Hereford College of Arts BA (Hons) Fine Art Graduate Tottie Aarvold who was included in a shortlist of 21 artists for The Signature Art Prize 2018/19 scooped the winners award in a Gala Exhibition at Bankside Hotel on London’s Southbank on 31 January.

The Signature Art Prize, founded by DegreeArt is the UK’s only art prize dedicated to emerging artists. Tottie’s piece ‘Behind Closed Doors’ which was taken in Art Gallery, Lisbon, was selected by a diverse panel of expert judges in the ‘Photography and Film’ category.

Tottie joined HCA on The Portfolio Course before progressing on to the BA (Hons) Fine Art degree. She studied part-time, totalling a 7-year journey during which she gained confidence and a style of her own.

Her work is very personal and involves self-exploration. Having worked as a psychotherapist for many years, she creates a story, an uncertainty and psychological confusion in her work. She aims to create pathos and loss and likes to ask questions, to create an emotional response.

Tottie, on winning her award said, ‘I am thrilled to have won the photography and film section in the Signature Art Prize from over 500 entries from around the world. I would highly recommend Hereford College of Arts as a friendly, vibrant College with good facilities, individual studio space and great input from tutors. This is a great start to my career as a practising artist and the award will help get my work known nationally and internationally.”

Commenting on the winning piece, Milo Dickinson, Associate Director of Christie’s said, “The stillness of the images and the mystery that provokes reminds me of Hammershoi. You are immediately placed into the image, but you are wary, and it feels like you are in an uncomfortable memory. It is a very thoughtful piece.”

The prize includes representation with Artellite, a finalist exhibition at London City Island’s Trinity Art Gallery from 13 February and a further exhibition in central London in June 2019.