Monday, March 09, 2020

How to watch heats of Portrait Artist of the Year 2021

The Heats of Sky Arts Portrait Artist of the Year 2021 are being held at Battersea Arts Centre starting later this month. 

How to watch the Heats of Portrait Artist of the Year 2021


You can attend and watch the Heats of Portrait Artist of the Year 2021 being filmed. That's 
  • 8 televised Heats 
  • 24 celebrity sitters
  • 72 professional and amateur portrait artists
Dates: 24th March - 2nd April 2020 (weekdays only) i.e. 
  • Heat 1 – Tuesday 24th March 2020 
  • Heat 2 – Wednesday 25th March 2020 
  • Heat 3 - Thursday 26th March 2020 
  • Heat 4 – Friday 27th March 2020 
  • Heat 5 – Monday 30th March 2020 
  • Heat 6 – Tuesday 31st March 2020 
  • Heat 7 - Wednesday 1st April 2020 
  • Heat 8 - Thursday 2nd April 2020
Hours: Doors open to the public from 9am
Admission: FREE and all are welcome. (Including step free access and an accessible toilet)

More details can be found on the Battersea Arts Centre website.
Important informationBy attending these events you give full consent for yourself, and any children who may accompany you, to be shown in the final broadcast.Please note that unfortunately there is no facility to accommodate large bags in the hall and no cloakroom facilities.


Some tips for those attending

  • There is nowhere to hang a coat - so think carefully about what to wear, especially if there is a big difference between temperatures inside and outside!
  • You cannot bring large bags or buggies into the Hall (see image below for exactly what is prohibited)
  • The artists paint for 4 hours maximum over a six hour day - so if planning to be there all day, nothing will be happening for quite a bit of the time. I'd recommend coming for a morning or an afternoon unless you are a big fan of the programme and you want the whole experience!
  • There is a LOT of standing around - all day. 
  • Most people come and go. You've got to be pretty dedicated - or friends and/or family - to stay all day. 
  • Kids are allowed in the building but there is no creche, no buggy facilities and they are filming a TV programme! The expectation seems to be that parents will be sensible and kids will be kept under control at all times (i.e. it's not a playspace). Parents who brought kids made sure they had drawing kit to keep them occupied and quiet - which seemed to work.
  • It's pretty crowded in the middle of the day - and less so either end.  Moving around can become a bit of an obstacle course at times - and you have to be alert when navigating groups of people, cameras and their operators and kids sprawled on the floor drawing the sitter!
  • There is a cafe near the front of the building but everybody heads for it at the same time so 
    • either long queues for food and drink 
    • or get fed and watered outside the official lunch break
    • or bring your own (there are numerous places to buy food and drink between station and BAC - plus a supermarket around the corner)
  • You can stay to find out who gets shortlisted. It's a very long filming day and it tends to be down to family and friends after that....


How to get to Battersea Arts centre


This Google Map shows you the location
PLUS this is BAC definition of how to get to it.

You can use the Google Map to estimate the length of time from your start point to the centre. Select the Directions arrow and input your start point and choose the mode of travel.



BY TRAIN - Battersea Arts Centre is 7 minute walk from Clapham Junction station. There are direct trains from Waterloo and Victoria, and Clapham Junction is on the Overground route from East London. 
BY TUBE - The closest Underground stations to Battersea Arts Centre are Clapham Common (Northern line) and Stockwell (Victoria line) These stations are approximately a 15-20 minute bus journey away. The 345 bus departs from outside both stations and stops outside Battersea Arts Centre. 
BY BUS - Routes 345, 77, 87 and 156 stop on Lavender Hill outside Battersea Arts Centre. 
BY BIKE - You'll find bike racks in front of our building, and you can plan your cycle route using TFL Journey Planner
Most roads around Battersea Arts Centre have residential and restricted parking between the hours of 8am and 6:30pm, Monday to Saturday.

I recommend that those chosen as portrait artists - and those visiting the Heats to watch - all allow PLENTY of time to get there. 
  • There's a Premier Inn and a Travel Lodge nearby offering economical overnight stays
  • Artists may also want to invest in something on wheels to move their kit!

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