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Culture Awards 2009: Arts Council Award

THE Northern Print Biennale was a major international competition and exhibition for contemporary printmaking which took place across Newcastle in 2009.

Winner - Northern Print Biennale

THE Northern Print Biennale was a major international competition and exhibition for contemporary printmaking which took place across Newcastle in 2009.

It was the first print event on this scale in the UK for almost 20 years. The Biennale brought a world-class focus to the region, supporting artists and developing audiences for this work.

The call for entries attracted more than 800 submissions from 32 countries, and the success of the event has raised the profile of printmaking nationally, helping to position Newcastle Gateshead as a Print City.

Spread mainly across three city venues – the Hatton Gallery, Newcastle University, the Laing Art Gallery and Northern Print in the Ouseburn Valley – the exhibitions served as the centrepiece of the Biennale, which ran from June to October as part of Newcastle/Gateshead’s world-class programme of festivals and events, developed by culture¹º.

In addition, a wide programme of events including exhibitions, symposiums, performances and the launch of a major public print commission were also programmed.

The legacy of the Biennale will provide artists with an unrivalled opportunity to bring their work to a much wider audience.

Anna Wilkinson, director of Northern Print, says: "We’re all thrilled to be shortlisted. It’s great that these awards provide an opportunity to recognise the many cultural events that happen week in, week out, in our region and for Northern Print to be part of this is very important to us."

Finalist - Matt Stokes

MATT STOKES has exhibited widely across the UK and beyond, winning prestigious awards on the way.

His work often involves working with different groups of people, linked to music subcultures.

This practice was evident in producing The Gainsborough Packet, a co-commission with London gallery 176 and Baltic.

The project was the culmination of a year’s research, which began with the discovery in the Tyne and Wear Archives of a letter written in 1828 by a man named John Burdikin.

Matt says: "2009 was a busy year. I met some amazing people, and made some great friends.

"I hope things continue this year at a similar pace, as I’m not very good at sitting still."

Finalist - Kielder Partnership

THE Kielder Partnership is a public, voluntary and private- sector collaboration developing Kielder Water & Forest Park as a place of inspiration.

The Partnership’s visual art programme Art and Architecture at Kielder has been running for more than 15 years.

During 2009, six new artworks were unveiled, contributing to broad, lasting legacy.

Peter Sharpe, Kielder Partnership curator, says: "It is very pleasing to be shortlisted for an award, particularly after an intense period spent delivering new projects. 2009 was an extremely hectic year when the art and architecture programme completed six very different shelters designed by artists and architects.

"The results proved to be beautifully varied, including sculptural and enigmatic Silvas Capitalis, the elegant simplicity of the Janus Chairs, and the architectural invention of 55/02."

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