FAQs & Entry Criteria



What is new for the submission process for the Ruth Borchard Self-Portrait Prize 2019?

For the Ruth Borchard Self-Portrait Prize 2019, submissions will be online through this website. Submissions will open in January 2019. We hope that through making the process online rather than postal more artists will be able to submit work with greater ease and a much faster process for applicants. The online submission process is designed to be short and accessible, and you will be guided through the relevant stages with reminders of important dates. All the details laid out below will be made clear during the process. Postal applications are not available.

Who is eligible to apply for the Ruth Borchard Self-Portrait Prize 2019?

Amateur and professional artists, living and working in the United Kingdom and Ireland, are eligible to participate in the competition. There is no age or other restriction.

How much is the administration fee and where does my money go?

The administration fee is £25 and will be payable at the end of the submission process. The Ruth Borchard Collection and the Self-Portrait Prize are funded by a charitable foundation and the administration fee goes a small way to covering the cost of running the application process for the Prize.

What media are accepted for the Prize?

The work can be in any recognised medium including drawing, painting, watercolour, print, collage, photo-collage, mixed media, and low-relief sculpture and construction. Pure photography, stand-alone sculpture, and moving image works are not eligible for inclusion.

What are the size restrictions?

There are no minimum or maximum size restrictions, and works of all sizes are considered equally. Please be aware that it could be difficult for us to accommodate extremely large works in the exhibition.

Should I sign my work?

It is up to you whether you sign your work but please ensure that the details are somewhere on the work – i.e. a label or engraving on the reverse stating your full name, the title of the piece and the date of the work as a minimum.

What other information will I need to provide alongside my work?

As part of the online submission process you will be prompted to upload a few details about yourself and your practice. For the initial stage this will be a short biography to a maximum of 1,000 characters, and a PDF of your CV maximum 2-pages.

You will also be asked to upload images of two other recent works to support your application. This enables us to gain a fuller appreciation of your practice.

Are there other criteria?

Each artist is permitted to submit one work only. There is no cap on the total number of entrants. All works must be for sale and include the Gallery’s 50% commission in the sale price.

How does the online submission process work?

For the online submission process you will be required to upload one photograph of your work, alongside two supporting photographs of works in your oeuvre. You will also be asked for a few details about your self-portrait such as dimensions and contact information, including your website if relevant. Once you have submitted your work and paid via Paypal, you will receive confirmation e-mails from the Prize and from Paypal.

How will my personal information be used?

We will keep all your information entirely confidential and only use it to process your submission and for internal statistics. We will never pass it on to any third parties.

How will uploading photographs work?

We will ask you to upload one photograph of your work in its entirety, and should you wish, a second and third supporting photograph. These should be in .jpeg, .png or .gif format and have a maximum file size of 5MB. Whether or not you include the frame in your photograph is up to you.

How will the initial selection process work?

From the online submissions a panel of judges will select one-hundred and twenty works for the Ruth Borchard Prize 2019 exhibition.

When and where will the exhibition take place?

The Ruth Borchard Prize 2019 exhibition will take place at Piano Nobile Kings Place. All short-listed works will be hung, and the exhibition will be free and open to the public. Piano Nobile will be organising and promoting the exhibition to the press.

If my work is selected for the exhibition, what are the transportation details?

All works selected for exhibition must be delivered to Piano Nobile Kings Place. Works remaining unsold following the end of the exhibition must be collected by the artists. Dates TBC. Artists are responsible for the delivery and collection of their works and must cover these costs. The gallery is not able to hold onto works that are not collected. Whilst the gallery will take all due care in handling and hanging the works, all risk insurance of the artworks remains the responsibility of the artists. Full details will be passed on to artists once selection for the exhibition has been confirmed.

Who is on the judging panel?

2019 Judging panel TBC.

When will judging take place?

Dates TBC. During the judging, the panel will award the £10,000 first prize. This will be announced at the Private View evening of the exhibition.

How many works are selected for the Ruth Borchard Next Generation Collection?

As well as the prize winner and runner-up, a selection of works are chosen from the exhibition by Piano Nobile and the charitable foundation behind the Ruth Borchard Collection to be purchased for the Next Generation Collection as a means of continuing Ruth Borchard’s project into the twenty-first century. There is no upper limit for the number of works purchased – this is entirely dependent on the quality of works submitted. These self-portraits will join the Next Generation Collection alongside works by artists such as Celia Paul, Thomas Newbolt, Maggi Hambling, Cherry Pickles and Anthony Eyton. This Collection is frequently toured and exhibited, often alongside the Original Collection, offering an unparalleled opportunity for artists to be associated with leading twentieth and twenty-first century British artists.


  • The competition is open to artists living and working in the United Kingdom and Ireland.
  • Works entered must have been created post-2000.
  • There is no age restriction.
  • The Prize is limited to one entry per artist.
  • All submissions must be online through the website. Deadline TBC. The Ruth Borchard Prize reserves the right to extend this submission window.
  • All works must be for sale and include the gallery’s 50% commission in the sale price.
  • All correspondence with artists will be via email unless specifically requested otherwise.
  • All entrants will be notified if their work has or has not been selected for the Piano Nobile Kings Place exhibition.
  • Entrants whose work is selected for the Piano Nobile Kings Place exhibition will be required to send or bring their work to Kings Place, Kings Cross, London.
  • The exhibition will be open to the public. Dates TBC.
  • The Winner will be notified prior to the opening.
  • Artists whose work is purchased for the Ruth Borchard Next Generation Collection will be notified.
  • Works cannot be removed from the exhibition until the end.
  • Artists will be required to collect their work after the exhibition closes. Dates TBC.
  • The copyright for all works exhibited in the Ruth Borchard Self-Portrait Prize 2019 will remain the property of the artist, but it is a condition of entry that you agree unconditionally that we may reproduce any exhibited works, free of charge, for the purposes of marketing, promotion, discussion and education in direct connection with the Ruth Borchard Self-Portrait Prize, in all media and subsequent publications, posters, prints, postcards, and the internet. The Ruth Borchard Collection also reserves the right to reproduce selected images free of charge for core non– commercial purposes, for example in the Past Exhibitions page of the website, indefinitely, as a public record. The processes of the Prize may be filmed, and entering the Prize constitutes agreement for a portrait to be included in such filming, whether broadcast or not.
  • The gallery will take all due care for artists’ work but the responsibility for damage or loss, however caused, is the responsibility of the artist. Artists are therefore required to arrange adequate insurance for the duration of the exhibition and transportation to and from the exhibition. Piano Nobile, the venue, the carriers, the touring venue, and any other subcontractor shall not be liable for any loss or damage, whether or not caused by their negligence.
  • In accordance with the Data Protection Act, 1998, Piano Nobile will hold the personal data supplied during the online submission process securely. It will only be used in the process of administering the Ruth Borchard Prize, and will never be passed on to any third party. At the close of the Prize exhibition and touring exhibition, the data will be retained permanently for historical research purposes for the Ruth Borchard archive. Data of artists whose works are purchased for the Ruth Borchard Next Generation Collection will be retained permanently in the database system of Piano Nobile.
  • The judges’ decision on the Winner is absolutely final and no dialogue, correspondence or feedback will be entered into. The judging panel will consider works, regardless of medium, size or any other criteria, equally.
  • Piano Nobile and the Ruth Borchard Collection reserve the right of first purchase on all works in the exhibition. Piano Nobile and the Ruth Borchard Collection reserve the right to purchase as few or as many works in the exhibition for the Next Generation Collection.
  • The gallery reserves the right to disqualify any piece of work if the artist has not adhered to the rules.
  • Works entered into the Prize can be in any form of painting, drawing, printing, collage, photo-collage, mixed media, and low-relief sculpture and construction. Stand-alone sculpture, pure photography and moving images are not eligible for entry.
  • Works must be a self-portrait of the artist, but this may be alone or as part of a group, from life, from memory, from a photograph, figurative or abstract.
  • Works may be signed, but do not need to be signed.
  • Artists MUST label their work with their name, the title of the work and a date as absolute minimum.
  • There is no minimum or maximum size restriction but be aware that exceptionally large works may not be able to be exhibited.
  • Multi-part works, i.e. works in the form of a diptych or triptych etc., are eligible and will be regarded as one work.
  • Artists must upload an image of their entire work, with or without the frame.
  • If the photograph does not show the whole work then the work will not be considered for the Prize.
  • Please note that the selection for the exhibition will be based on the digital photograph, therefore it is in the interest of the artist to upload a good quality photograph.
  • A cash prize of £10,000 will be awarded to a Winner to be decided by the panel of judges.
  • Submission of work into the Ruth Borchard Prize constitutes an agreement to abide by these rules and regulations. Failure to do so may result in an artist being disqualified from the Prize.