Guest blog by Rosie Murdock, RSPB NI Communications Officer

RSPB NI's Artist of the Year Competition 2021

RSPB Northern Ireland is looking for its Artists of the Year 2021

Competition theme 

Could you paint for nature, crochet for climate or sculpt for sustainability?

RSPB NI is working hard to raise awareness and find solutions to the nature and climate emergency both here in Northern Ireland and across the globe.

We recognise that throughout history big changes have been made by small groups of passionate people making their voices heard for a cause they believe in and the nature and climate emergency is the defining issue of our time.   

This is a pivotal year for nature in the UK with COP26, a crucial global summit on the climate crisis, being held in Glasgow in November and that is why we want you to ‘canvas' for nature by showing us your vision for the future of Northern Ireland.

Over the years, artists have explored and documented history and politics to huge effect. This competition builds on the idea of activist art, a term used to describe art that is grounded in the act of ‘doing’ to address political or social issues. It aims to give a platform to a range of voices showing those in power why they should address the nature and climate emergency before it’s too late.  

If you believe in this too, help us to Revive Our World, by sharing your vision of a better Northern Ireland, free from the threat of nature loss and climate change.  

Competition brief (all age groups)

RSPB NI, in partnership with TEDxStormont Countdown and renowned visual artist Colin Davidson, is calling on aspiring artists to join us and create for nature.   

The Artist of the Year competition is encouraging everyone - from beginners to budding artists - to illustrate a nature-rich and climate-safe future for Northern Ireland. 

There are no restrictions on the type of artwork, it can be anything from sketching to painting, from sculpture to print-making.    


Colin Davidson, the world-renowned contemporary visual artist 

Joanne Sherwood, Director, RSPB Northern Ireland 

Eva Grosman, Curator, TEDxStormont 

The winners of the competition will be named RSPB NI Artist of the Year and RSPB NI Young Artists of the year in each youth category on the 21st of August.  

The winning artworks will also be displayed in Stormont at the TEDxStormont countdown event in November 2021.   


There are four categories for submissions:   

Artist of the Year   
Adults (18+)  

Young Artists of the Year  
Under 8s  

Deadline for submission is 11:59pm, 20 July, 2021  

How to enter:  

Email a photograph of your completed artwork to with the heading ‘'Canvasing for Nature Competition''. 

Please include your name, phone number, and contact email address, and include the age of the entrant on the day they completed their work in the email.    

For all entries in the under 8s, 8-11, 12-17 categories, a parent or guardian must include their name and contact details as well as the name and age of all entrants.  

Terms and Conditions

This competition is open to all UK residents except any employee of or person directly connected with the RSPB and their immediate family members. Proof of age may be required.   

Applicants under 18 must get consent from their parent(s) or legal guardian(s) before entering the competition. The parent(s) or legal guardian(s) of applicants under 18 agree to the Rules and Terms and Conditions on behalf of the applicants.   

The competition is free to enter and no purchase is necessary.   

The RSPB must receive entries by 11:59pm on Tuesday 20th July 2021. Any entry which is late, incomplete or inappropriate will be deemed invalid at the discretion of the RSPB.   

The RSPB accepts no responsibility for damaged or lost entries.   

The judges shall assess the entries and one winner and two runners-up from each age category (under 8, 8-11, 12-17, 18+) will be selected. The judges’ decisions shall be final. No correspondence regarding the results will be entered into.   

The winners and runners-up will be announced on 21 August 2021 and will be notified by email or telephone (using the details provided at entry) within 21 days of a decision being made and must provide a postal and/or email address to claim their prize. If a winner or runner-up does not respond to the RSPB within 21 days of being notified by the RSPB, then they will forfeit their prize and a replacement winner or runner-up will be selected from the other applicants. The prize is non-exchangeable, non-transferable and no cash alternative is offered. The RSPB reserves the right to replace the prize with an alternative prize of equal or higher value if necessary. The winner's name may be published on all competition press and social media and any use of the artwork will be credited to the artist in line with RSPB’s credit and permissions guidelines. 

The RSPB reserves the right to refuse entry or to refuse to award the prize to anyone in breach of the Rules or the Terms and Conditions or the spirit of the Rules or the Terms and Conditions.   

By submitting an entry, you agree to be legally bound by the Rules and these Terms and Conditions.   

Any entry must be your original work and it must not infringe the rights of third parties including copyright, trade mark, trade secrets, privacy, publicity, personal or proprietary rights. In addition, all entries must be produced legally without trespassing on any land and no wildlife or habitats should be harmed, put at risk or unduly disturbed in the process.   

Full copyright title shall be retained by the author of any entry. By submitting any entry to the RSPB (including any text, photographs, graphics, video or audio), you agree to grant the RSPB a perpetual, royalty-free, non-exclusive, sub-licensable right and worldwide license to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, publish, translate, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, display and exercise all publicity rights with respect to your entry, and/or to incorporate your entry in other works, in any media now known or later developed for the full term of any rights that may exist in your entry, and in accordance with privacy restrictions set out in the RSPB’s Privacy Policy.   

By submitting an entry, you agree to waive any moral rights contained in your entry. Any entry you provide shall be non-confidential.   

By submitting an entry, you agree the RSPB may use the material for any purpose and in any way it chooses, including, but not limited to, marketing, publicity, advertising and presentations.   

The RSPB (including its subsidiaries, agents or distributors) shall not be liable for any direct, indirect or consequential loss or damage or for any costs, claims or demands of any nature whatsoever arising directly or indirectly out of the use of your entry or any part thereof.   

Insofar as is permitted by law, the RSPB (including its subsidiaries, agents or distributors) will not in any circumstances be responsible or liable to compensate the winner or accept any liability for any loss, damage, personal injury or death occurring as a result of taking up the prize, except where it is caused by the negligence of the RSPB, its subsidiaries, agents or distributors or that of their employees. Your statutory rights are not affected.   

You agree to indemnify the RSPB (and its subsidiaries) against any claim from any third party for any breach of the Rules or these Terms and Conditions.   

The RSPB reserves the right to update the Rules and these Terms and Conditions from time to time and any updated version will be effective as soon as it is published. 

The RSPB takes your privacy very seriously; we will only use your personal information in accordance with the terms of these Terms and Conditions and the RSPB’s Privacy Policy. By submitting an entry, you confirm that you have read and agree to the terms of our Privacy Policy.   

Any personal data submitted will be held securely and in accordance with the Data Protection Act 2018. Personal data supplied may be passed on to third party suppliers only insofar as required for fulfilment/delivery/arrangement of the prize.  

The winner may be required to participate in publicity related to the competition which may include the publication of their name and photograph/ video in any media. You agree that your personal data may be used for this purpose.   

For the avoidance of doubt, by submitting your entry you warrant that all persons featured in your entry have given you their express consent for their image, video/ voice or other details to be used and, in the case of vulnerable adults or persons under 18 years of age, you warrant that you have obtained express consent from their parent(s) or legal guardian(s).   

This competition is governed by English law and English Courts have exclusive jurisdiction.   

The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (the 'RSPB') is a registered charity in England & Wales no. 207076 and in Scotland no. SC037654 whose registered address is at the Lodge, Sandy, Bedfordshire SG19 2DL