New Art Prize Announced for North East

south aspect of Seaton Delaval Hall

Following a November 2021 call-out for artists, 27 May - 10 July sees the display of the shortlisted proposals for the North East Emerging Artist Prize, a collaboration between the National Trust at Seaton Delaval Hall and independent curator, Matthew Jarratt.

Open to artists who are in the final year of their undergraduate degree, studying for a masters’ degree or who have graduated in the last three years, the prize provides opportunities for emerging and early career artists and creative practitioners in or from the North East. It is open to artists from all artforms including music/sound, theatre, film, literature and design as well as fine art.

From 59 submissions, eight artists were presented with bursaries to research and develop their proposals. These proposals are now getting ready to be displayed in Seaton Delaval Hall’s grand stables. The winning two proposals will then be developed and exhibited in the spring of 2023, with a budget of £4,000 to each of the two selected artists to realise their ideas.

The eight shortlisted artists are: Chantal Herbert & Dami Fawehinmi, Alice Highet, Maria Isidora, Phoebe Law, Cameron Lings, Lorna MacKay, Jenny McNamara and Edmond Salter.  As part of the display of the eight proposals, visitors, volunteers, staff and supporters will be able to vote for their favourite designs when visiting Seaton Delaval Hall.  These votes will be carried through to support the decision made by the judging panel.

The award’s aim is to showcase site specific contemporary art in an historic context and to encourage emerging artists to develop proposals at Seaton Delaval Hall, one of the region’s most distinct historic settings.

Seaton Delaval Hall’s General Manager Emma Thomas said 

" ‘This is an opportunity for artists interested in producing site-specific work to develop their practise with support from the National Trust and Curator, Matthew Jarratt. There is tremendous scope for those shortlisted to develop their work at the Hall, particularly as we come towards the end of the National Lottery Heritage Fund-supported Curtain Rises project and more of its spaces are open to the public and its history made more visible through a re-presentation of the collection and creative interpretation.’ "
- Emma Thomas

Before taking up her post at Seaton Delaval Hall, Emma was a founding member of the team at BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, part of the management team ahead of its opening in 2002 and head of the learning and engagement programmes for 20 years.  She previously worked at Modern Art Oxford, and the Liverpool Biennial before joining BALTIC and was on the Board of engage, the National Association of Gallery Education.

Emma continues:

The prize really builds on that rich historical tradition the Hall and its family have of supporting artists from a variety of disciplines, including painting, theatre and writing.  Seaton Delaval Hall became a place of drama, theatricality and extreme playfulness.  We want to continue to encourage that spirit and artistic expression in the region with the North East Emerging Artist Prize.  We’re also really looking forward to involving our visitors in the selection process of choosing the two artists whose work will be presented each year.’

Visitors can now view the eight shortlisted proposals on site at Seaton Delaval Hall and select their preferred choice.  These votes will be carried through to support the decision made by the judging panel.

Award Curator, Matthew Jarratt, said:

‘I’m delighted to have developed this new Emerging Artist’s Prize with Seaton Delaval Hall. It will enable artists and designers at the early stages of their careers to propose extraordinary ideas for one of the North East’s most fascinating historic properties.

The last few years have been particularly tough for artists and our plan is that this annual award will provide support and mentoring for eight artists working in a wide range of materials to learn more about making contemporary art in a heritage environment.

The Delaval family have an outstanding and rich history of supporting new art, theatre and architecture since the 18th Century and it will be exciting to see how a new generation of artists will be inspired by Seaton Delaval Hall.’

Thanks to National Lottery players via funding from the National Lottery Heritage Fund, Seaton Delaval Hall has recently undergone a major project to restore some of its most iconic features and bring back the sense of drama for which it was known. As a result, artists will be able to engage with a variety of settings at the property from its interiors and outbuildings to the revived and dramatic Vanbrugh landscape to realise their ideas. They will be mentored and advised by Matthew Jarratt throughout the process and a designated National Trust lead will support each successful artist.