OLIVER Stokes Hughes made the decision to devote himself to art full-time last year and now the result will be on display for everyone to see.
The Carlingford resident's exhibition Dark Matter is at the Sheffer Gallery, Darlington until December 22.
He said the decision to focus solely on his art was made carefully.
"It's not a constant source of income so you have to make sacrifices," he said.
"There is no certainty whether you will sell works or not so you have to be determined and know what you're doing is the right thing."
The concept of the 23-year-old's latest exhibition focuses around the unknown.
Instead of combining a whole lot of separate images, he said the works in Dark Matter worked together to tell a story.
"Most of the world is made up of dark matter and even though scientists can't see it, they know it's there," he said. "It's about the unknown and the decisions you have to make.
"Like a fork in the road you have to go left or right a deal with the unknown consequences."
Made up of 14 etchings and one bronze sculpture, the exhibition took more than a year to piece together.