporaries 2018 are Benedict Drew, Katy Moran and Keith Piper.

There is no pre-selection, everything that has been submitted will be reviewed by the selection panel.

What works should I apply with?

New Contemporaries cannot enter into any discussion regarding advice about particularities of artwork. We would advise that you discuss this with your peers and tutors, about making the strongest and most impactful application possible.


The process is to remain anonymous. Please do not include any biographical details, including your name, on any media you upload. This is especially important for video works, where you should not include your name on any title pages or credits that may reveal your identity.

My video is too large - can I send a link instead?

Afraid not. We need all video excerpts to be uploaded to our system for first round selection. The image quality is not an issue at this point - selectors will ask to see the full-length and high-quality version of the work if shortlisted for second round.
A suggested export specification for your video is as follows:

Video settings
H264, size 1024 x 576 if 16:9, or 720 x 576 if 4:3
Data rate restricted to 1000 bits per second.

Audio settings
AAC 320 kbps 44.1 KHz
Tick web streaming and check quality. 

Uploading works is taking too long

The submissions site is likely to become very busy towards the deadline, so we recommend that you begin your application as early as possible. Please also check through the Submissions Guidelines document for more information about file sizes and formats.


Applications are checked and the selection panel meet to consider the work in two rounds. Once submissions are closed, all digital documentation will be reviewed for errors and applicants will be contacted with any queries. A list will be made up and applicants will be notified about whether or not the panel wish to see more of their work in person. Works requested for viewing will be collected for a second round of selection. Applicants will be notified of the panel’s final decision shortly afterwards.

Why was my application not successful?

New Contemporaries receives an incredibly large number of applications and therefore the selection is very rigorous. With a very high standard of work submitted and limited space in the galleries it is simply not possible to accommodate the work of as many artists as the panel would like, so please do not be disheartened if you were not selected this time.

New Contemporaries would love to be able to provide feedback to individual artists but, because of the volume of submissions, unfortunately this will not be possible.