A panel of esteemed judges will judge each competition entry. Read on to find out more about each of our accomplished judges.
Alison Jackson is a contemporary, BAFTA and multi award-winning artist who explores the cult of celebrity – an extraordinary phenomenon created by the media, publicity industries and the public figures themselves. Jackson makes convincingly realistic work about celebrities doing things in private using cleverly-styled lookalikes. Within her work, likeness becomes real and fantasy touches on the believable. She creates scenarios we have all imagined but have never seen before.
Alison Jackson is a councillor for Chelsea Riverside ward and an ambassador for Spinal Injuries Association.
Michael Hoppen is the owner of the prestigious Michael Hoppen Gallery, located just off the King’s Road. The Michael Hoppen Gallery opened in 1992 and is founded on a passion for photography. Spaced over three floors in the heart of Chelsea, the gallery provides both a white-walled arena for contemporary artists as well as a more intimate context for the smaller and more eclectic works they exhibit.
Richard Young is at the forefront of celebrity photography. With a career spanning over 40 years, (and no sign of stopping anytime soon!) Young’s exceptional eye and unique approach has cemented him as the most trusted and prolific contemporary photographer to the stars. As both a portraitist and photojournalist, his unerring ability to capture the moment and present a candid, inside view into the world of celebrity has resulted in iconic images that are celebrated in publications throughout the world.
David Ross is perhaps the best known as the co-founder in 1991 of The Carphone Warehouse, today Europe's largest independent mobile phone retailer. Since 2003, he has been involved in leading may other public and private companies, as well as pursuing a passion for the arts, sports and education through the David Ross Foundation. He is also a trustee of the National Portrait Gallery. David is a passionate art collector, a keen photographer and with his discerning eye a welcome addition to the judges for this competition. The guiding principle behind his own collection is of art produced during his own lifetime, and it is particularly rich in paintings by artists associated with the Pop Art movement of the 1960s including David Hockney, Peter Blake, Richard Hamilton and Patrick Caulfield. The legacy of these artists and their engagement with commercial and popular forms of visual culture is also apparent in more recent works by Young British Artists - Damien Hirst, Marc Quinn and Gavin Turk.
Vanessa Branson is a champion of global cultural and ecological initiatives. As President and Founder of the Marrakech Biennale she was responsible for North Africa’s only trilingual arts festival, comprising visual art, literature and film programs featuring acclaimed international and Moroccan artists. Prior to this, she was co-founding curator with Prue O'Day of the Wonderful Fund Collection. She also established and co-directed the Portobello Arts Festival (1987-1989). She founded the Vanessa Devereux Gallery (1986-1991) in London. In 2002, along with her business partner Howell James CBE, she developed an ancient crumbling palace in the centre of Marrakech into a beautiful boutique hotel - El Fenn. She also owns and runs Eilean Shona, a tidal island on the west coast of Scotland. She is a trustee of the British Moroccan Society and Virgin Unite, and on the board of trustees of Global Diversity Foundation.
Robin Wight CVO fell in love with advertising when he was an undergraduate at Cambridge. Hailed by The Guardian as “the Undergradman” when he set up the world’s first student advertising agency, he has spent the 50 years since writing ads and building brands.
For nearly 40 years he has led Wight Collins Rutherford Scott (WCRS) with campaigns such as The Ultimate Driving Machine, The Future’s Bright The Future’s Orange and Got Your Number GYN for the much loathed 118 118. In 2018 he was voted Industry Leader of the Year. In 2001, he founded the first charity aiming to bring young people from ethnic minorities into the creative industries. Along the way he picked up a CVO given by Her Majesty, The Queen for helping to raise £50 million for the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award.
Wight would now like to work with Alison Jackson and the young people of Kensington and Chelsea to encourage young creative talents to flourish.
Katy Hessel is a curator and founder of @thegreatwomenartists, an account that celebrates female artists on a daily basis. She regularly writes on the subject of women artists and has led talks on the subject for The Courtauld, Cambridge University, Pallant House Gallery; and films for Barbican Centre and more. She has curated exhibitions at TJ Boulting and Mother London, as well as residencies at Palazzo Monti in Brescia. Katy works in Press and Marketing at Victoria Miro.
William Boyd has written fifteen novels – published around the world and translated into some three-dozen languages – four collections of short stories and the screenplays for seventeen films and television series. Boyd has also written widely on photography, principally for the Guardian and the Telegraph, and has also provided the introductions to the monographs of several photographers – most notably Rankin, Raymond Depardon, Paul Joyce, Robert Doisneau and Jean-Pierre Gilson. His use of “found” photographs in his novels Nat Tate: An American Artist (1998) and Sweet Caress (2015) has made him something of a specialist in the subject of anonymous photography. In 2018 he curated an exhibition of Jacques-Henri Lartigue’s work at the Michael Hoppen Gallery in Chelsea.
Councillor Gerard Hargreaves was elected to RBKC Council in 2010. He represents Chelsea Riverside Ward and is the Council's Lead Member for Communities and Culture. Gerard is a great supporter of the arts. He was a director of London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art for 11 years and is currently involved with Intermission Theatre in Chelsea. He hopes that this competition will give residents an opportunity to enter and display their photographic skills and be part of Kensington and Chelsea Arts weekend.