The Signature Art Prize 2019
Somerset House, New Wing
Strand, London, WC2R 1LA
United Kingdom




Tel: (+44) 020 3701 7411

The Signature Art Prize is administered by Artellite Ltd, the UK leader in contemporary, affordable art created by the finest emerging artists. 

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We are fortunate enough to have a completely diverse panel whose expertise span the art industry. Each are able to use their own area of knowledge to offer a unique insight into what they believe makes a piece of artwork stand out above others.


Our judges will come together after the competition closes to select 5 finalists from each category, whom they believe display the most skill and promise through their piece.


Prior to joining Bonhams, Dessa was a Research Fellow in Chinese Archaeology at the Toyo Bunka Kenkyujo, part of the University of Tokyo. She is a graduate of the Inter-University Centre for Advanced Japanese in Tokyo, a Stanford University-based programme, and interned in the Painting and Calligraphy Department at the National Palace Museum, Taipei.


Dessa attended Harvard University as a graduate student, where she studied under Professor Max Loehr and John Rosenfield. She holds a B.A. in Art History from Northwestern University, a Master's degree in Asian Art, and a Ph.D. in Chinese History from the University of California, Berkeley. One of North America's leading experts in her field, Dessa speaks Mandarin Chinese and Japanese. She travels and lectures widely throughout the US on topics in Chinese art and has focused her recent research on the growth of philanthropy and urban culture, with a specific eye to the history of Asian art collecting in America. She regularly appears on PBS's Antiques Roadshow.


James has a long association with business and the arts. Prior to his semi–retirement he was a director of Science Limited, which managed the affairs and business activities of contemporary artist Damien Hirst. During his time at Science he played a key role in projects such as the creation of Newport Street, Hirst’s gallery, which won the 2016 Stirling Prize for UK’s best building. He also was involved in significant elements of the artist’s epic Treasures exhibition that opened to acclaim in 2016. James retired from full time employment with Science and now provides commercial and strategic advice to businesses within the art world through his consultancy. He acts as a Non-Executive Director to a number of businesses which included Bonhams auction house until its sale. He is currently a Trustee of the City and Guilds of London Art School.  Previously, he spent more than 20 years as a partner at the international Chartered Accountants, Rawlinson & Hunter, where his clients included a number of artists, galleries, auction houses and other art related businesses.


Vestalia is  a cultural strategist, where she develop synergies between artists, organisations, cities, councils and commercial clients to create ‘win-win’ partnerships. In 2011, Vestalia  founded the Attollo Art. Where her role became cultural director, which entailed explore potential for connectivity through the creative industries by encouraging co-collaboration and co-funding between private and public sectors.

Some of our most recent projects include Kensington + Chelsea Art Week, Urban Art at Marrakech Biennale 6th Edition, BritWeek LA, Fine Art Sails, The Croydon Mural Project, The Exhibitionist Hotel in South Kensington and a pioneering AirBnB Gallery offering art spaces and place-making opportunities for emerging artists. ​



A driving force in the arts community, Minnesota received more than $3 million in commissions from Minneapolis-St. Paul Airport during Robyne’s tenure as Art Director and Consultant for Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport. Her work has garnered praise from The New York Times, Forecast Public Art and international travel bloggers, who in 2017 proclaimed MSP Terminal 2 “One of the 12 Most Beautiful Terminals in the World”.    

Robyne created an international Emmy-winning platform for Minnesota arts during her years as a news anchor-reporter, and made arts finance and commerce one of her key initiatives as a 2010 candidate for Lt. Governor.  She owned and curated flatland, an award winning contemporary art gallery featured in esteemed art publications such as Art News and Juxtapoz.   Robyne has served on numerous arts boards including the Walker Art Center and Minneapolis College of Art and Design (MCAD).  She is also a Hubert Humphrey Public Policy Fellow at the University of Minnesota.


London based artist, Luke M Walker, graduated City & Guilds Of London Art School in 2014 with an MA in Fine Art. Luke views his practice as an inquiry into memory, time, distance and materiality with each series of works being an opportunity to discover something new, through experimentation, exploration, chance, the collection of data and other records of his personal progress through the environment, whether a city or somewhere further afield. It is an attempt to discover the role of a Landscape Artist today.Much of his work derives from exploration, primarily through walking. This can involve collecting specific data on walks; the length, the pace, the altitude or number of steps etc. and translating the data into a painting which become physical representations of the momentary act of walking itself.


Luke is a co-founder of The Wilderness Art Collective, bringing together a diverse range of artists from across the UK who’s work explores the Landscape and Environment. Their inaugural exhibition ‘Landlines’ at the Royal Geographical Society in September 2019 and the show will now be touring.



Helen Gørrill’s collages explore ideas about time, history and reality; using contemporary imagery that juxtaposes with the Old Masters she sets out to reappropriate. Her new artwork focuses on vandalising old masters and reviving art historical portraits through photo bombing and incorporating elements from contemporary sub-cultures, and often incorporates media such as lipstick, eyeliner and human hair. Within this context, the striking images hover between the 17thcentury and today’s climate of uncertainty; the deliberately defaced portraits by old masters refuse to become the passive objects they once were. Helen Gørrill's collaged and painted portraits have been commissioned from prestigious clients such as the new Bankside Hotel adj. Tate Modern in London








Mengyao Guo is a multidiciplinary and mixed media artist currently based in Shanghai. Guo never confines the media employed in her practices as long as they are conducive towards creative and provocative ideas. This means that her artwork could range from a painting, to an installation, and a pop-up event. During her graduate studies at Chelsea College of Arts of the University of the Arts London, Guo traveled to Iceland, Netherlands, Switzerland, and Japan. Her works became deeply informed by each place she visited, and evolved into a personal archive, as well as her approach to communicating with a different geographic and cultural landscape.