New judges in the frame as Bradley Art Prize competition deadline looms
Young artists have just five weeks to put finishing touches to their masterpieces in nationwide competition to drive fresh talent and creativity
Young artists across Northern Ireland have just five weeks to put the finishing touches to their creative masterpieces and enter the inaugural Bradley Art Prize – a new art initiative led by renowned artist Terry Bradley and sponsored by Radius Connect which aims to support fresh artistic ideas and talent.
With an unprecedented number of submissions already received the stellar panel of judges has also been expanded to meet demand for the competition, which closes on 31 March.
New judges include renowned award-winning tattoo artist Gigi McQueen and Bradley Art Prize sponsor Stephen McQuoid, Regional Director for Ireland at Radius Connect. They join an existing line-up of famed artists and critiques including Terry Bradley and wife Ashley, Hollywood film producer Martin Brennan and NI Executive Brussels Director Aodhán Connolly.
Launched in November, the inaugural Bradley Art Prize is open to young people across two age categories, from 14 to 18 and from 19 to 23 years and provides young creatives with a platform to showcase their work with some of the most prolific names in the local arts scene.
Alongside around a total of £4,000 in cash and art materials for the top winners and their schools or colleges, two winning artists will have their work framed and proudly displayed in the newly opened Bradley Gallery in Victoria Square, Belfast, for a week-long exhibition, including a launch night for friends and family in August.
The winning artwork will then be showcased at the Northern Ireland Executive Office in Brussels’ European Quarter as part of a major initiative designed to encourage more young people to consider turning their love of art into a long-term career, offering local artists the chance to display their work internationally.
New judge and sponsor Stephen McQuoid, Radius Connect Director Ireland, said:
“With a longstanding heritage in Northern Ireland, Radius Connect is committed to supporting innovation and ambition, encouraging the next generation of leaders. I’m delighted to partner with Northern Ireland’s most revered artist Terry Bradley on this ground-breaking initiative for young artists and to bring my business experience and expertise to the judging panel.
We’ve been blown away by the interest and number of entries for this competition, which presents an exceptional opportunity for aspiring artists to publicly showcase their art and work directly with Terry and the judges for an unrivalled career kick-start.
Northern Ireland is known for its inspiring creative talent and I’ve no doubt this competition will uncover our artists of the future. I would encourage all young artists interested in promoting their work with Terry to take the opportunity to enter the Bradley Art Prize before 31 March. Good luck to all entrants!”
Terry Bradley, who began his stellar, self-taught art career at the age of 14, said:
“I wanted to create an opportunity for young people who may not see an obvious career path in art. This prize will hopefully inspire and encourage those who have talent and want to find a way to make art part of their future. This inaugural Terry Bradley Art Prize has been carefully designed to show more young people what it’s like to be a professional artist and how to build a long lasting career in an area that needs confidence and passion to succeed, and I encourage everyone to get involved.”
Aspiring artists can enter the Bradley Art Prize by submitting up to four high-resolution images of original artwork along with a personal statement by 31 March 2023. Shortlisted artists will be announced in early June, with the winners selected at the end of the month.
For more information and to submit an entry visit www.bradleyartprize.com
Below is everything you need to know about submission deadline, the judging panel and Prizes
Bradley Art Prize - Timings
· Submission deadline: 31st March 2023
· Shortlist announced: First week in June 2023
- Winners announced: End June 2023
- Preview launch night: August 2023
With a total prize value of around £4,000 up for grabs, the winners of each category will both receive a £500 cash prize whilst two runners up will receive £400 each. The school and college affiliated with each of the two winners will also receive art materials to the value of £400. An overall winner of the Bradley Art Prize will also receive art materials worth £500. As part of the top prize, winning artists will have their work framed and displayed in the Bradley Art gallery in Victoria Square, Belfast, for a week-long exhibition, including a launch night for friends and family in August. The winning artwork will then be showcased at the Northern Ireland Executive Office in Brussels’ European Quarter. The winners will also be encouraged to choose one of the judges to meet on a personal level for a day of mentoring in their area of expertise to help them develop their art and move forward with their goals
Terry was born in Belfast in 1965, Terry Bradley grew up during The Troubles in Northern Ireland and found a form of escapism in art. He discovered how drawing calmed his nerves and was able to lose himself in the complexities of observing people and then recreating them on paper. Bradley’s work often features strong characters who have lived hard lives and show the wounds they carry. Broken noses, scars and tattoos on the men and streaked make up and tear stains on the women, Bradley’s subjects show their vulnerabilities, yet their look remains defiant and challenging. Terry’s artwork has also become a part of Northern Irish culture with recent art installations including a large wall mural at the Titanic Building’s Hickson’s Point Bar and Bradley’s paintings also featuring throughout the adjacent Titanic Hotel. Most recently Bradley’s artwork featured in Sir Kenneth Branagh’s 2022 ‘Belfast’ film. The work has since been recreated in a large striking mural at Lanark Way Peace Wall in Belfast and his art also hangs proudly in the Northern Ireland Executive Offices of the European Union in Brussels. Terry has also worked with leading brands, such as ABSOLUT, Nokia and Harley Davidson and has seen his artwork displayed worldwide. Featuring original art works, limited edition canvases, giclee prints and now a range of high- end furniture pieces, Bradley’s two dedicated galleries in Ireland attract thousands of visitors a year who travel from all over the world to see his art in person. His striking pieces have developed a cult following with many adding his art to themselves permanently with stunning Bradley tattoos and there have been themed Bradley weddings and birthdays. Terry’s willingness to discuss his mental health struggles and how he uses artwork as a form of therapy has attracted many to his work and created a community within his followers. The breakdown of barriers creates a sense of safety for many, giving them space to feel heard, while offering hope for the future and a reminder to ‘Never Give Up’, a message at the heart of Terry’s Brand.
Ashley Forsythe, Terry’s wife, was a professional photographer for 15 years and has been instrumental in setting up and running the Bradley galleries for the past 10 years. Ashley’s career background in photography and desktop publishing was ideal for developing Bradley’s artwork into a viable business. Ashley also designs the look of the galleries and has designed a range of bespoke Bradley Art Furniture pieces. Ashley will work closely with the chosen winners to guide them in the business side of art as a career..
Gigi McQueen, Tattoo Artist
Gigi McQueen, was raised in the heartland of American Tattooing, California. Gigi's life has revolved around art, briefly studying Visual Communication at the prestigious Brooks Institute, before embarking on a career as a full time artist. Gigi has exhibited and published works in both the USA and Canada. Gigi moved to Ireland nearly 10 years ago. When she was given the opportunity to train under a tattoo artist who had been in the industry for over 25 years, she jumped at the chance. Gigi's love of art, coupled with hard work, dedication and an uncanny natural ability allows for the creation of some wonderful Tattoos. Why not call in and have a look at her work, you will not be disappointed.
Stephen McQuoid, Radius Connect Director Ireland
With more than 20 years’ experience in IT services, telecoms, software and connectivity, Stephen McQuoid heads up the Radius Connect team in Ireland, offering mobile, fixed line and cloud services based on solutions from industry-leading providers such as Microsoft, Vodafone, 02, EE, NFON and Gamma, counting CBRE, Deli Lites, UPU Industries, Shelbourne Motors and John Minnis Estate agents amongst its clients. Part of Sunday Times’ Top Track 100 companies, Radius has more than 40,000 customers in Ireland in telecoms, fuel cards and telematics. Prior to his role at Radius Connect, Stephen was VP of Sales for Northern Europe at Aptos, a Retail Management Software company with 1000 retail clients across 65 countries.
Martin Brennan, Film Producer
Martin went to art college at Belfast Ulster University and graduated in 1999. He then worked as a trainee runner and assistant on set for Television commercials, films etc., moving on to writing video games such as the Hitman series. Writing and producing was something he loved to do and in 2015 he co-wrote and produced his first feature film, The Devil’s Doorway. Martin is currently working on a number of movies working alongside directors whose films include The Note Book, Lost Trust and many more. Martin has a very busy schedule but was delighted to be part of the Bradley Art Prize and is looking forward to supporting young talent in Northern Ireland.
Martin’s background in graphics and story boarding is the perfect fit for spotting and nurturing the talent of Northern Ireland young creatives. He brings another dimension to the judging panel and is perfectly placed to inspire and show how to create your own place in the creative industry.
Aodhán Connolly, Director of European Division & Head of Office, NI Executive Brussels
Aodhán Connolly is the Director of the Northern Ireland Executive Office in Brussels where he represents Northern Ireland to the EU, European Countries and Regions. Previously he was the director of the Northern Ireland Retail Consortium, Trade Advisor to the British Retail Consortium and a UK Trade and Business Commissioner. Aodhán is delighted to be asked to be a judge for the Terry Bradley Art Prize given his joint passions for local contemporary art, which he collects and for providing opportunities for young people. He is the Chairman of Wheelworks Arts, a local charity which combines the arts and digital technology in workshops, programmes and projects to deliver positive outcomes for children and young people aged 4 – 25 from across Northern Ireland.