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We’re pleased to announce the winners and runners-up of the Secret Art Prize




Click image to watch a video of the winner saying a few words….

Alfie Gatt

Alfie uses his figurative and portraits in delicate displacement and surrealism. In his current experiments of paintings is intended to capture the intimacy of solitude and silence. The scenes create a dreamlike atmosphere, allowing the viewer to escape into a trance of peace, delving into nature where one feels most comfortable. The blank spaces are an interpretation of a transition of the state of mind when an individual pauses to ponder nostalgically on memories. Although the artist leaves some areas 'untouched, Alfie still gives the negative spaces his full attention and focus, which combined with the figure improves his composition and storytelling.

Alfie’s current style is a mix of figurative and surrealism by giving the artworks unique style and visually pleasing and yet contemporary. He fondly describes his artistic work as a balance and mix between fine art and graphical edge. The artist use mediums such as watercolours, water-soluble wax pastels and lately, he's also experimenting with oils on different surfaces.

Runners up





Michelle Loa Kum Cheung

Michelle Loa Kum Cheung creates fictional environments to explore the idea of a displaced heritage.

Loa Kum Cheung draws upon Chinese concepts in shan shui painting, where the depiction of landscape relies on the artist’s innate and intuitive reaction to the visual reality. Favouring the tactility and raw materiality of wood in her paintings, Loa Kum Cheung combines various techniques including pyrography (wood burning), oil paint and gold leaf with a focus on intentional mark making.

Runners up




Michelle McKinney

Michelle is an artist working in the unusual medium of woven metal: Stainless steel, Copper and Brass
As well as her original metal sculptures Michelle has been working on a new series of work in which her sculptures are made purely to create a photographic image.
The metal sculptures themselves are transitory brought into being to stamp their presence on an instant in time and then immediately deconstructed.
This ongoing collection of photographs are what remains – a ghostly echo of the original sculptures existence.

The Runners up


Previous contestants:

Alicia Gradon, Alexandra Gallagher, Blandine Bardeux, Craig Keenan, Cherelle Sappleton, Detlef E Aderhold, Gary Scott, Gina Soden, Hanping Fen, Isobel Cortese, Johnathan Reiner, Matt Crump, Michael Vincent Manalo, Martha Zimpoulou, Novemto Komo, Olivia Yu, Steven Whatcott, Tristram Aver

The future is vibrant: previous contestents have gone on to some outstanding feats. Craig Keenan is now one of our top selling artists. He has achieved the opportunity to exhibit at the world renowned Affordable Art Fair’s, has been involved as an expert panelist in the Art Conference and recently had a sell out show for Print Club London. In 2018 Curious Duke Gallery will be hosting his largest solo show to date. Stephen Whatcott another nurtured talent has progressed to having his work at Affordable Art Fair's, being snapped up by business' around the world who want to laden their walls with his striking abstract creations, not to mention his first ever solo show in 2018 at the Curious Duke Gallery.


Stephen Whatcott:

“What sets The Secret Art Prize apart from the many other art completions out there is that what you stand to gain is not merely financial or that of experience, but of community. The vast majority of art competitions end in an exhibition and a material prize, whereas The Secret Art Prize has something more genuine at its heart. And having been provided with a platform to show my work, I am now granted the additional reward of a family of artists and art enthusiasts to discuss and further ideas with alongside representation and mentoring at the Curious Duke Gallery. These are genuinely valuable prizes for an artist to receive."

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?"

Blandine Bardeux:

"I participated in the Secret Art Prize in 2014 - I believe its first edition -  and I was so happy to have been selected by a great panel of judges. I had been wanting to work with Curious Duke anyways, so this way meant that I was gaining entry to the Curious Duke family. Eleni and her team are fantastic and I have learnt so much from working with them, from refining my work and what it is about to setting-up an abstract art workshop in the gallery recently! I also loved meeting fellow artists from the Secret Art Prize exhibition and keeping in touch via social media."