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Last Updated: Tuesday, 1 July, 2003, 15:56 GMT 16:56 UK
Shortlist for 'North's Turner Prize'
The Little Artist's Lego copy of Damien Hirst's Shark in Formaldehyde
The Little Artists hope their Damien Hirst homage will cause a stir
A Lego model recreating Damien Hirst's controversial shark in formaldehyde artwork is among entries for a competition touted as the "Turner Prize of the North".

The Comme Ca prize - based at the Manchester gallery of the same name - has announced its shortlist of five for the 10,000 competition.

The gallery aims to recognise artists who live and work in the North West, North East and Yorkshire.

Claire Turner, Comme Ca director, said: "All of the shortlisted artists produce highly contemporary work in terms of the creative media they use."

Manchester 29-year-olds Cake and Neave are behind the Lego homage to Hirst's work titled The Little Artists.

Matthew Houlding's entry for the Comme Ca prize
Matthew Houlding makes models of buildings from domestic materials

Competition organisers described their use of the children's toy as "exploring the persona and mythology of the contemporary artists".

Other entries include an architectural model made up of mass-produced packaging and domestic building materials by Matthew Houlding, 36, of Todmorden, West Yorkshire.

David Mackintosh, 37, of Manchester, makes objects and drawings in brush and ink on A1 paper.

Paul Rooney, 36, of Liverpool, has submitted his video, sound and performance works which feature videos set to music of him interviewing people.

And Richard Talbot, 46, of North Shields, Tyneside, has submitted an example of his very large pencil drawings which explore themes such as maps, landscape and water.

'Draw attention'

Chris Ofili, the Manchester artist and winner of the 1998 Turner Prize, said he was "delighted" to be patron of the Comme Ca prize.

He said: "I grew up in Manchester and went to art college in Tameside.

"I very much hope this new prize will encourage and draw attention to artists working in the North."

The winner will be announced in October and their work will be exhibited at the Comme Ca Art Gallery, in Castlefield, Manchester.


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