Charles Saatchi, the powerful art world kingmaker, has selected six unknown artists and set them up in their own east London studio. Commissioned to make a series of ambitious artworks, one artist will join Saatchi's next major exhibition at the Hermitage Gallery in St Petersburg. The series explores the strange and controversial world of contemporary art and tries to discover the substance behind the hype.
The artists embark on their second commission. This time they must create artwork to sit alongside the Old Masters at one of Britain's finest stately homes, Sudeley Castle. The owners of Sudeley, the Dent-Brocklehurst family, have agreed to allow the artists to remove objects and artwork from three rooms in their home and replace them with contemporary substitutes.
The artists have one week to create their work, which then goes on display to Saatchi and an unsuspecting public. Saatchi believes that contempary art is often too focused on the present day, and that great art reinvents and reinterprets classic traditions for a modern audience. The Sudeley Castle commission is designed to see if the aspirant artists can achieve this.
Saad responds to the challenge by creating a work consisting of 1000s of chapatis piled on the floor, while Eugenie struggles to build a conveyor belt that transports a tassel around the bedroom. Saad and Suki, who both create artwork for the library, have a bad falling-out when Suki adds strewn black books to her artwork without informing Saad. Saad believes that the black books impinge on his chapatis and ruin his work.
The final judgment on the artists' success or failure comes down to Charles Saatchi and his panel of advisors, who come to Sudeley to view the artwork.