Northern Art Prize Organisers Announce 2013 Shortlist

Northern Art Prize 2013

The organisers of the Northern Art Prize have announced the four artists shortlisted for the sixth Northern Art Prize. The artists are: Margaret Harrison, Rosalind Nashashibi, Emily Speed and Joanne Tatham & Tom O’Sullivan.  Work by the artists will be displayed at Leeds Art Gallery in a new Northern Art Prize exhibition, from 28 March until 16 June 2013, where the winner will be announced at a special event to be held on 23rd May 2013.

Selecting from a long-list of 21 artists and artist collaborators, were a panel of leading visual arts professionals, chaired by Sarah Brown, Curator of Exhibitions at Leeds Art Gallery, that comprised Tomma Abts, Turner Prize-winning painter; Margot Heller, Director of South London Gallery; Jennifer Higgie, Co-Editor of contemporary art magazine ‘Frieze’ and James Lingwood, Co-Director of Artangel. Commenting on their selection, the judges stated:

“The shortlist reflects the breadth of artists nominated in terms of both generation and choice of media. They range from the drawings, watercolours and installations of Margaret Harrison, who has lived and worked in the North for several decades, through to Rosalind Nashashibi who studied in the North and recently returned to the area having established an international reputation.  Emily Speed’s sculptures and performance works are evidence of the strength of the burgeoning young art scene in the North, and Tatham & O’Sullivan’s work reflects the predominance of conceptual and multi-media approaches in the submissions.”

The shortlist of the Northern Art Prize includes Emily Speed, who was nominated by Sally Tallant, director of the Liverpool Biennial; Joanne Tatham & Tom O’Sullivan, nominated by both Gavin Wade, director of Eastside Projects and Kirsteen Macdonald, a Glasgow-based curator; Margaret Harrison, nominated by Kate Brindley, the director of MIMA; and Rosalind Nashashibi, again nominated by Tallant. The winning artist will receive £16,500 with the other shortlisted artists receiving £1,500.

Emily Speed creates work which comprises sculptures, drawings, installations and documented performances, has been shown in group exhibitions nationally and internationally. Her exhibitions and projects in 2012 include ‘Camp Out’, Laumeier Sculpture Park, St Louis, a new external wall commission for Open Eye Gallery Liverpool, a six-week residency ‘Expand, Explore, Expose’ at Salzamt Atelierhaus, Linz and a new commission, ‘Human Castle’ for Edinburgh Art Festival, in which she worked for the first time with acrobats and costumes to realise an ambitious human sculpture. The idea of shelter and the inhabitant is at the core of Speed’s sculptural work. Using architectural forms to represent man’s attempt to create permanence through building, Speed creates ‘shelters’ that are worn or performed, often using absurd spaces constructed specifically to fit one body, as an expression of the layers in which people surround themselves.

Joanne Tatham & Tom O’Sullivan create staged theatrical experiences in their work which uses sculpture, painting, architecture, photography, performance and literature. Alumni of Glasgow School of Art, Tatham and O’Sullivan frequently employ the tools of theatre to frustrate straightforward interpretation of either text or object. In 2011, for Fettes College Edinburgh, the work took a different curatorial approach with original works by other artists presented alongside their new constructions of a cat and a boot acting as ‘Trojan horses’ to enable tangential ideas about access, value and power.

Based in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Tatham and O’Sullivan were nominated by Gavin Wade, Director of Eastside Projects and Independent Curator Kirsteen Macdonald.

Margaret Harrison
has been producing work that negotiates the difficult territory of politics, sexuality and irony since the 1960s. A series of her feminist drawings, described by the New York Times as “Superhero Shemales”, was buried until the late 90s and early 20s, caught between prudishness and suspicion at the sex object debates in the women’s movement. Harrison’s drawings found a new relevance and respect from audiences when they were exhibited at Intersection for the Arts in San Francisco in 2010, as part of ‘I am a Fantasy’ at Payne Shurvell Gallery London in 2011, and this year in her first solo exhibition in Berlin ‘PREOCCUPY’ at Silberkuppe.

Rosalind Nashashibi A Becks Futures Art Prize winner in 2003 and a recipient of the John Kobal New Work Award at Whitechapel Gallery in 2008, has exhibited in solo and group shows internationally. Working with mixed media and installation in a personal exploration of the relationship between people, things and behaviour, Nashashibi uses film in much of her work, following her interest in its ability to express different layers of reality simultaneously, with a focus on the ‘magical friction’ caused by the juxtaposition of scenes shot from real life and fictional events, often taking place in public spaces.Living and working in Liverpool, Rosalind Nashashibi was nominated by Sally Tallant, Director of Liverpool Biennial.

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