Monica Popham brushes aside the competition to be crowned Sky Arts’ Landscape Artist of the Year 2024

Thursday 29 February 2024

Gibraltar native Monica Popham brushes aside the competition to be crowned Sky Arts’ Landscape Artist of the Year 2024. The amateur artist and illustrator edged out finalists Kristina Chan and Denise Fisk with her unique take on an urban landscape through playing with cropping, shadows and vibrant colours.  

The finale saw viewers gripped as the artists left the pods behind for the first time ever. Monica Popham, Denise Fisk and Kristina Chan were transported to the top of the Royal Opera House overlooking Covent Garden, which presented a complex tapestry of architectural styles. Light proved to be one of the biggest challenges as the artists were presented with an overcast view and a dwindling supply of sunlight! 

Monica entered the competition with the depiction of a window from her hometown but had no easy route to the final. In her Liverpool Three Graces heat, she impressed the judges with her signature cropping style, and in the Buckler’s Hard’s semi-final, she leapfrogged into the final three through her rich colour palette inspired by her sunny Mediterranean roots.  

This prize for this year’s competition is a £10,000 commission from the Science Museum, which sees Monica create an artwork inspired by Orkney, spotlighting the islands’ place at the forefront of pioneering sustainable energy. The prize commission will be available to view from 10.00am on Thursday 29 February on Level 2 of the museum.  

Monica Popham, Winner of Landscape Artist of the Year said: “Applying to Landscape Artist of the Year has been one of the best things I’ve ever done. The experience of meeting other artists and painting locations across the UK has been incredible. The competition has given me confidence in my ability as an artist and the push I needed to pursue painting full time! Capturing the magic of Orkney for the Science Museum will forever remain a career highlight for me.” 

This series saw viewers enthralled with breathtaking scenery across the UK, travelling to remarkable locations in Stonehaven in Scotland, Hever in Kent, the river Beaulieu in Hampshire and Liverpool on Merseyside.  

Landscape Artist of the Year is hosted by Stephen Mangan, with Tai Shan Schierenberg, Kathleen Soriano and Kate Bryan on the judging panel.   

Landscape Artist of the Year was commissioned by Phil Edgar-Jones, Director of Sky Arts and Entertainment for Zai Bennett, Managing Director of Content for Sky UK and Ireland. The Commissioning Editor for Sky is Benedetta Pinelli. The series is produced by Storyvault Films; Executive Producers are Danielle Graham, Samantha Richards and Stuart Prebble.  

Jessica Bradford, Head of Collections & Principal Curator at the Science Museum, said: “We were thrilled to collaborate with Sky Arts and set the 2024 prize commission for this year’s Landscape Artist of the Year winner. Throughout history, artists have captured the transformative impact of science and technology, on our lives and across our landscapes, and we look forward to welcoming visitors and fans to the museum to see Popham’s painting of Orkney in person. In it she brilliantly tells the story of the island’s pioneering renewable energy industry, while expressing its bracing beauty, dynamic weather systems and exquisite and ever-changing light. The scene is both bucolic and charged with energy, giving us a strong sense of how the island and its residents have embraced renewables.” 

Landscape Artist of the Year is available on Sky Arts, Freeview Channel 36, and streaming service NOW   

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