And the winner of the 2019 Turner Prize is… All four shortlisted nominees. Lawrence Abu Hamdan, Helen Cammock, Oscar Murillo and Tai Shani. They will forever be known as the Collective. Helen Cammock read out the acceptance letter, they stated that each made art about social and political issues of great importance and urgency. “The politics we deal with differ greatly, and for us it would feel problematic if they were pitted against each other, with the implication that one was more important, significant or more worthy of attention than the others.
Where art goes commerce follows – Tracey Emin
“At this time of political crisis in Britain and much of the world, when there is already so much that divides and isolates people and communities, we feel strongly motivated to use the occasion of the prize to make a collective statement in the name of commonality, multiplicity and solidarity – in art as in society.”
The Turner Prize was presented this evening (Tuesday 3 December 2019) by the Editor-in-Chief of British Vogue, Edward Enninful O.B.E., in Margate.
Turner Prize 2019 is more diverse than ever. The four shortlisted artists: Lawrence Abu Hamdan, Helen Cammock, Oscar Murillo and Tai Shani, is currently on show at Turner Contemporary in Margate until 12 January 2020. Entry to Turner Prize 2019 at Turner Contemporary is free. The exhibition has attracted more than 90,000 visitors since opening to the public on 28 September 2019.
One of the best-known prizes for the visual arts in the world, the Turner Prize, named after J.M.W. Turner (1775-1851), aims to promote public interest in contemporary British art. It is awarded to a British artist for an outstanding exhibition or other presentation of their work in the past 12 months. The Turner Prize award is £40,000 with £25,000 going to the winner and £5,000 each for the other shortlisted artists.
It is the first time that the venue for the Turner Prize, outside of London, has had a direct connection with J.M.W. Turner. Turner Contemporary stands on the site of the artist’s artist’s lodging house and enjoys views of the skies that Turner felt were ”the loveliest in all Europe”. It was announced in October 2019 that Turner Contemporary’s iconic building will feature on the new £20 note, alongside their namesake J.M.W. Turner. Turner Contemporary is a charity, receiving public funding from Kent County Council and Arts Council England. Tracey Emin who is a champion of Margate commented “Where art goes commerce follows”.
Rowan Geddis and Fiona Parry curate turner Prize 2019. The members of the Turner Prize 2019 jury are Alessio Antoniolli, Director, Gasworks & Triangle Network; Elvira Dyangani Ose, Director of The Showroom Gallery and Lecturer in Visual Cultures at Goldsmiths; Victoria Pomery, Director, Turner Contemporary, Margate and Charlie Porter, writer. The jury is chaired by Alex Farquharson, Director of Tate Britain. Next year the prize will return to Tate Britain. Prize giving Turner Prize, Editor-in-Chief, British Vogue, Edward Enninful.
A.K.O supports Turner Prize 2019. Foundation, Eurotunnel, BNP Paribas, Southeastern, Canterbury Christ Church University, Lord Browne of Madingley and Lance Uggla, with additional funding from Kent County Council.
Last year’s winner was Charlotte Prodger, who represented Scotland at the 2019 Venice Biennale. She used the podium to thank public funding in Scotland for making her career possible, “I wouldn’t be in this room were it not for the public funding that I received from Scotland for free higher education and then later in the form of artist bursaries and grants to support not only the production of work but also living costs”
The Turner Prize has had a stellar success rate in propelling artists onto the international stage. Damien Hirst, Grayson Perry, and Antony Gormley have all won this award, and it hasn’t hurt their careers one bit, in fact, it’s helped make them household names.
LAWRENCE ABU HAMDAN – Turner Prize 2019
For his solo exhibition Earwitness Theatre at Chisenhale, and for the video installation Walled Unwalled and performance After SFX at Tate Modern, London. Self-proclaimed ‘private ear’, Abu Hamdan’s work investigates crimes that have been heard and not seen; exploring the processes of reconstruction, the complexity of memory and language as well as the urgency of human rights and advocacy. The jury was struck by Abu Hamdan’s exploration of sound as an architectural element and the way he recreates particular situations through sound and performance.
HELEN CAMMOCK – Turner Prize 2019
For her solo exhibition The Long Note at Void, Derry~Londonderry and IMMA, Dublin. The jury praised the timely and urgent quality of Cammock’s work which explores social histories through film, photography, print, text and performance. Creating layered narratives that allow for the cyclical nature of history to be revealed, The Long Note looks at the history and the role of women in the civil rights movement in Derry Londonderry. The work highlights how the complexities of the politics of Northern Ireland have overshadowed the social history of the region and the variety of political positions taken by women during that time.
OSCAR MURILLO – Turner Prize 2019
For his participation in the 10th Berlin Biennale, his solo exhibition Violent Amnesia at Kettle’s Yard, Cambridge and solo exhibition at the chi K11 art museum Shanghai. The jury particularly praised the way Murillo pushes the boundaries of materials, particularly in his paintings. His work incorporates a variety of techniques and media including painting, drawing, performance, sculpture and sound, often using recycled materials and fragments from his studio. Murillo’s work reflects on his own experience of displacement and the social fallout of globalisation.
TAI SHANI – Turner Prize 2019
For her participation in Glasgow International 2018, solo exhibition DC: Semiramis at The Tetley, Leeds and participation in Still I Rise: Feminisms, Gender, Resistance at Nottingham Contemporary and the De Le Warr Pavilion, Bexhill-on-Sea. The jury noted the compelling nature of Shani’s ongoing project Dark Continent, particularly the work’s ability to combine historical texts with contemporary references and issues. Developed over four years, it takes inspiration from a 15th-century feminist text, Christine de Pizan’s The Book of the City of Ladies. Shani uses theatrical installations, performances and films to create her own allegorical city of women populated by fantastical characters, transporting the viewer to another time and place.
Next year the Prize 2020 will return to Tate Britain. The members of the 2020 jury are Richard Birkett, Chief Curator at the Institute of Contemporary Arts; Sarah Munro, Director of BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art; Fatoş Üstek, Director of Liverpool Biennial; and Duro Olowu, designer and curator.
The Turner Prize is named after J.M.W. Turner (1775-1851) who was an innovative and controversial artist in his day, is now seen as one of the greatest British artists and expressed a wish to establish a prize for young artists. Turner Contemporary is named after the artist for similar reasons; our work is inspired by Turner’s innovative and radical approach to art.
Photos: P C Robinson © Artlyst 2019