ARTIST Christopher Cook, originally from Great Ayton, is the winner of the main £10,000 cash prize in the New Light Prize exhibition, which is on show at the Bowes Museum, in Barnard Castle.

He also received the Valeria Sykes Award for his graphite work, Forbidden Fruit.

The former Barnard Castle School pupil said: "I'm delighted of course, but I also feel astonished. New Light is quite a traditional show and my work tends to push the boundaries. It is fantastic that less traditional work can win prizes and be celebrated in this way."

David Chandler scooped the Patrons Choice Award and a £2,500 cash prize for his painting, The Lobby.

Other winners are: Jean Huntly Peace, from Lancashire, who won the New Light Purchase Prize for her porcelain and gold-leaf work, Evaporate; Deborah Grice, from East Yorkshire, who won the Saul Hay Emerging Artist Award for her oil painting, Coastal Moonlight II; and Neil Bousfield, originally from Middlesbrough, who won the Zillah Bell Printmakers’ Prize for his wood engraving Marsh Lands.

Seventy-two artists from across northern England were selected from more than 2,200 entries to take part in the biennial exhibition this year.

From hyper-real portraits and gritty urban scenes to abstract paintings and meticulously drafted drawings – the exhibition shines the spotlight on the diverse talent that exists in the region.

New Light continues at the Bowes Museum until January before going on tour to Huddersfield Art Gallery, Tullie House Museum and Art Gallery in Carlisle and the Bankside Gallery in London.

It features an eclectic mixture of paintings, sculpture, prints and drawings.