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One of four short-listed artists for the prestigious Northern Art Prize has been nominated by National Glass Centre (NGC). Alec Finlay was nominated by NGC’s Creative Director, Grainne Sweeney. The winner of the 2010 Northern Art Prize will be announced on 20 January 2011.
Alec Finlay is an artist, poet and publisher. He was born in Scotland in 1966, and now lives in Byker, Newcastle upon Tyne.
Alec’s work has previously been presented in numerous exhibitions, including at BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art; John Hansard Gallery, Southampton; Royal Scottish Academy and Yorkshire Sculpture Park. He has also created art works for the public realm, most recently white peak | dark peak, a permanent commission in the Peak District National Park and 50 apples (for Hartley Wood), part of a community project by NGC, commissioned by Gentoo Sunderland for the city’s Hartley Wood Estate.
50 apples (for Hartley Wood) is a project that celebrates giving and sharing. The project culminated with the installation of a traditional wooden apple barrel containing glass apples at the centre of a small orchard, developed in the communal landscaped area at the centre of the Estate in Pennywell. Each tree will bear a different variety of English apple. By autumn, the trees will have produced a crop of apples of varying tastes, textures and colours.
Each glass apple in the barrel is handcrafted and coloured to replicate the real apples produced by the orchard and the trees planted in residents’ gardens as part of the project. All the glass apples have been sculpted from molten glass at the National Glass Centre using traditional glass making techniques by former Hartley Wood glass makers and the NGC Glass Studio team.
A limited edition range of glass apple multiples were produced apart from the public artwork, which can be seen as part of Alec’s work in the Northern Art Prize exhibition at Leeds Art Gallery until 6 February 2011.
Grainne Sweeney nominated Alec’s work because, “Alec’s projects are intrinsically engaging. Very often they are born from a collaborative way of working; a team effort. It’s this ability to encompass and engage people, not only with the finished work but also in the creative process that appeals to me.”
Alec has been working for many years in the North East of England and the Northern Art Prize would be a great acknowledgement and recognition of his work.”
Alec was selected from a long list of eighteen artists, to a short-list of four. The other short listed artists alongside him; Lubaina Himid, David Jacques and Haroon Mirza, will discover the winner of the £16,500 prize money on 20 January, when the panel of judges announce their decision.
The judging panel consists of:
Richard Greer, Collector
Susan Hiller, Artist
Mark Lawson, Journalist, broadcaster and author
Andrea Rose, Director of Visual Arts, British Council
Tanja Pirsig-Marshall, Curator of Exhibitions, Leeds Art Gallery
If you would like to register your vote in the public poll visit http://www.northernartprize.org.uk/poll