We are pleased to announce the winner of this year’s Stewarts Prize, following the RA Schools Show exhibition opening event on Thursday 13 June.

Each year, a selection committee made up of lawyers and staff from across our departments visits the Royal Academy of Arts to view the work of each of the graduating class before the exhibition opens. The committee then votes to select a winner of the Stewarts Prize.

We are now pleased to confirm that Fungai Benhura has been selected as the winner for 2024. Like previous winners, Fungai will receive funding to help establish his career after three years of study on the RA Schools programme.

Fungai said: “I’m thrilled to be selected as the winner of this year’s Stewarts Prize. I want to thank Stewarts for providing financial support as I take the next steps in my career after graduating from the RA Schools, and for giving me this opportunity to exhibit my work in their offices.”

Managing Partner Stuart Dench commented: “I’m delighted that Fungai has been selected for the Stewarts Prize, as unanimously agreed by the Stewarts selection committee. His work is striking and powerful. Our huge congratulations to Fungai and we look forward to exhibiting some of his work in our office later this year.”


Fungai Benhura: this year’s winner

Fungai was born in Zimbabwe, and earned his BA degree from Camberwell University of the Arts London. He completed the Royal Academy’s art and architecture programme for young people in 2010, and cited this as the moment he realised the importance of other artists’ influences on his own craft. After time spent pursuing alternative careers including an IT apprenticeship he eventually returned to the RA and began the Schools programme in 2021.

Having undergone surgery aged 24 and following an 18-month recovery, Fungai returned to painting following the prompting of his school teacher and mentor Theokritos Papadopoulos. After completing an art foundation at Morley College he progressed to the Camberwell College of Arts, where he also delivered workshops as part of the schools outreach programme.

Fungai says of his art: “My work is made up of multiple layers of different materials with each one being significant as it is representing a history that’s being rediscovered. This is like constructing a building only to destroy it to reveal the various materials that have been used to erect it. In the case of my work, the end product is surprisingly much more visually attractive.

“My choice of materials tends to be indiscriminate thereby making the experience to the build-up to the painting process an exciting one. I usually gather whatever materials that are available including cut outs of posters, paper, tissue paper, Indian ink, oil pastels, metal panels, beer cans, coffee sacks or anything else I can utilise. Many materials I use are not my own choice but a creative challenge.”


About RA Schools Show 2024

The RA Schools Show 2024 presents the work of 11 contemporary artists graduating from the Royal Academy Schools this year. The works covers a range of disciplines including painting, print, performance art, sculpture and moving image.

The RA Schools has been integral to the Royal Academy since its foundation in 1769 and offers up to 17 artists each year the opportunity to participate in a free, three-year postgraduate programme.



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