• The Secret Art Prize 2016


Private Viewing: 13th October

We will be showcasing the 5 winning pieces along side other pieces of their work.

Come along to view the work of these incredibly talented artists and find out more about the Secret Art Prize.

Winner of the Secret Art Prize 2016: 

Gina Soden, Les Histoires:

At the heart of Gina Soden’s photography is a preoccupation with abandoned structures and locations. Based in London, she travels widely to undisclosed sites throughout Europe and explores the boundaries of beauty, decay, nostalgia and neglect. The genesis of each piece is often the unique architectural character of each location, heightened by their painfully slow transformation after years of abandonment.


View more: Click here








Runners up:

Matt Crump: Matt Crump is a multi disciplinary artist living and working from his home studio in sunny Brixton, London. His works from various projects are assimilated from antiquarian books and printed material scoured from dusty corners around the U.K and worldwide, with original source material dating as far back as the late 17th Century.

View more: Click here

Tristram Aver: Tristram Aver is an artist and curator currently based in Nottingham, UK. Aver has been involved in activities ranging from album/single cover artwork for The Cooper Temple Clause breakthrough album ‘Kick Up The Fire and Let The Flames Break Loose‘ (2003), to producing the visuals for BBC projects.

View more: Click here

Alexandra Gallegher: Award winning artist Alexandra Gallagher was born 1980, Lancashire, England. Exhibiting and selling internationally, including the world renowned Saatchi Gallery in London. Alexandra Gallagher’s work celebrates the surreal and bizarre.  Between the realms of memory, dreams and experience, her work looks beyond our subjective limits and often tells a story of inner imagination and thought.

View more: Click here

Isobel Cortese: “Fascinated by the way life in miniature evokes feelings of wonder and enchantment, I like to create scenes replicating daily life but with a dark twist. I have a love for the weird and wonderful. Curiosity boxes, dark tales and intriguing collections inside glass vessels greatly influence my work. I tend to incorporate playful humour into most of my scenes and hope my work both amuses and fascinates.”

View more: Click here


Read more about The Secret Art Prize 2016 

Win a solo show at Moniker Art Fair and representation from Curious Duke Gallery with 2016’s edition of Secret Art Prize.

It’s time to step up your game. Curious Duke Gallery and ‘Secret Art Prize’ are pleased to announce Moniker Art Fair as this year’s lead supporter and the stakes couldn’t be higher.

The winner of Secret Art Prize 2016 will get the opportunity to showcase their works within a dedicated space at Moniker Art Fair with curatorial support from both Moniker Projects and Curious Duke Gallery. In addition, you will earn full representation from Curious Duke Gallery and mentoring from CDG founder Eleni Duke, a £1000 cash prize, an artist profile in State Magazine, and your works will be exhibited in a month long group show at the award-winning Curious Duke Gallery

Interested? Then submit your application before 31st July 2016 to avoid missing out.


Who can apply? 

The Secret Art Prize is open to all urban and contemporary artists. Disciplines welcome include painting, sculpture, drawing, printmaking and photography. We do not accept film and performance pieces.


About Curious Duke Gallery:

Having founded award winning Curious Duke Gallery in 2011, Eleni Duke has cemented her position on the UK art scene with collaborations with London based businesses, showcasing at the UK art fairs and joining the judging panel of all female street festival Femme Fierce. 2015 saw the gallery come second to the highly respected Richmix in the TimeOut #LoveLondon culture awards.

Duke’s nurturing approach to young talent has seen her winning 2nd place for Micro Business of the Year 2013, with her artists taking to the airwaves on BBC radio and featured in London’s press. The winner of Secret Art Prize 2016 will join this cohort of creatives with representation from CDG. Find our more about the gallery here.


About Moniker Art Fair:

Moniker Art Fair returns for its seventh year on October 6–9 at the iconic Old Truman Brewery in London’s Shoreditch. Building on the foundations of six years experience and it’s continued success Moniker Art Fair has firmly established itself as London’s premiere event for contemporary art with its roots embedded in urban culture.

Moniker Art Fair will once again venue-share with London’s leading artist-led fair The Other Art Fair in what will be a showcase of independent and established talent all under one roof.

Over a period of four days this exciting spectacle will attract 14,000-plus visitors to the capital’s East End forming one of the major satellite events of London’s Art Week when 60,000 visitors descend on the city to form an unparalleled international art audience.


A word from our previous winners:

Stephen Whatcott:

“One of the hardest things as an artist is trying to get your work seen by the right audience, an audience with an interest in your type of work. There are so many artists out there with arms raised, shouting, trying to be heard. The Secret Art Prize provides a platform for artists to present their work to the right audience and the Curious Duke Gallery provides a great (and much needed) level of support for an artist to grow. It’s that combination that makes the Secret Art Prize really unique and valuable to an artist.”

Michael Vincent Manalo:

“The Secret Art Prize is quite ironic since it did quite the opposite of what a secret is supposed to be. Since winning the Prize in Photography in Secret Art Prize, I noticed that I had more interest in my work: more galleries, online galleries and even a contemporary museum has contacted me and expressed wanting to exhibit my work!

Gary Scott:

‘I can highly recommend entering the Secret Art Prize – taking part in it in 2015 was very rewarding and generated an incredible amount of activity on social media which was a lot of fun and great for the profile.  Making it through to the Winners Show was an honour especially given the high calibre of the competition and being invited to join the Curious Duke family of artists was the icing on the cake.  If you’re an artist creating distinctive contemporary work then why not give it a go?’



Frankie Shea
Director of Moniker Projects, Founder of Moniker Art Fair
TWITTER - frankie_shea
Since 2005, London born and raised Shea quickly found his place in arts management building strong personal relationships while developing thereputation of a dynamic roster of politically astute and emotionally expressive artists. In 2010 Shea launched Moniker Projects and Moniker Art Fair – the company’s annual flagship event with a focus on installation-based works. Moniker attracts some of the most renowned and talked-about artists, galleries and curators and has earned a reputation as the most exciting contemporary art fair with its roots embedded in urban culture. Shea has become known as a leading tastemaker in the public art world, has launched a string of celebrated contemporary art exhibitions, publications and arts programmes in connection with leading international artists and art organisations.
      • frankie-faith47-colour
Trevor Nelson
DJ and art collector
TWITTER - djtrevornelson

Trevor Nelson, MBE, is best known for his broadcasting history, however he is also an art enthusiast, and has a keen interest in art collecting. Starting at the then pirate station Kiss FM in 1985. Having been granted its license in 1990, as a director of the station Trevor hosted a weekly daytime show, before moving to the BBC in 1996.

As a pioneer in the UK urban scene with a stint behind the scenes in A&R at Cooltempo, EMI, he continues to DJ around the globe. He has released 7 compilation albums, winning him 4 Mobos for Best DJ. He was awarded an MBE in 2002 for work with the Millennium Volunteers.

In 2010 Nelson was awarded a GOLD lifetime achievement award by the Sony Radio Academy, and was nominated as a Hackney Ambassador to coincide with the 2012 Olympics.

      • teddy-baden
      • Hannah-resized
      • trevor_2792260b
      • transparent
Anna McNay
Freelance art writer and editor.
TWITTER - annamcnay

Anna McNay is a freelance art writer and editor. She is Deputy Editor at State Media and Arts Editor at DIVA magazine. She contributes regularly to Studio International, Photomonitor and The Mail on Sunday and has been widely published in a variety of other print and online art and photography journals and newspapers. McNay’s work spans a variety of formats, including reviews, profiles, interviews (written and to camera), portfolios and essays. She has written catalogue essays for galleries including Abbey Walk, Art Bermondsey Project Space and the Royal Academy of Arts. She is an elected member of the International Association of Art Critics (AICA).

      • sabina-andron
      • grant-pooke-resized
      • AnnaMcNay
      • Mark Powell
      • AnnaMcNay
      • AnnaMcNay
Mark Powell
TWITTER - markpowellart

markpowellMark grew up in West Yorkshire and went on to study Fine Art, drawing and painting at Huddersfield University. He enrolled one day by accident; he decided to look around the studios of the university having lost his job that morning. He then began a conversation with who turned out to be the department head and one thing followed another and within a couple of hours he was enrolled to study. After graduation he was invited to America, where he successfully exhibited his artwork on the West Coast. A few years of painting in Leeds led to few more shows but nothing too great. After moving to London, and working multiple jobs, Powell switched from mainly painting to drawing and was then ‘discovered’ by an American website that turned out to be quite popular. In a matter of hours he had sold all the work he had and had offers of shows around the world. Powell exhibits with Curious Duke Gallery, and you can see his work at the Affordable Art Fairs and Moniker. He now spends his time drawing as much as possible and travelling.

      • tabish-khan
      • pierrick
      • Mark Powell
      • Mark Powell
Anna Smithson
Director and curator of Smithson Gallery
TWITTER - smithsongallery

Anna Smithson is director and curator of Smithson Gallery. The gallery represents a selection of hand-picked, talented artists with a variety of styles. Smithson embraces and understands the effectiveness of medium diversity, from multi-layered screen prints to works with resin and collage; it is this openness and responsive attitude that embodies the ethos of Anna’s approach.Anna studied printed textiles at Middlesex University and went on to work as an art editor, editing and commissioning artist’s work for 10 years, developing a strong foundation in artwork selection before establishing her gallery in 2009.Anna’s ability to support and mentor artists with passion and professionalism is refreshing. As a committed arts industry professional, a curator and director, Anna’s personal approach and expert eye further qualify the comprehensiveness of her gallery.

      • mary-anne-hobs
      • Stuart
      • FullSizeRender
Ana Bambic Kostov
Art Historian
TWITTER - Coming soon

Ana Bambic Kostov is an art historian with passion for contemporary art. As the author of numerous exhibition reviews, articles and catalogue introductions published via national and international media channels, she developed a particular sensitivity for feeling the pulse of the global art scene. She was elected a council member of the Art Center Gallery at the University Library of Belgrade and acts as a freelance art consultant.

Currently at the position of Editor in Chief at Widewalls.ch, Ana is dedicated to developing this urban and contemporary art magazine into a tool for art researchers and art lovers alike. In the course of two years, she helped transform the Magazine from a simple art blog into a versatile online publication.

Ana’s interests and activities go beyond the sphere of contemporary art. She is interested in various cultural projects, especially cultural policies, as well as the support for individual creatives. Her additional interests include close examination of global art market trends and keeping up with the activities of emerging artists worldwide. She focuses on research of traditional creative media within the novel concepts of art, and considers herself an observer, but also a critic.

Ana is based in Belgrade, Serbia.

      • frankie-faith47-colour
      • daniela
      • AnaBK
      • AnaBK
      • AnaBK
      • AnaBK
      • AnaBK
      • AnaBK
      • bronzegold


    Overall winner

    – Solo exhibition at Moniker Art Fair (6-9th October 2016) curated by Moniker Projects and Curious Duke Gallery

    – Gallery representation with Curious Duke Gallery

    – One-month group show with Curious Duke Gallery

    – £1000 cash prize

    – Artist profile in State Magazine  (distribution of 60,000 copies)

    – Mentoring from CDG director, Eleni Duke


    Runners up

    There will also be four runners up, with each artist awarded a place in the Curious Duke Gallery group show that opens on the 29th September and runs until 29th October 2016.


    Wild Card

    There will also be the People’s Choice Award. The winner of the public vote competition will be shortlisted straight to the final 10.


    Who can apply:
    The Secret Art Prize is open to all urban and contemporary artists. Disciplines welcomde include painting, sculpture, drawing, printmaking and photography. We do not accept film and performance pieces.


    How to apply:
    This is the important bit. When applying for the Secret Art Prize 2016, please bear in mind…

    • We’ll only accept one application per person.
    • Your username should be the same as your artist name. This will be not be published and is for office use only.
    • You should upload one image file. It should be named ‘last name_firstname_artworktitle’
    • Include a short statement about your work and yourself (no longer than 300 words). Please remove your name from the statement, as we do not edit statements. It’s essential for all names to be removed before being published for the Public Choice Award or to the judging panel.
    • Include the relevant details of the artwork that you are submitting for consideration, such as title, medium, dimensions and price.
    • Include a website link to your portfolio for the judges to view.

    Have a question? Check our FAQs page here or email info@curiousdukegallery.com.

        • frankie-faith47-colour
        • daniela
        • AnaBK
        • AnaBK
        • AnaBK
        • AnaBK
        • AnaBK
        • AnaBK
        • bronzegold


    Got a question about The Secret Art Prize? We’ve answered the frequently asked questions below, but should we have missed your question or you’re having problems applying, please email us on info@curiousdukegallery.com with Secret Art Prize in the subject line.

    What dates do I need to remember?

    Secret Art Prize 2016 entry lines now open.

    Lines close on 31 July

    Voting for People’s Choice Award open 4th August.

    Voting for People’s Choice Award closes 28th August

    Winners to be announced Wednesday 31 August

    Work selected for exhibition to be delivered to Curious Duke Gallery by 28 September.

    Secret Art Prize 2016 exhibition will run   3rd October- 29 October.

    Work to be collected by 31st October


    How do I apply?
    Please see our Apply page here. You will be asked to submit one image of an artwork, an artist statement no longer than 100 words, and a link to a website for the judges to take a look at your portfolio. If you have any issues registering to apply, please email info@curiousdukegallery.com.

    Submission of artwork
    Please submit work through the application page, we ask for one image of your artwork with an admin fee of £10.00. Curious Duke Gallery reserve the right to reject applications of work that are deemed unsuitable for exhibition, be it explicit or antagonising, at our discretion. All work submitted must measure 1x1m or less. Please contact Curious Duke Gallery on info@curiousdukegallery.com should the artwork dimensions measure larger than this. Please upload artwork images as 600×600/ 72dpi.

    How do I pay?
    All payments must be made through Paypal upon completion of your application, only after this will we consider your application.

    How are the winners decided?
    There will be one overall winner with 4 runners up. It is possible to win as the overall winner and the Peoples’ Choice Award winer. Due to the number of applications, we will choose 100 applicants to be put forward into the People’s Choice Award page for public voting, the winner will automatically go through to the shortlist of 10 artists to the judges. The overall winner of the Secret Art Prize will be deliberated by the panel of judges.

    How do the judges vote?
    Once applications close, the applications will be shortlisted to 10 to pass onto the panel of judges. The judges will award points to their own top 10,ordered 1-10 with the artist with the highest score winning. The gallery will then collate these votes from all judges to choose the overall winner.

    Delivery and collection of artwork.
    We ask that applicants selected for exhibition arrange the delivery of their artwork, and collection within 7 days of the exhibition closing. We can not reimburse costs.

    What does representation from Curious Duke Gallery entail?
    We nurture our artists, and work closely with them to push their portfolios and career. In daily gallery life we will have group exhibitions throughout the year, with annual Christmas and Summer shows, solo shows, mentoring, opportunities to meet all of the CDG artists, featuring of our artists and artworks on our social media channels. As an award winning gallery we also collaborate with companies outside of our Whitecross Street home, such as Timberyard, Look Mum No Hands and Hoxton Hotel. Eleni Duke and CDG have been featured in Red Magazine, The Telegraph, Le Cool, Inspiring City, Time Out, and T.V’s London Live.

    How do we choose the winner?

    Once applications have closed on 31 July, Curious Duke Gallery shortlists 100 applicants to take through to the coveted People’s Choice Award.

    The 100 long listed pieces are published on the Secret Art prize website, and the public can vote for their favourite. The piece with the most votes will win the People’s Choice Award.

    Want more votes? Share your page!
    Next, our inspirational panel of judges, handpicked from across the art industry, choose the winner from a final shortlist of 10 applicants.

    The People’s Choice Award winner is automatically fast-tracked to the final shortlist. Our judges deliberate and decide the overall winner along side four runners up.

    Why is your image not uploading? 
    Do to the high volume of traffic we sometimes struggle to get the images to upload. If you have any problems go through the application and send your image to leni@curiousdukegallery.com and we will make sure it attaches to your application

    I can’t access the application? 
    Again due to the high number of applications our website is struggling if you can’t apply we will send you a manual document to fill out and upload it ourselves. We apologise for this inconvenience. please email eleni@curiousdukegallery for this.

        • frankie-faith47-colour
        • daniela
        • AnaBK
        • AnaBK
        • AnaBK
        • AnaBK
        • AnaBK
        • AnaBK
        • bronzegold