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Middlesbrough-born printmaker Neil Bousfield is celebrating having two works shortlisted for this year’s New Light Prize Exhibition which offers the region’s largest and most exciting prizes for Northern contemporary art. Neil, who studied at Teesside University, is in with a chance of winning the £10,000 Valeria Sykes Award, and will see his work hung at the prestigious Bowes Museum in County Durham. He currently lives in East Anglia.
The New Light Prize Exhibition recognises and celebrates the best art being produced by artists who were born, studied or live in the North of England. This year’s call for entries attracted 1700 submissions from both professional and amateur artists – a five-fold increase on previous exhibitions. All of the artwork was judged by a distinguished panel including Norman Ackroyd CBE RA, artist; The Lord Crathorne KCVO, Chairman of the All-Party Parliamentary Arts & Heritage Group; Laura Gascoigne, art reviewer on The Spectator; Matthew Hall, founder of Panter & Hall Fine Art Gallery in Pall Mall; and Annette Petchey, CEO of New Light. They selected a total of 84 works by 61 artists from across the North for the exhibition.
As Laura Gascoigne, one of the judges, commented: “True to its name, New Light is a revelation. None of the open exhibitions I've judged in the past has tapped into such a pool of undiscovered talent. 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.”
As well as having his artwork considered for the Valeria Sykes Award, Neil’s two engravings - Longshore Drifting and Happisburgh Warning: Bryony's New House II - are also in the running for the Zillah Bell Printmaker’s Prize.
Longshore Drifting and Happisburgh Warning: Bryony's New House II will be displayed at The Bowes Museum from 17th October 2015 – 7th February 2016. The New Light Prize Exhibition will then move to The Mercer Gallery in Harrogate before heading down to Panter & Hall in London in June. All works will be for sale throughout.
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New Light celebrates and promotes the quality of contemporary art being produced in the North of England and supports artists working in the region primarily through a major biennial touring exhibition. This is open to all Northern artists with prizes totaling over £15,000 including 'The Valeria Sykes Award' of £10,000.
To raise the profile of Northern artists, we run a number of exhibitions and events nationwide, including an annual show in London where we showcase the work of both established artists and those at the start of their artistic career. Alongside this, we offer guidance, mentoring and professional advice.
We also run an Art for All programme which is designed to make art accessible to everyone. This includes workshops with practising artists, talks with art experts, guided viewings and school projects.
Our newest initiative is the New Light Collection, a permanent collection of art illustrating the talent and expertise of some of the best artists from the North. Offered to schools, hospitals and other community-based groups free of charge; it is also made available to corporate sponsors who would like to support arts in the North of England.
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