New Light shines on region’s art
The biennial New Light Exhibition is the largest open exhibition dedicated to art from just the Northern regions of England, celebrating our famed northern pride.
Open only to artists who were born, studied or live in one of the historical counties of the North, the New Light recognises and rewards the skills of talented Northern artists by awarding the region’s best artwork prizes of up to £10,000 and career enhancing exhibition opportunities.
Comprising of a shortlisted 84 outstanding works from 61 acclaimed artists of which only four winners were selected the exhibition was also a fierce competition, ran by the prestigious judging panel.
Following its tenure at The Bowes Muesum, the exhibition will tour to the Mercer Gallery in Harrogate and the Panter and Hall Fine Art Gallery in London’s Pall Mall.
Making up the panel were Annette Petchey, Lord Crathorne, Chairman of the All-Party Parliamentary Arts and Heritage Group, print maker Norman Ackroyd, Mathew Hall, Director of Panter & Hall Gallery and art reviewer Laura Gascoigne.
“None of the open exhibitions I’ve judged in the past has tapped into such a pool of undiscovered talent,” said Laura Gascoigne when asked about the great success of the exhibition opening.
“There are always a few established artists whose work one recognises, but nearly all the artists here were new to me and there were several I was astonished – and rather ashamed – not to have come across. “I hope this exposure will make them more visible in future. The sheer variety of work, at all levels, was heartening – it bolstered my faith in the vigour of British painting.”
Prizes included the Valeria Sykes Award of £10,000, won by Mandy Payne for her work ‘Broken Brutalism’; the Patron’s Choice Award of £2,500, won by Joshua Waterhouse for oil painting ‘Josephine’; the Swinton Foundation Prize for emerging artists, offering mentoring, professional advice and exhibition opportunities, won by Anna Poulton for her piece ‘Figs’ and the Printmakers’ Prize to Emma Lawrenson’s ‘Stone Pen’.
The most important prize however is The Visitors’ Choice Award, which will be voted for by visitors at each of the three exhibition venues and announced when the exhibition closes.
Proving not only that the North can brag extravagant artistic talent that can compete with London’s art scene, the opening of the New Light exhibition also reflected upon the pride of the region as we flooded to celebrate the showcasing of our contemporary art.
The New Light exhibition at the Bowes Museum until February 7, open daily from 10am to 5pm.
The Bowes Museum at 01833 690606, by visiting www.thebowesmuseum.org.uk or tweeting to @TheBowesMuseum for more information and exhibition prices.