Tom Wood

Touring Exhibition Shines a Light on Northern Art – Huddersfield Art Gallery

by Northern Life

Huddersfield Art Gallery, Huddersfield, West Yorkshire
10 March – 02 June 2018

The New Light Prize Exhibition, described as one of the ‘must see’ exhibitions in the North, continues to shine a light on Northern art when it arrives at Huddersfield Art Gallery in the heart of Yorkshire next month.

The high profile 4th biennial Prize Exhibition opened last year at The Bowes Museum in County Durham. From hyperreal portraits to abstract paintings; from urban landscapes to plein-air oil studies; and from printmaking to wall-hung sculpture, it features diverse work by 72 of the finest Northern artists from recent graduates to Royal Academicians such as Leeds-born Norman Ackroyd CBE, and Anne Desmet.

Once again Yorkshire proves itself a creative county with 25 of the selected artists living and working in the area. Well known names Maxwell Doig and Tom Wood, both of whom have previously enjoyed retrospective exhibitions at Huddersfield Art Gallery, sit alongside emerging talents such as Kate Desforges and Josh Newsome. Another six of the artists on display were born in the county, including Christopher Cook, the winner of the £10,000 Valeria Sykes Award, and Deborah Grice, the winner of the Saul Hay Gallery Emerging Artist Award.

Neil Bousfield

Neil Bousfield

Three of the judges of this year’s Prize Exhibition also have strong links to the county: Reyahn King is Chief Executive of York Museums Trust; contemporary artist Charming Baker spent his childhood in Ripon, and New Light’s CEO and practicing artist Emerson Mayes was born, lives and works in Harrogate. Together with renowned art critic and writer, Frances Spalding CBE; CEO of the Buy Art Fair and The Manchester Contemporary, Thom Hetherington; and Director of Northern Print, Anna Wilkinson, they selected the featured works from over 2,200 entries.

Emerson Mayes explains more about the ethos of New Light: “The common thread through all we do is a deep belief that the visual arts matter and the North of England deserves to be celebrated. We aim to highlight those artists who demonstrate exceptional application of practised skills and who are so often overlooked in other competitions.

“With Huddersfield Arts Gallery’s extensive collection of work by internationally-renowned artists such as Stanley Spencer, LS Lowry, Frank Auerbach and Henry Moore, the Prize Exhibition artists will be in very good company indeed.”

From the 72 artists selected, the judges chose the following to win the awards and prizes:

  • £10,000 Valeria Sykes Award – Christopher Cook
  • Patron’s Choice Award – David Chandler
  • Saul Hay Gallery Emerging Artist Award – Deborah Grice
  • Zillah Bell Printmakers’ Prize – Neil Bousfield
  • New Light Purchase Prize – Jan Huntley-Peace

The New Light Prize Exhibition opens at Huddersfield Art Gallery on Saturday 10 March and runs until 2 June 2018, with visitors able to vote for their own favourite work, before it continues its tour in London: