Northern Art Prize 2010 final opens at Leeds Art Gallery

By Ben Miller | 26 November 2010
A photo of illuminated hands against a black backdrop
Alec Finlay, Rock, Paper, Scissors© Alec Finlay
Four contrasting artists take centre stage in Leeds today as this year’s finalists battle it out for the £16,500 Northern Art Prize, which will be decided in January.

Working with the resident curatorial team, each entrant has picked the pieces they feel are “the best reflection” of their work from the past two years, adapting to the gallery setting and context of the exhibition in a project organisers believe is a showcase of some of the best contemporary art the North of England has to offer…

A photo of a colourful tub on its side
Lubaina Himid, Jelly Pavilion 6© Lubaina Himid
Lubaina Himid
The British representative at the 5th Havana Biennial enters Jelly Mould Pavilions, a selection of fictitious structures captured in paintings and drawings.

Originally made in collaboration with National Museums Liverpool and shown in six Merseyside venues, they allude to the sugar trade and slave industry in contemplative pieces by an artist whose work is held in the Victoria & Albert Museum, Arts Council England and Leeds Art Gallery collections.

A photo of small figures
Lubaina Himid, Jelly Pavilion 5© Lubaina Himid
Alec Finlay
The 2006 Artist in Residence at Yorkshire Sculpture Park reflects on “wounded nature” and perceptions of landscape.

His contribution includes Specimen Colony, representing the multicultural nature of a city through 36 colourful birds. He also introduces Siren, a sound installation seizing on his dual talent as a poet.

A photo of a dozen apples
Alec Finlay, 50 Apples (for Hartley Wood), commissioned by National Glass Centre, Sunderland (2010). Photo by Colin Davison© Alec Finlay
David Jacques
The winner of the 2010 Liverpool Art Prize combines stereoscopic photography, film and audio for two pieces.

Por Convención Ferrer commemorates fictional conferences between 1910 and 1918 through a collection of embroidered silk pennants, creating 27 narratives by a group of “Anarch-Syndicalists involved in time travel”, reflecting Jacques’ interest in the representation of history. North Canada – English Electric also investigates post-industrial landscapes via photos, spoken word and “3D crazes”.

A photo of a man looking through a scope at a wall
David Jacques, North Canada - English Electric© David Jacques
Haroon Mirza
Shortlisted for the 2005 Nationwide Mercury Prize Art Prize, Mirza made his solo debut at A Foundation in Liverpool last year.

Anthemoessa, named after a mythological Greek island where sirens lured sailors to their death, merges an audio-based sculpture with a projected video to attract the viewer and recreate the magnetic pull of the sirens.

The Northern Art Prize is at Leeds Art Gallery until February 6 2011.
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