Northumberland artist Frances Bell among the New Light Art Prize winners

A Wooler resident is among the successful New Light Art Prize artists.
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Frances Bell has also received £10,000 as the winner of the New Light Valeria Sykes Award after her work – called ‘Lockdown’ – greatly impressed the expert judges.

The prestigious biennial prize shines a light on northern artists and there were thousands of entries.

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The winners and those shortlisted will have their art feature in a 14-month long exhibition at galleries such as the Bankside Gallery in London, The Rheged Arts Centre in Penrith, The Biscuit Factory in Newcastle, The Mercer Art Gallery in Harrogate and The Williamson Art Gallery & Museum in Birkenhead.

Frances Bell. Picture by Dillon Bryden.Frances Bell. Picture by Dillon Bryden.
Frances Bell. Picture by Dillon Bryden.

Born in 1983, Frances is a full-time professional portrait and landscape painter, exhibiting internationally and across the UK.

She said: “There is great depth in the artistic community in the north and to have won the Valeria Sykes Award is beyond my wildest expectations – I’m really delighted.

“The painting was made at the tail end of the second (Covid) lockdown, which so affected us all. My sitter is another Northumbrian and a great friend of mine.

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“The atmosphere of that time comes through for me when I think about the painting, almost like a time capsule from the past.

“It feels balancing that a painting which stems from being compelled by circumstances to remain in one locality through a hard moment in our recent history should be shown in an exhibition celebrating that same area and those who live and create art there.”