As the opening date for this year’s entries gets steadily closer, we thought we’d catch up with the winners from the 2015 Prize Exhibition and discover a little bit more about their reasons for entering, their artistic aspirations and the difference being awarded a New Light prize has made to them.

First up is winner of the Patron’s Choice Award, Joshua Waterhouse.

How long have you been a practising artist?
Since graduating in 2014.

How did you first hear about New Light?
I read about the Prize Exhibition somewhere on the internet.

What made you decide to enter the Prize Exhibition?
The opportunity to exhibit at The Bowes Museum could not be passed up!

Joshua Waterhouse, 'Josephine', 90x90cm, oil on wood panel, £12000, SOLD

Joshua Waterhouse’s prize-winning work, ‘Josephine’

What has winning the Patron’s Choice Award meant to you?
Winning the Patron’s Choice Award has been a huge boost to my career. Not only was the prize money an enormous help but the award gave me a huge confidence boost and cemented my belief that I was on the right track.

What are your artistic plans for the future?
I’m currently working on a large and extremely intricate portrait commission. I hope once that’s complete to develop some of my ‘own’ work, independent of external influences. I have long been planning a second painting of my girlfriend Jo, who was the subject of my painting Josephine which was selected by New Light. I have also been meaning to paint a self-portrait for years.

Photo credit: Emma Ruthven-Stevenson

If you had to recommend one place in the North for someone to visit, where would it be?
I’d recommend visiting Hadrian’s Wall. I grew up a short distance from the wall and have walked the Steel Rig to Housesteads route countless times. More recently I walked end to end, which I would thoroughly recommend. The scenery is breath-taking and you can’t help feeling closer to history as you investigate what remains of various forts.

If you could take one piece of artwork to a desert island, what would it be?
Anything by Lawrence Alma-Tadema. Perhaps The Vintage Festival which I saw for the first time recently at the Kunsthalle in Hamburg.

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Lawrence Alma-Tadema ‘The Vintage Festival’

Josh Waterhouse’s painting ‘The Weaver’ can currently be seen at the New Walk Museum, Leicester, until 11th June as part of the BP Portrait Award’s national tour. His work has also been selected for the Royal Society of Portrait Painters exhibition from 4th to 11th May at the Mall Galleries, London.

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