It’s official: Landscape Artist of the Year returned to Sky Arts on 10 January 2024, showcasing the enduring beauty of British shores through the eyes of incredibly talented artists. Who will bag the top commission this time? And which tricky scene will the finalists be tasked with capturing? Here are all the series 9 details you need to know.
Landscape Artist Of The Year Series 9
What Is It?
Landscape Artist of the Year is an annual art competition hosted by Sky Arts which searches for fresh new painting talent. The competition takes place over a series of heats, asking eight artists per episode to produce a landscape in a medium of their choice, with four hours to create it en plein air. In each heat, 50 ‘wildcard’ entrants join the artists in painting the selected location, all amateur artists who haven’t made the official contestant list. Each week, the judges nominate one Wildcard artist to progress to the semi-final. Six heat winners and the best Wildcard artist compete in the semi-final, with three artists chosen from the pack to progress to the final.
Landscape Artist of the Year is a sister series to the popular Portrait Artist of the Year, also hosted by Sky Arts and airing at the end of the year. Phil Edgar-Jones, Director of Sky Arts, says: ‘It’s always a joy to watch our beautiful country captured, but the brilliant artists who take part in Landscape Artist of the Year – and watching them all create their work – has to be one of the most relaxing, life affirming and all-round lovely TV experiences you can have. It’s a dose of mental medicine and all for free on Sky Arts.’
What Is The 2024 Commission?
Every year, the winner of Landscape Artist of the Year is rewarded with a £10,000 commission to create a landscape artwork. In 2024, the Science Museum will ask the winner to create an artwork inspired by Orkney, spotlighting the islands’ place at the forefront of pioneering sustainable energy.
In previous years, winners have been commissioned to paint the likes of the Van de Veldes, Rochdale Canal, Snowdonia National Park and Venice.
Who Hosts Landscape Artist Of The Year?
Stephen Mangham is going solo for series 9 of Landscape Artist of the Year, following Dame Joan Bakewell’s departure from the franchise in the final of Portrait Artist of the Year series 10 in December 2023. Since 2017, both Landscape Artist of the Year and Portrait Artist of the Year have been hosted by Bakewell and Mangham as a duo.
Who Are The Judges?
Tai Shan Schierenberg, Kathleen Soriano and Kate Bryan have all returned to judge the competition, assessing the artists’ progress and choosing who will advance to the semi-final.
Series 9 Release Schedule
Landscape Artist of the Year began on 10 January 2024 on Sky Arts and Freeview Channel 36, with subsequent episodes airing weekly.
- Episode 1: Wednesday 10 January 2024
- Episode 2: Wednesday 17 January 2024
- Episode 3: Wednesday 24 January 2024
- Episode 4: Wednesday 31 January 2024
- Episode 5: Wednesday 7 February 2024
- Episode 6: Wednesday 14 February 2024
- Episode 7 – Semi-Final: Wednesday 21 February 2024
- Episode 8 – Final: Wednesday 28 February 2024
- Episode 9 – Winner’s Film: Wednesday 6 March 2024
Where Are The Heats?
In each episode, eight artists are tasked with producing a landscape in regional heats. The winning artist of each round advances to the semi-final. This year’s heats take place in the following locations:
- Episode 1 (10 January): Dunnottar Castle, Aberdeenshire
- Episode 2 (17 January): Liverpool Docklands
- Episode 3 (24 January): The lake at Hever Castle & Gardens, Kent
- Episode 4 (31 January): Stonehaven Harbour, Aberdeenshire
- Episode 5 (7 February): Three Graces at Pier Head, Liverpool
- Episode 6 (14 February): Hever Castle, Kent
- Episode 7 – Semi-Final (21 February): Buckler’s Hard New Forest
- Episode 8 – Final (28 February): Covent Garden at night, captured from atop the Royal Opera House
- Episode 9 – Winner’s Film (6 March): Orkney
Who Won The Heats?
Each of the six heats results in a final three, from which an overall winner is selected. The winner then progresses to the semi-final, which will be aired on 21 February 2024. The artists through to the semi-final are:
- Kristina Chen
- Wesley Smith
- Deepa Goswami
- Tony Griffin
- Monica Popham
The winner of the first heat was Kristina Chen, with the judges impressed by the strange quality of her work. While Kristina planned on printmaking, this proved to be impossible due to the location of Dunnotar Castle on the cliffside, but she still pulled it out of the bag. She beat out two other shortlisted artists: Henry McAlpine and Jen Maidment.
The winner of the second heat was Wesley Smith, who focussed on a small pocket of the Liverpool skyline to produce a vibrant, sun-soaked painting of the red brick Great Western Railway Warehouse. Beside his nocturne submission painting – a town centre street lit by artficial light at night – it certainly showed range. He beat out bigger paintings by the other shortlisted contestants, Nathaniel Fowles and Georgina Saunders, to progress to the semi-final.
The winner of the third heat was Deepa Goswami, who the judges praised for her lively and detailed painting, which invites the viewer to travel through the air and lightness of an otherwise inconsequential view. She beat two others in the final three for her slot: Joe Mayhook, who painted a darker, very atmospheric rendition of Hever Lake, while Rydal Hanbury’s lively, energetic painting just missed out, too.
The winner of the fourth heat was Tony Griffin, who the judges praised for his colourful yet subdued painting of Stonehaven, which mirrors the day’s conditions. He beat out two other painters for his slot in the semi-final: Amy Auld, who painted a very colourful, Caribbean style landscape, while Daniel Roy Sharples energetic yet accurately grey painting just missed out on a place.
The winner of the fifth heat was Monica Popham, who impressed the judges with her interesting cropping, focussing on only a small section of a the vast panorama of Liverpool’s Three Graces. She beat out two other shortlisted painters: Quentin Martin, who created a large landscape with a pink tinge, and Ruqayya Aftab who painted a slice of the Port of Liverpool building.
Each heat also sees a Wildcard winner. This artist is selected from a pool of 50 Wildcards who paint alongside the official contestants. They then enter a pool of six Wildcards, one of which is chosen to progress to the semi-final to compete against the heat winners. The Series 9 Wildcards (so far) are:
- Rebecca Paterson, chosen in episode one for her painting of Dunnottar Castle
- Sue Billings, chosen in episode two for her unique painting of a quiet pocket of the otherwise complicated landscape of the Liverpool Docklands
- David Warrens, chosen in episode three for his brooding depiction of Hever Lake
- Katie Kerr, chosen in episode four for her comparatively warm painting of Stonehaven Harbour despite the flat, grey light
- Melanie Thorn Potton, chosen in episode five for her magnificent depiction of water at Liverpool’s Three Graces
When Is It Filmed?
Landscape Artist of the Year is filmed throughout the spring and summer before it airs. Series 9 was filmed in spring/summer 2023, and is airing in early 2024. Series 10 will be filmed in spring/summer 2024.
Where Is It Streaming?
Catch up with all episodes of Landscape Artist of the Year on NOW. nowtv.com
How To Enter
Fancy yourself one of the nation’s best landscape artists? Entries are now open for series 10. The deadline to apply is noon on 3 May 2024. See all the details at skyartsartistoftheyear.tv