UK Young Artists is delighted to announce the artists selected to represent the UK at the Biennale of Young Artists of Europe and the Mediterranean (BJCEM). The artists were selected at UKYA's National Festival in Derby, Nov 2016 by our expert selection panel: Justin Hibbs, Michelle Bowen, and members of the UKYA board who represent our four partner universities. 

This year's international multidisciplinary event takes place in Tirana and Durrës, Albania from 4-9 May. It will bring together around 230 Euro-Mediterranean artists. The aims of this international network are to create opportunities for young artists to enable mobility, exchange, mutual understanding, intercultural dialogue, collaboration and training. Take a look at the Mediterranea 18 website for more info.

The selected artists are:


(Born 1993, Northampton. Live and works in London) works with sculpture, drawing, installation, film and digital technology. 

By exploring the blurring of the physical and digital worlds, his practice often encourages the viewer to engage, rethink and spend time with the work and participate in its performance and delivery. Ant has exhibited both nationally and internationally in notable exhibitions at Zabludowicz Collection, London (2017), Festival Miden, Greece (2016) Benzie Building, Manchester (2016) FACT, Liverpool (2015) neo:artprize, Bolton (2015) Ant has completed both private and public commissions for FACT and Manchester School of Art, he is currently studying MA Fine Art at Chelsea College of Art where he is the 2016/17 recipient of the Cecil Lewis Sculpture Scholarship.


Conor graduated from Sheffield Hallam University 2014 and one of his degree pieces was selected for the John Moores Painting Prize. Conor has also had work exhibited in Sheffield (Millennium Gallery) and the (Scottish queen), Manchester and New York with Paper Gallery. In 2015 he was selected for the Bloomberg New Contemporaries which toured from Nottingham to London’s Institute of Contemporary Arts. In 2016 he has recently exhibited in ‘Utopia Deferred’ as a member of a trio of John Moores Alumni touring from Hull’s (Artlink Gallery) to Liverpool’s (Corke Gallery).


Maryam Tafakory (b. Iran) is an artist filmmaker living and working in London. Her work draws on the notion of ‘personal as political’ in a fractured narrative that involves a subtle negotiation between factual and fiction, exploring allegorical forms of visual narrative, using abstracted, symbolic and textual motifs and their on-screen representation.Her work is screened and exhibited internationally including, Rotterdam International Film Festival, Edinburgh International Film Festival, Zurich Film Festiva, Internationales KurzFilmFestival Hamburg, ICA London, British Film Institute, Jihlava International Documentary Film Festival, Barbican Centre London, Ciné Lumière Institut Français, London Short Film Festival, ritish Animation Awards, Bloomberg New Contemporaries and BBC Three.


Described by BBC Sunday Politics as "the voice of a generation", Toby Campion's unapologetic words and wit have inspired audiences from Glastonbury to the Royal Albert Hall. An award winning playwright and poet, Toby performs his poetry across the country and has been featured on national networks including BBC1, BBC Radio 4 and E4. UK representative at a number of international poetry tournaments and projects, including Capturing Fire and The Next Generation Speaks, Toby produces the UK National University Poetry Slam & Summit and co-runs Midlands poetry night, Find the Right Words, as well as facilitating writing workshops across a range of settings.


Jamal is a self taught dancer from a small area of Nottingham called St Ann’s. Typically labeled as an area of hard work, low pay and high crime rates St Ann’s is actually a place of highly talented people that resides within the heart of its community. Jamal got to know people from all parts of St Ann’s through his father’s place of work: community recording studio. which is the heart of the area for all artists. It’s people’s stories that inspire his art form, and the emotional rawness of its people that makes his art so heartfelt.

Jamal will be collaborating with Sadegh to create a new piece of performance following their meeting and collaborating at UKYA Derby Festival 2016.


Sadegh Aleahmad’s artistic endeavor and his life long pursue of an alternative understanding of knowledge and its production stems from many issues across the cultural and philosophical platforms rooting in his history as a former devout Iranian Muslim who was brought up by a unique fusion between Classical Islamic philosophy, and an Islamised version of western rationalism in post-revolutionary Iran. Later being fascinated in Physics and scientific methodology as a model for his own understanding of the universe and himself, resulted in studying Physics at BSc level.
He is currently studying PhD in Fine Art at Kingston University and aiming to finish by September 2017.

Laura Evans