ARTiculation is a nationally acclaimed public speaking initiative designed to promote the appreciation and discussion of visual culture. ARTiculation engages young people aged between 14 and 23, regardless of background or experience, with art and develops their confidence and ability to express their opinions, thoughts and conclusions.
As part of the annual ARTiculation Prize for those aged between 16 and 19, students are invited to each deliver a ten-minute presentation to an audience about a work of art, architecture or an artefact. Adjudicators are asked to assess each presentation as a whole, looking at content, structure, delivery and the speaker’s original approach and unique potential.
Schools are required to hold Internal School Heats to select a student to represent their school at Regional Final which take place at museums and galleries across the country.
Find out more about the ARTiculation Programme:
ARTiculation Prize 2019 Winner Zach Taylor (Abbey Grange Academy, Leeds) filmed his award-winning talk on Rembrandt at the National Gallery with HENI Talks. Zach is the only sixth form student to have ever filmed with HENI Talks, who have created films with such experts as Martin Kemp, James Fox and Caroline Campbell. Zach was awarded Grand Final First Prize by Dr Tristram Hunt (Director V&A) at Clare College, Cambridge on 1 March 2019. Dr Tristram Hunt called his presentation ‘a stunning account’ of the artist. See it below:
‘ARTiculation is changing the future of British art criticism for the best’ – Antony Gormley
ARTiculation was established 13 years ago by Madeleine Bessborough, Director of New Art Centre and Lucy Salisbury, Head of Roche Court Educational Trust in partnership with the Head of History of Art at Winchester College, Laurence Wolff. Originally the competition was conceived as a tribute to the Art Historian Kenneth Clark, in honour of his commitment to the study and promotion of the arts. The ARTiculation Prize has been designed to give young people a forum in which they are able to express their ideas on art.
In 2006 several local schools were invited to Roche Court to deliver their ARTiculation presentations to an audience of their peers and an adjudicator. Three years later ARTiculation partnered with the University of Cambridge and became a national competition. The Finals take place at Clare College, Cambridge where adjudicators have included Antony Gormley, Hannah Rothschild, Jon Snow and Edmund de Waal.
Every year we work with over 50 museums, galleries, universities and arts associations to develop ARTiculation. Around 4,000 young people a year take part in 10 regions in England, four in Scotland and four in Ireland. ARTiculation Italy was launched in partnership with the British Council in 2016.
Working closely with our partners, sponsors and universities, the ARTiculation outreach programme introduces new schools to the competition. As a result of our outreach programme, an equal balance of state maintained and independent schools take part throughout the competition and ARTiculation is recognised as a level playing field for young people to take part on.
ARTiculation is well placed to highlight Higher Education and career opportunities to students. We instigate opportunities for young people to talk to universities about the admission process, to gain work experience in arts organisations and to talk to professionals about career pathways. Students use ARTicualtion to support their A-Levels, Personal Statements, C.V., EPQ Awards, Arts Awards and Duke of Edinburgh Awards.
University admission tutors and exam moderators recognise ARTiculation for the rigorous research, communication and presentation skills that it represents.
ARTiculation was recognised in the national media when the competition was made the subject of the BBC’s Culture Show presented by Alistair Sooke. ARTiculation students are invited to present at History of Art conferences, teachers events and in magazines and journals because ARTiculation is recognised for representing the voice of articulate, thoughtful young people.
We are continuously evolving. ARTiculation is introduced to pupils at a younger age through Discover ARTiculation, we are extending the competition to underrepresented areas. We are providing more resources and workshops to support teachers and students and we are working with partners to raise the profile of art in schools.
We are proud of our ARTiculation Alumni who tell us how their participation in ARTiculation allowed them to seek new opportunities and develop their ideas about studying arts subjects. We work to find opportunities for ARTiculation alumni such as work experience in arts organisations, presenting their talks at conferences and developing their presentations into written articles.
In December 2016 we launched the ARTiculation Alumni Network at an event in London. It was a fantastic evening where alumni from the past 10 years of ARTiculation gathered. The ARTiculation blog is a place for alumni to share their experiences, their practice, ideas and opinions.
If you have taken part in ARTiculation, please get in touch to join our network of young people interested, or involved, in the arts.
Zach Taylor from Abbey Grange Academy won first place in 2019, said:
I’ve gained so much confidence over the whole process in who I am and how I express myself. In seeking to understand these artists and their work, I have also found myself to be passionate about articulating what underlies our common humanity. The competition has been formative in shaping my outlook and hopes for the future. I’m thrilled to have secured work experience placement at the National Galleries of Scotland this summer and will be applying to study History of Art at university.
Molly Nickson from Townley Grammar won first place in 2013, said:
It was ARTiculation which helped to settle me on the track of studying History of Art at university. I’m now in my first year at Oxford, having taken a fine art foundation course. I’m enjoying my course for its broad-minded approach and the emphasis placed on looking and describing; it’s also a subject in which your opinion is challenged at literally every turn.
Izzy Tennant from Bury St Edmunds County Upper School won first place in 2012, said:
For me, ARTiculation was a really important catalyst for thinking about art and politics together. The relationship, and often non-relationship, between making and theory are incredibly complicated and endlessly fascinating. For this reason I chose to study a joint honours degree in Fine Art and History of Art at Goldsmiths University as opposed to either one or the other. This is one of the best decisions I have made.
ARTiculation relies on support from private donations, trusts and foundations. We are extremely grateful for their support which has been instrumental in ARTiculation’s development.
In 2020 ARTiculation events in England are held in partnership with these museums and galleries