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