Turner Prize 2019: Award shared between four nominees after request for ‘solidarity’

The Turner Prize has for the first time in its history been awarded to all four nominees after they formed a collective “in the name of commonality, multiplicity and solidarity”.

It is awarded to artists Lawrence Abu Hamdan, Helen Cammock, Oscar Murillo and Tai Shani.

“At a time of political division in Britain and conflict in much of the world, the artists wanted to use the occasion of the Turner Prize to make a strong statement of community and solidarity and have formed themselves into a collective,” Edward Enninful, the editor-in-chief of British Vogue announced at the ceremony for the prize in Margate.

The Turner Prize is a top visual arts prize in the United Kingdom awarded to a “British artist”. The prize was first awarded in 1984. The winner receives £40,000 [€47,000].

“In coming together and presenting themselves as a group, this year’s nominated artists certainly gave the jury a lot to think about,” said Alex Farquharson, director of Tate Britain and chair of the prize’s jury in a statement.

“But it is very much in the spirit of these artists’ work to challenge convention, to resist polarised world views, and to champion other voices. The jury all felt that this made the collective a worthy winner of the Turner Prize.”

The four artists are currently on exhibition at Turner Contemporary, which will continue into January 2020.

Each artist’s work has a larger political or social tone.

Lawrence Abu Hamdan works on audiovisual installations and interviews connected to human rights and legal investigations. Cammock works with moving image, photography, print and performance to uncover historical voices and study power.

Oscar Murillo’s work involves sculpture and painting installations exploring migration and community. Shani has an exhibit that uses performance in an allegorical world to study otherness and feminism.

The prize was named after artist J.M.W. Turner who was born in the 18th century.

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