Turner Prize Londonderry On Course For 2013

Plans to mount the Turner Prize in Derry Northern Ireland in 2013 are progressing on schedule according to both Ilex and the Culture Company. Derry will be the UK’s first City of Culture in 2013 after beating Birmingham, Norwich and Sheffield to the title. It will host a series of cultural events throughout the year, including  the Turner Prize, the first time it will be held outside of England.  Ed Vaizey said: “Derry has taken up the challenge of being the very first UK City of Culture and promises a first-rate programme of world-class culture in 2013. It’s a prestigious title and I’m delighted to announce that another city will have the chance to shine in 2017.” The City of Culture competition was launched by the previous Labour government following Liverpool’s success as European capital of culture in 2008. This week it also emerged that the Clock Tower building at Ebrington – the venue initially proposed to house the prestigious Turner Prize – was not suitable for the competition. Ilex are however confident that another building within the Ebrington site will provide an adequate  location for the international contemporary art award.

It was reported in the Derry Journal by Julieann Campbell that, Tate, who are behind the Turner Prize, are coming to the city in coming months and will talking to the Culture Company and looking at the venues we have on offer, but it is their choice and they have to be happy with the venue we propose; Mo Durkan, Ilex Director of Communications stated.The latest location within Ebrington – which could be redeveloped to host the Turner Prize at a cost of £2.5 million – is a former accomodation block called Building 80-81. “Building 80-81, a late Victorian red-brick building behind the Clock Tower in Ebrington, is the venue being scoped at the moment,” said Ms Durkan. “We have no reason to believe that it won’t be ready in time as the Turner Prize will be in Autumn 2013, which is still eighteen months away. As far as we are concerned, we are pushing forward with plans for Building 80-81.” A Culture Company spokesperson also said they had received a public commitment regarding the venue. “Our infrastructure partners, Ilex, have always assured us – as recently as our last Board meeting on Monday – that the venue for Turner Prize 2013 will be delivered on time and on schedule,” they said yesterday.

The Turner Prize is a contemporary art award that was set up in 1984 to celebrate new developments in British contemporary art. It is the most prestigious prize awarded in the UK. Previous winners include Susan Philipsz ,Richard Wright, Anish Kapoor and Damien Hirst. Love it or loathe it, the prize is always synonymous with controversy.

The prize is now going to alternate between Tate Britain and other centers around the country. This is to democratise the event and share it with the rest of Britain. This year the award will be held at The Baltic in Gateshead. In 2012 it will return to London for the Olympics’ year, and 2013 will see it travel to Londonderry, Northern Ireland as part of its city of culture celebrations. The controversial announcement that the Prize would alternate between Tate Britain and a gallery outside London, was made last September. Lorcan Doherty Photography

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