Hidden Earth Art Salon

The competition is open to all artists who produce artwork relating to cave or mine exploration and to sites underground. Pure photography is excluded as there is a separate competition and salon for this. Entries will be judged by a panel of three judges. The entries will also be judged for their popular appeal by a ballot of conference delegates. In addition to paintings, drawings, and artists' prints, we like to receive a wide range of work in a wide variety of media, such as sculpture, pottery, rugs, embroidery, stained glass, and modern conceptual work.

Large-scale work is welcome and sculpture that is bigger than table-top is acceptable, if you supply a plinth. Work should be 'dressed' for display: paintings should be framed; unframed canvases should have have tidy sides with no staples showing. Cartoons should be mounted on card and not just bits of paper.

Alongside the Art Salon there will be a "Gallery of Wit". All those who venture into the realms of humorous drawings are invited to exhibit the product of their artistic imaginations. There will be a delegate ballot for the best cartoon, and a single prize awarded to the winner.

Salon Co-ordinator

Ceris Jones

Contact details

Entry Deadline

Announced as soon as the next event date is set.


  • One overall winner
  • The Best Work Showing Cavers Caving – one winner
  • The Best Work Produced by Digital Means (and which is not a photograph) – one winner
  • Plus several Distinctions and Merits

Additional winners awarded by a delegate vote:

  • One winner for best artwork
  • One winner for best cartoon

How to Enter

Entries should be registered using the online system in advance of the conference (by the above deadline). Entries after this date are not guaranteed space on the display boards.

Art salon entry is currently closed but keep checking back. It will be announced on social media when entry is open.


  • Delivery
    Your work should be delivered to the exhibition area by midday on the first day of the conference. Postal entries are not accepted. If you are late in arriving you may find that there is limited display space left for you. You should collect your work on the afternoon of the last day of the event. Work left behind cannot be returned.
  • Eligibility
    All artists, amateur or professional, may enter the competition. We encourage new exhibitors and we would like to see artists from many countries taking part. Winning entries from previous Hidden Earth art competitions may not be entered.
  • Subject matter and media
    This may be anything to do with the pursuit of caves and caving, executed in any media except photography, and including drawing, painting, printmaking, sculpture, textiles, graphic design, digital media and conceptual art. All work entered must be original artwork – photocopies are not accepted.
  • Entry limits
    Up to three entries per artist may be submitted in each category.
  • Judging
    This will be by a panel of three judges whose decision is final. Note that the organisers reserve the right not to award a prize if, in the opinion of the judges, the entries are too few and of insufficient standard to constitute a competition.
  • Permissions
    All works entered for the competition must have permission from the owners of all data (e.g. photographs) used in production of the entry, and this must be appropriately credited. Note that direct transcription of art from a photograph is discouraged.
  • Display Requirements
    Work should be framed or mounted to a reasonable standard, but the organisers reserve the right not to display any work that proves difficult to handle. For 3-D work, a method of hanging must be provided. If any work is particularly large or has any special display requirements this must be discussed before submission. Artist's statements are not required. All cartoons should be presented neatly, either mounted on card or behind a window mount; no clip frames please.

Other information and recommendations

  • Copyright
    The copyright of all entries will remain with the artists. Entries may be reproduced for display at the closing ceremony and for display during the weekend. All reproduced entries will be credited. No further use will be made of any copies without permission. No rights will be conceded to sponsors or other parties without permission of the entrants, and entrants will be free to set terms for any such use.
  • Display
    Entrants are encouraged to bring their own display boards/stands if possible to enable their work to be displayed to the highest standard and relieve pressure on the conference equipment. If you can bring your own display boards/stands, please indicate this when you submit your entry form.
  • Judging
    Although the competition categories will each have only one winning entry, the judges will also award Distinctions and Merits to entries that are worthy of mention; and there is a delegate vote for the best item on display.
  • Feedback
    We expect to arrange a feedback session, attended by a representative of the judging team and/or the salon coordinator to supply feedback.
  • List of Winners
    A list of competition winners is made available to the media on request and is also published on the Hidden Earth website. Reproduction of winning entries is governed by the competition rules and is in accordance with the guidelines of the Artists Bill of Rights Campaign.
  • Loss, Damage & Insurance
    Every care will be taken of the entries, but the organisers cannot accept responsibility for any damage or loss. The organisers will not be insuring any work and, if required, entrants should make their own arrangements.
  • Sales
    Artists wishing to sell their work may display a price. A commission of 15% will be levied on the sale price.