The pick of the class of '94: 10,000 slides and six days later, the judges of the British Telecom New Contemporaries competition have picked six artists to watch. By Dalya Alberge

After three and a half days of looking at 10,000 slides of works of art, and a further three days examining a shortlist of 30 of the most promising, the judges of this year's British Telecom New Contemporaries competition, one of Britain's leading showcases for new talent, have emerged with a list of six winners, each of whom will receive pounds 1,000.

Selected by Rachel Whiteread, winner of the 1993 Turner Prize, Patricia Bickers, editor of Art Monthly, and Barry Barker, a curator, the winners follow in the footsteps of artists such as Frank Auerbach and Howard Hodgkin. Both were discovered through this event, first held in 1949.

Choosing from the work of 1,000 students or recent graduates of art schools nation-wide, the judges each came up with the same six names on their shortlist. Or rather, they didn't. All the entrants were judged anonymously. The judges didn't know the artist's age, gender or college. 'We looked for works that showed conviction,' explains Whiteread. Above all, says Barker, they looked for works that hit them with the same intensity as the first paragraph of a good short story. They applauded the idea of having six winners - so much fairer than putting one artist on a pedestal above all others.

Among them was Fiona Banner, 27, who graduated from Goldsmiths' MA course last September, after six years of study that has included Kingston Polytechnic and Camberwell. Her entry was inspired by The Hunt for Red October, the 1990 film adaptation of Tom Clancy's novel about a runaway Soviet nuclear submarine. Her work is a blow-by-blow account of the film, handwritten in pencil across a sheet of paper some 12 metres long. 'That's what most people are interested in,' she says, 'the physical endeavour of having written all that.' The mass of text is displayed so that it is reflected in eight panels of blown-up images of an Airfix Trident submarine. As she was using a 'political' film, she was making 'statements', 'but I don't like to talk about them.'

The judges were moved by 24-year-old Franke Eigen's black and white photographs - close-ups of a building torched in a racial attack on a Vietnamese family in Berlin. Images by this Royal College of Art student are enlarged so that a blistering wall looks like splattered blood or tear-drops. 'Very beautiful,' says Bickers.

It was the Alice in Wonderland quality of a video by Lucy Gunning, 29, that earned her recognition. This Goldsmiths' student filmed a young girl in a party frock climbing round a room without letting her feet touch the ground. The trio found it both sentimental and sinister. Videos by Nick Harris, 30, a graduate of Sheffield Hallam University, were judged to be 'haunting and unforgettable'. He synchronised a musical soundtrack to match the speed of the action - film images of children in a playground. And paintings with indecipherable jottings scratched into their surfaces by Dez Lawrence, 23, a graduate of Glasgow School of Art, were an example, they agreed, of work with 'conviction'.

The adjudicators seemed most taken with the trapeze piece by Diana Lorenzo Saxby, 26, in her third year at Goldsmiths. This mixed-media installation involves two projectors linked by a tape-loop: as the minute-long tape revolves, two images of a performing trapeze artist are projected on to opposite walls. They are the same image, but one is life-size, the other no larger than a postcard. The tape-loop links the projectors like a trapeze wire, 'it is part of the fragility of the piece, the riskiness', says Lorenzo.

For the chosen few, this is a chance to be seen nation-wide, and beyond college walls - 'which can be very restrictive and safe', as Lorenzo puts it. 'I've been floating in space since I heard the news,' she adds. 'But I don't want to get too high. I've got a degree show to prepare.'

BT New Contemporaries: Camden Arts Centre, London, NW3, 6 May-12 June. Then, Manchester, Bristol, Edinburgh, Aberystwyth, Bradford.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
Arts and Entertainment

film
Arts and Entertainment
Chvrches lead singer Lauren Mayberry in the band's new video 'Leave a Trace'

music
Arts and Entertainment

music
Arts and Entertainment
Home on the raunch: George Bisset (Aneurin Barnard), Lady Seymour Worsley (Natalie Dormer) and Richard Worsley (Shaun Evans)

TV review
Arts and Entertainment

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Strictly Come Dancing was watched by 6.9m viewers

Strictly
Arts and Entertainment
NWA biopic Straight Outta Compton

film
Arts and Entertainment
Natalie Dormer as Margaery Tyrell and Lena Headey as Cersei Lannister in Game of Thrones

Game of Thrones
Arts and Entertainment
New book 'The Rabbit Who Wants To Fall Asleep' by Carl-Johan Forssen Ehrlin

books
Arts and Entertainment
Calvi is not afraid of exploring the deep stuff: loneliness, anxiety, identity, reinvention
music
Arts and Entertainment
Edinburgh solo performers Neil James and Jessica Sherr
comedy
Arts and Entertainment
If a deal to buy tBeats, founded by hip-hop star Dr Dre (pictured) and music producer Jimmy Iovine went through, it would be Apple’s biggest ever acquisition

album review
Arts and Entertainment
Paloma Faith is joining The Voice as a new coach

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Dowton Abbey has been pulling in 'telly tourists', who are visiting Highclere House in Berkshire

TV
Arts and Entertainment

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Patriot games: Vic Reeves featured in ‘Very British Problems’
TV review
Arts and Entertainment
film review
Arts and Entertainment
Summer nights: ‘Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp’
TVBut what do we Brits really know about them?
Arts and Entertainment
Dr Michael Mosley is a game presenter

TV review
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    A nap a day could save your life - and here's why

    A nap a day could save your life

    A midday nap is 'associated with reduced blood pressure'
    If men are so obsessed by sex, why do they clam up when confronted with the grisly realities?

    If men are so obsessed by sex...

    ...why do they clam up when confronted with the grisly realities?
    The comedy titans of Avalon on their attempt to save BBC3

    Jon Thoday and Richard Allen-Turner

    The comedy titans of Avalon on their attempt to save BBC3
    The bathing machine is back... but with a difference

    Rolling in the deep

    The bathing machine is back but with a difference
    Part-privatised tests, new age limits, driverless cars: Tories plot motoring revolution

    Conservatives plot a motoring revolution

    Draft report reveals biggest reform to regulations since driving test introduced in 1935
    The Silk Roads that trace civilisation: Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places

    The Silk Roads that trace civilisation

    Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places
    House of Lords: Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled

    The honours that shame Britain

    Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled
    When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race

    'When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race'

    Why are black men living the stereotypes and why are we letting them get away with it?
    International Tap Festival: Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic

    International Tap Festival comes to the UK

    Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic
    War with Isis: Is Turkey's buffer zone in Syria a matter of self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

    Turkey's buffer zone in Syria: self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

    Ankara accused of exacerbating racial division by allowing Turkmen minority to cross the border
    Doris Lessing: Acclaimed novelist was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show

    'A subversive brothel keeper and Communist'

    Acclaimed novelist Doris Lessing was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show
    Big Blue Live: BBC's Springwatch offshoot swaps back gardens for California's Monterey Bay

    BBC heads to the Californian coast

    The Big Blue Live crew is preparing for the first of three episodes on Sunday night, filming from boats, planes and an aquarium studio
    Austin Bidwell: The Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England with the most daring forgery the world had known

    Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England

    Conman Austin Bidwell. was a heartless cad who carried out the most daring forgery the world had known
    Car hacking scandal: Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked

    Car hacking scandal

    Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked
    10 best placemats

    Take your seat: 10 best placemats

    Protect your table and dine in style with a bold new accessory