Joanna Whittle’s Sorrowing Cloth won the £10,000 Valeria Sykes Award at the opening of the prestigious New Light Prize Exhibition at Scarborough Art Gallery. The open exhibition, which can be seen at the Scarborough Gallery until 17 January 2021 before moving to Carlisle, Newcastle and London, aims to shine a light on Northern art. Sorrowing Cloth is one of a series of paintings of tents by Sheffield-based Joanna.
Sorrowing Cloth is one of a series of paintings of tents by Sheffield-based Joanna, who says: “My tent paintings represent fragile and temporary structures constructed within notions of the ruin and time passing. Canvas sits in water; ropes are pegged in to fluid land. Time sits still and moments brush against each other – canvas rots and weeds scramble over surfaces, but some lights remain on or have just been lit. They hold their own histories, ideas of vanished circuses or fairgrounds – events once frenetic now silenced and ominous in dusk or rain.”
Other prize winners were:
The £2,500 Patron’s Choice Award (all exhibited works considered): Victor Harris, from Waterfoot, Rossendale, in Lancashire, for his oil on linen, Forlorn.
The Emerging Artists Prize – sponsored by The Saul Hay Gallery, Manchester(offering mentoring, professional advice and exhibition opportunities including a solo show): Linnet Rubaya, from Leeds, for her acrylic on canvas, Seen.
The Printmakers’ Prize – sponsored by The Zillah Bell Gallery, Thirsk (all forms of original printmaking eligible; the winner is offered a solo exhibition in the Zillah Bell Gallery, host to some of the UK’s best printmakers’ shows): Ian Brooks, from Leeds, for his etching, Across Borge Bay.
New Light Purchase Prize (the selected work is purchased by the charity to add to its Collection): Christian Alexander Bailey, from Harrogate, for his pen-and-ink drawing, Tree Sparrow.
One final award, The Visitors’ Choice Award, will be made at the end of the Scarborough exhibition and announced at Tullie House Museum and Art Gallery in Carlisle. It recognises the work which strikes a chord with visitors, who are asked to vote for their favourite artwork.
The judges, who shortlisted the artists using an anonymous online selection process and concluded the judging together in the gallery, were printmaker and artist Anne Desmet RA; the editor of RA Magazine, Sam Phillips; Grant Scanlan, the curator of Huddersfield Art Gallery; Catherine and Ian Hay from the Saul Hay Gallery; John Bell from the Zillah Bell Gallery; Valeria Sykes, the patron of New Light; and the chair of New Light, Annette Petchey.