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North West artists' success at fourth Northern Art Prize

  • Date: 28 February 2011
  • Area: North
Fine art painting in background depicting female sitting on a chair, digital image replica in foreground

Haroon Mirza Northern Art Prize exhibition. Credit: Simon Walker

The North West visual arts sector was strongly represented in the fourth annual Northern Art Prize.

The prize was established to showcase contemporary artists of any age working in any medium in the North of England.

Nominations come from arts professionals across the North, ranging from curators of public galleries and museums to directors of artist-led spaces and independent curators.

The winner is chosen from a shortlist by an expert panel that this year included broadcaster Mark Lawson and Director of Visual Arts at the British Council, Andrea Rose.

The four artists shortlisted for this year's Northern Art Prize included Liverpool-based multimedia artist David Jacques, nominated for two works North Canada - English Electric and Por Convencion Ferrer.

Preston-based artist and Professor of Contemporary Art at the University of Central Lancashire, Lubaina Himid was shortlisted for her Jelly Mould Pavilions.

The results were announced at a ceremony at Leeds Art Gallery on Thursday 20 January 2011.

Haroon Mirza won the Northern Art Prize for his installation Anthemoessa.

The People's Choice Award, voted for by visitors to the Northern Art Prize's website, was won by Lubaina Himid.

Sheffield-based Haroon Mirza, whose studio is at S1 Artspace, has strong links to the region through his work with Arts Council England regularly funded organisation New Contemporaries.

His contribution to the New Contemporaries group exhibition at the 2008 Liverpool Biennial proved a springboard to his current success. Mirza is now a very active member of the New Contemporaries board and advocate for their work to give people still at, or just having left, art school the opportunity to show their work in the context of a professional art gallery.

Haroon Mirza said: 'Winning the Northern Art Prize is very important to me as it certifies me as an artist living and working in the North. It also comes at a good time enabling me to work on some really ambitious projects.'

Rebecca Heald, Director, New Contemporaries said: 'The Northern Art Prize, like New Contemporaries, is committed to excellence outside of the capital.'

Helen Wewiora, Relationship Manager, Visual Arts, Arts Council England, concluded: 'The work highlighted in the final stages of this year's Northern Art Prize reflects the strength of the visual arts sector in the North and provides a valuable national showcase for some of the fantastic work being produced in our region. The prize itself also acts as an inspiration for an even more successful future for artists working in the North producing innovative work that transcends geographical boundaries.'

The Northern Art Prize is sponsored by Logistik, Arup, Leeds City Council, Leeds Metropolitan University, City Inn and Welcome to Yorkshire.

Haroon Mirza's first solo London exhibition opened at the Lisson Gallery in North London on 15 February.

For more information, visit the Northern Art Prize website or watch a film about the prize.

For more information about this year's shortlisted artists, visit Haroon Mirza's website, Lubaina Himid's website and David Jacques' website.

To find out more about New Contemporaries visit their website.