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RCA Painting student wins £10,000 Castlegate Art Prize

Our current MA Painting student Sabrina Shah has been announced as the winner of the inaugural Castlegate Art Prize.

The prize was established by judges Steve and Christine Swallow who run Castlegate House Gallery in Cockermouth, Cumbria with entry fee proceeds going to YoungMinds – the UK’s leading charity fighting for young people’s mental health. Each edition of the prize will address a theme relating to the charity’s work. The rest of the judging panel was made up of artist Eileen Cooper OBE RA, painter Martin Greenland and broadcaster Stuart Maconie.

Sabrina’s winning entry Bucket List responded to this year’s theme of ‘Hope’. She described her painting as being about ‘consumerism, expulsion, ingestion and the freedom and courage to act, think and respond. In a way someone being sick in a bucket list bucket is a bit like – just go for it. It’s a raw feeling, sometimes you just need to act, and stick two fingers up at that life list to move forwards – but maybe not with the original plan.’

Sabrina also praised the staff from our MA Painting; ‘The RCA painting department is amazing; Covid is not so great!  I was super lucky to have John Strutton as my tutor this year, who challenged me up until the final hours before the WIP show to keep making, and to make this painting. He’s an inspiring and dedicated tutor and artist.’

From the judging panel, Martin Greenland said that Sabrina’s painting emerged as the clear winner of the competition to the judging panel; ‘It is provocative but it is also very singularly-minded and there is a joy in its creation and dare I say, a love.’

Bucket List by Sabrina Shah
Bucket List, Sabrina Shah

Find out more about MA Painting and how to apply.