WINNER: Richard Forster
mima hosted a stunning exhibition by homegrown artist Richard Forster from July to November last year.
Fast and Slow Time was a collection of more than 50 drawings by the Middlesbrough-born artist in his first solo museum exhibition.
The show presented three series of painstakingly executed graphite drawings made over one calendar year.
Opening and closing the exhibition, two sequences of 14 drawings titled The Incoming Seas Edge documented the incoming tide on the shore of Saltburn over the course of a few minutes in one morning in January 2010.
As well as the mima exhibit, 2011 also saw Richard taking part in the Drawing Centre exhibition in New York, Drawn From Photography.
Richard says: “I know there are some really good artists based here in the North East. We are really thriving right now, so to be shortlisted feels good.
“I have just got back from New York after my first solo show out there. I am currently back in the studio making work for a show at the Tate Gallery in London, which opens in May. 2011 was an intense year leading up to the opening at mima. There was huge relief to get the project done.”
FINALIST: Matt Stokes
A previous winner of this category, Newcastle-based artist Matt Stokes’ large-scale film installation Cantata Profana was produced as the central work for a solo exhibition in Germany.
Thankfully North East audiences got to see it at Baltic throughout September and October – an extended period to coincide with The Turner Prize Exhibition.
Cantata Profana was a six-screen video installation installed in a semi-circle, recalling ancient amphitheatre architecture. Each of the screens frames one individual musician during an unedited group performance.
The artist collaborated with leading British composer Orlando Gough to interweave heavy metal music culture with classical choral traditions.
The exhibition marked a return to BALTIC for Matt who brought his short film installation, The Gainsborough Packet to the gallery in 2009.
Matt says: “It’s great to be acknowledged by people and organisations in the place where I live, especially as many of the projects and exhibitions I’ve worked on over the last year have been outside of the region and UK.”
FINALIST: Kelly Richardson
In October 2011, Pixel Palace launched its first Artists in Residence programme at Newcastle’s Tyneside Cinema hosting three exciting artists, one of whom was Canadian-born, Newcastle-based Kelly Richardson.
Pixel Palace, which is devoted to digital arts and new media invited Kelly to work within the cinema space in the lead up to a major international touring exhibition opening in Newcastle this year 2012, which will celebrate her work to date.
She used much of the time to develop the multi-channel video installation, Mariner 9 which is based on the planet Mars.
Of her nomination, and 2011, Kelly, who is currently working on a large-scale commission, Mariner 9, for Pixel Palace involving a Martian landscape and partially functioning spacecraft, says: “It’s both a surprise and an honour.
“I've been extremely busy with exhibitions, residencies and the production of new work which dominates most of my time and I’m forever grateful for it.”