Judged by a panel including former Turner Prize winner Simon Starling and Hepworth Wakefield director Simon Wallis, the fifth edition of the Northern Art Prize is a celebration of careful concoctions, with a £16,500 prize lying in wait for the winner.
"The 2012 Prize short list brings to our attention four very different artists who each produce work that often takes a painstakingly long time to craft," says Sarah Brown, the chair of the judging panel who is also a curator at the host gallery.
"As the world moves ever faster it is interesting that the judges have selected artists who invest a great deal of time in each piece."
Liadin Cooke presents Miserable Object, a response to the text of a 19th Century sampler exhibited at the Victoria and Albert Museum which describes a needle-woman’s breakdown due to sexual harassment and her subsequent discovery of god.
© Liadin Cooke. Image: Jonty Wilde
Consisting of lines of red wax drawn across paper, the Huddersfield-based finalist's contemplation of control, instability and mental turmoil uses wax, brass and clay.
The Way Things Appear is a collection of photographs of objects and graphical elements taken in their everyday setting by Leo Fitzmaurice.
© Leo Fitzmaurice
The subjects are repeated or mimicked by other nearby objects, or given strangeness by their situation. Fitzmaurice has also made a continuous landscape with painting selected from the gallery's permanent collection.
Oil and wax works, Binary Rhythm paintings and small colour studies investigate intense light and colour from the eyes and hands of Northumberland-based former Chelsea School of Art graduate James Hugonin.
© James Hugonin
Using close toned colour and an underlying grid, his pieces are described as deeply subtle and quietly musical.
Viewers are enticed to take a closer look and question the sculptures Richard Rigg has played with in Newcastle.
© Richard Rigg and Workplace Gallery
A note written by the artist during a telephone conversation, later given to a piece involving two eight-metre telegraph poles which will adorn the entrance hall and staircase of the gallery, forms the title of his entry: "I forgot what was said when we were outside, stood empty, now without those words I fell back."
- The Northern Art Prize 2011 opens at Leeds Art Gallery on Friday (November 25) until February 19 2012.