The Bowes Museum > Exhibitions > 2017 > New Light Prize Exhibition > Christopher Cook

Christopher Cook - Valeria Sykes Award Winner 2017

Christopher Cook did a M.A. at the RCA, and then spent two years in Bologna as Italian Government scholar. After three extended visits to India in the 90s, he developed a specific process in which graphite powder combined with resin is worked thinly on sheets of coated paper or aluminium, and he has not used colour since.

Cook has been a recipient of an ACE fellowship, a British School at Rome award, and has been Visiting Fellow to Oxford University, Stadelschule, Frankfurt, and CalState University Long Beach.

Major solo exhibitions include Camden Arts Centre, Memphis Art Museum, Yokohama Museum of Art, Heidelberger Kunstverein, Towner Gallery Eastbourne and Ferens Gallery Hull.

His work is held in collections including the British Museum, the Metropolitan Museum New York, Fitzwilliam Museum Cambridge, and the Yale Center for British Art. He is currently Reader in Painting at Plymouth University, and represented by Ryan Lee Gallery New York.

An important reason for applying to New Light this year was its opening venue. At the age of 12 I became a boarding pupil at Barnard Castle School following the abrupt closure of Yarm Grammar. I found the boarding regime hard to take, and a crucial outlet for my loneliness was the art class of then Art master, Douglas Pittuck. He had a very open approach to drawing, employing improvisational methods, including the use of doodles and random mark-making - a very progressive attitude for the time - and one that has stayed with me throughout my professional life. One of the earliest drawings I still possess is a view of The Bowes Museum, made in a style that owes much to his technique.

Work on show and for sale

The winner of the £10,000 Valeria Sykes Award for the New Light Art Prize 2017. 

Christopher Cook ‘Forbidden Fruit' Graphite on coated paper 72x102cm £4800


The Bowes Museum is looking forward to welcoming you on the 17 May

Staff have been busy behind the Museum’s closed doors getting everything ready to welcome visitors back safely.

Café Bowes has undergone a refurbishment and has a new menu waiting to be sampled, the Museum has been deep cleaned, new signage is in place reminding you to adhere to social distancing, hand sanitisation stations have been refilled, the shop has been restocked and staff are being trained ready to greet you back in a safe and timely manner.

North Country Quilts: In Celebration of New Acquisitions is now hanging in the main exhibition gallery ready to wow visitors through to January 2022 and, due to social distancing measures, entry to the display will be by a separate timed exhibition entrance ticket that needs to be booked, at no extra cost, before visiting. Song has also been reinstated in the Music Room so people can enjoy the sound of the instruments. A varied programme of activity is being planned throughout May and June which we hope you will participate in.

Entry to the Museum will be by timed slots and tickets will have to be pre-booked online here or by calling 01833 690606. The Museum will be open from 10.00 to 5.00 daily. Masks will need to be worn throughout the Museum, shop and café, except when eating or where exemptions apply.

We look forward to welcoming you back soon!