Pavel Bϋchler wins Northern Art Prize

The winner of the Northern Arts Prize 2010 has been announced as Pavel Bϋchler. Work by the five short listed artists was judged yesterday by a leading panel of specialists from the visual arts world: Patricia Bickers, editor at Art Monthly; Richard Deacon, artist; Paul Hobson, director, Contemporary Art Society; Peter Murray, director, Yorkshire Sculpture Park and panel chair Tanja Pirsig-Marshall. In choosing Bϋchler to win the prize they felt that:

“Bϋchler has been consistently influential to a huge amount of people throughout his career, as a practitioner and teacher. We were particularly impressed with Eclipse which we felt to be a very strong piece of work. We would also like to congratulate all the shortlisted artists on their contributions to the exhibition; the success of the prize continues to enhance the contemporary visual arts scene in the North.”

Bϋchler, born in Prague and now living in the North West, was presented with a cheque for £16,500 by judge and artist Richard Deacon at a packed awards event held last night at Leeds Art Gallery. Bϋchler displayed seven of his most recent pieces, three of which have never been shown before, in the Northern Art Prize exhibition.

As opposed to constructing objects, Bϋchler utilizes materials found in the real world and manipulates them to “reveal the strangeness in everyday life. He often juxtaposes objects to create witty visual puns and metaphors and narrative riddles, in which text, embedded in the work or in the title, plays an important role.” His work has been exhibited widely internationally and across the UK and more recently in solo shows at Street Level, Glasgow (2009) and objectif / Museum Van Hdendaagse Kunst, Antwerp (2007).

Bϋchler’s Eclipse is a technically simple, but conceptually complex, installation inspired by the poetics of an everyday analogy in science education. The work consists of nine 1950s Leitz Prado projectors casting circles of light on a wall, evoking the structure of the solar system. Found balls and other spherical objects inserted into the optics of the projectors create the effect of several overlapping eclipses that alternate between light and dark depending on how the visitors to the exhibition move about within the piece.

You Don’t Love Me is an installation that uses a reel to reel tape deck, a bottle of whisky and a loop of found audio tape. The concept behind the work was brought about when Bϋchler was listening to the tape, a bootleg recording of a 1970s live gig. The recording was discovered in the tape deck shortly after its purchase, and upon playing it a lone voice is heard, which announces the eponymous title of the coming song.

Bϋchler and his fellow short listed artists, Nick Crowe and Ian Rawlinson,Rachel Goodyear and Matt Stokes, who each received prize money of £1,500, have been showing their work at Leeds Art Gallery since the 27th November 2009. The exhibition includes several film pieces, installations of technical equipment and everyday objects, as well as intricate pencil and watercolour drawings, making this the most varied and complex Prize exhibition yet.

The Northern Art Prize is a prestigious art prize for contemporary artists of any age, working in any media and living in the North of England (North West, North East and Yorkshire regions). Sponsors of The Northern Art Prize are Logistik, Arup, Leeds City Council and Leeds Metropolitan University. New Leeds hotel City Inn, a keen supporter of the arts, is also supporting the prize for the first time this year as event sponsor.

The Northern Art Prize exhibition runs at Leeds Art Gallery until 21 February 2010.

For more information about the artists visit: