David Jacques Shortlisted for the Northern Art Prize

David Jacques (photo c. McCoy Wynne)


David Jacques who is one of the shortlisted artists exhibiting in the Liverpool Art Prize 2010 has also been shortlisted for the Northern Art Prize. Congratulations to him. Two years ago the prize was won by another Liverpool Art Prize artist, Paul Rooney when Imogen Stidworthy who won the Liverpool prize that year was also shortlisted!

Here is the full story as reported in the Guardian

The Northern Arts prize continues to warm the hearts of older contemporary artists with this week’s announcement of its shortlist for the 2010 final. For the third of its four years, the £16,500 award (with £5,500 shared by three runners-up) has taken advantage of the no-age-limit provision that marks it out from other major competitions.

Nicknamed the north’s Turner prize, the NAP decided not to follow the Turner’s ban on artists over 50 when a group of curators in Leeds, Manchester and Newcastle-upon-Tyne established it in 2007. This year sees 55-year-old Lubaina Himid, queen of the jelly-mould maquette, follow in the path of last year’s winner Pavel Büchler, 59, and Eric Bainbridge, 55, who was shortlisted in the inaugural competition.

“Many older artists produce very interesting work as they get older, even those who may already have established a reputation in their younger days,” said Anita Morris of the NAP. “Think of Louise Bourgeois or Hockney, or indeed Picasso. We’re not here just to look for the latest hot young things. Entrants are welcome if they’re as old as the hills.”

The shortlist is far from geriatric, however, with Himid, currently professor of contemporary art at Preston’s University of Central Lancashire, joined by Alec Finlay from Newcastle and David Jacques from Liverpool, who are both in their 40s, and Haroon Mirza from Sheffield who is 33. The quartet’s work includes none of the most traditional forms of art – sculpture or drawings and paintings – which last year were represented by the Oldham artist Rachel Goodyear‘s highly realistic illustrations of fantastical subjects. Instead, the shortlist exhibition at Leeds art gallery in November will offer installations, video, music and photography.

Another feature of the prize so far has been a deliberate attempt to engage and test public reaction through the exhibition, with as much debate between the artists and gallery visitors as can be organised. “We want to encourage audiences to have a response, and this is another really strong shortlist, a sterling lineup of artists who will do just that,” said Pippa Hale, the Leeds-based artist and curator who directs the prize. “Today’s artists are constantly under pressure to be accessible and at the same time to push boundaries – a difficult combination but one which can produce excellent results.”

The shortlist was chosen from an initial field of 22 artists, each chosen via another feature of the NAP, selection through curators of 11 northern galleries who can put forward two artists each. The shortlist judges, who will reconvene in January 2011 to pick the winner, are art collector Richard Greer, artist Susan Hiller, journalist Mark Lawson and director of visual arts for the British Council Andrea Rose, with discussions chaired by Tanja Pirsig-Marshall, curator of exhibitions at Leeds city art gallery.

The judges also emphasised the prize’s lack of age limits, jointly stating: “Some of the world’s most interesting and influential artists have made great work later in their careers, so we welcome an approach that includes artists of any age.

“It is a real privilege to get the chance to see, all at once, a selection of the best current practice in contemporary art in the north of England, which seems to have an individual attitude that is not market-led. We debated long and hard over several artists … who were close contenders for the final shortlist. The selected artists are producing work of a very high standard from a broad and varied range of practice.”

The shortlisted artists are: Alec Finlay, artist and poet whose 20 books as well as residencies at Gateshead Baltic, Yorkshire Sculpture Park and the New and Renewable Energy Centre have recently been supplemented by a nationwide installation of nesting boxes, combining biodiversity with art.

Lubaina Himid, whose collaborations with the National Museums Liverpool on a project based on the African diaspora culminated in an exhibition of 40 jelly-mould pavilion maquettes across the city’s four museums, a shop and a women’s college in Merseyside.

David Jacques, a Scouser born and bred, specialises in finding and exhibiting new or forgotten sources that may change the understanding of history. He is also on the shortlist for the 2010 Liverpool Art prize with a previous Northern Art prize-winner, Paul Rooney.

Haroon Mirza uses furniture, everyday household electronics and video to combine sight and sound in a single artwork. His recent work, An Infinito, incorporated off-cuts from films by Jeremy Deller and Guy Sherwin.

This year’s longlist also included: Breda Beban, Sophie Lisa Beresford, Simon Blackmore, Laurie Burt, Matthew Crawley, Gina Czarnecki, Rhodri Davies, Graham Dolphin, Leo Fitzmaurice, KMA (Kit Monkman and Tom Wexler), Kevin Laycock, Laura Lancaster, Sue Lawty, Ian Macdonald, James Quin, Qasim Riza Shaheen, Matt and Rob Vale and Diane Welford. The award’s sponsors are Logistik, Arup, Leeds city council and Leeds Metropolitan University, now including the former Leeds School of Art, among whose alumni are Barbara Hepworth and Henry Moore.