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School of Arts & Humanities

Painting (MA)


2020 seems to have emerged directly from an Octavia Butler novel, yielding more questions than answers, forcing us to look inward. While facing these questions, our graduates looked to their creativity for the answers. Discovering resilience, steadfastness, courage, strength, belief in one another and hope for a better world, their work is truly a reflection of the intense emotional, psychological and physical conditions laid before us.

Painting builds new worlds, traversing media and time. Complex, layered and multi-functional, it is visually seductive yet abhorrent, drawing its strength from our ancestral paths, existing in the present while providing a gateway to the future.

Our graduates confront a multitude of themes and concepts, from gender to (mis)representation, from climate change to materiality. They have built up and excavated surfaces, molded, stitched, embroidered, poured, cut and glued. Students who began the year making work in their studio were suddenly forced to stay home seeking out alternative ways of making. The work shown here is a reflection of now. We have the choice to meet ourselves where we are, face what has been revealed and use our “voices”. This is the moment to seek out the answers to those most difficult, pressing questions.

Alexandria Smith
Head of Programme

Instagram: @rca_painting
Study Painting at the RCA:

Above image: Sae Yeoun Hwang, Peng Ting Painting, Acrylic on canvas, 208 x 37 cm, 2019 

"Peng ting is derived from a Jamaican word but in this case refers to the British slang which means a very attractive person."

16 July 2020
17:00 (GMT + 0)

Situationist RCA

16th–31st July
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School of Arts & Humanities
Painting (MA)

Crème de la Crème

Curated by Basil Alkazzi

Slivers and Remnants

Curated by Esther Leslie

Searching for Presence

Curated by John Thackara

I Graduated From My Bedroom

Curated by Victor Wang

Distant Encounters

Curated by Dr Omar Kholeif, FRSA

Materiality and Connection

Curated by Joe Hill

New Frontiers

Curated by Edward Enninful

The Body, Resistance and History

Curated by Lisa Panting

Curiosity and Desire

Curated by Prof. Rebecca Fortnum

I Shall be your Mirror

Curated by Francesca Amfitheatrof


Curated by Emma Shipley

A curation by Samuel Ross

Curated by Samuel Ross

Humour and Story

Curated by Roger Guyett

Who is the Artist Behind?

Curated by Peter Schreyer

RCA2020: One Designer’s View (Part Two)

Curated by Ian Griffiths

Optimistic, Singular and New

Curated by Jony Ive

Unconstrained by Our Times

Curated by Dr Gus Casely-Hayford, OBE
AbstractAcrylicAlienArtworkAssemblageBlueCarvingCollageColourContemporary ArtDesignDrawingEmbroideryFantasyFigurativeHomeImaginaryInstallationLandscapeLockdownMaterial LanguageMaterialityMixed MediaMonochromeMovementMythologyNarration / StorytellingNarrativeNatureObjectOil PaintingOtherPaintingPaperPerformancePhotographyPlasterPsychologicalRca2020SculptureSelf PortraitSemi-FigurativeShapeSmallSpaceSurrealismTextTextilesUnknownVideoWaterWorld
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The Hine prize is a purchase prize awarded each year to a Painting student with the work becoming part of the growing Hine collection of works. The 2020 Hine Prize has been awarded to Sasha Ferré.
MA Painting is thankful for the support of passionate individuals and charitable organisations who each create visible pathways into the RCA for talented students experiencing financial hardship, many of whom simply wouldn't be able to accept their place at the College without their generous support. Scholarships and awards are vital in ensuring a diverse, cross-cultural environment where talents are brought together to learn with and from each other. I am thrilled to be presenting this year's graduating scholars: Ellie Dragone – Chelsea Arts Club Trust Zsuzsi Roboz Award Ed Compson – Leverhulme Arts Scholarship Shir Cohen – RCA Clore Bezalel Scholarship Emily Moore – Winsor & Newton Bursary
Valerie Beston award panel, which was made up of the curator and writer Catherine Lampert, Kate Austin from Marlborough Gallery and Rosemary Morgan of the Valerie Beston Charity are delighted to announce that Emily Moore has been selected as the recipient for the Valerie Beston Award 2020.
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