The Turner Prize 2019 winners
Oscar Murillo, Oscar Murillo Zhang Enli 2019 at chi K11 art museum
Thanks to the 2019 Turner Prize winners, we’re ending the year on a positive note, recognising ‘commonality, multiplicity and solidarity’ – as this year’s award was split four ways at the request of its nominees.
In the second time this year that a major arts prize has been shared – the Booker Prize was jointly awarded to Bernardine Evaristo and Margaret Atwood – Britain's most high-profile contemporary art award was given to all four nominees after they wrote to the judges urging them to not choose a single winner.
Wanting to send a message of togetherness in troubled political times, the artists - Lawrence Abu Hamdan, Helen Cammock, Oscar Murillo and Tai Shani - will share the £40,000 prize money.
In a joint letter to the jury, the artists said: “This year you have selected a group of artists who, perhaps more than ever before in the Prize’s history, are all engaged in forms of social or participatory practice. More specifically, each of us makes art about social and political issues and contexts we believe are 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.
“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.”
This year’s nominated works include Murillo’s exploration of the politics of identity, migration and community with works that feature life-sized stuffed figures. Helen Cammock focuses on the role of women in the civil rights movement in Derry/Londonderry, while “audio investigator” Abu Hamdan makes films, installations and gives lectures about oppression and human rights. Taking inspiration from disparate histories, narratives and characters, Shani creates dark, fantastical worlds through performance, film, photography and sculptural installations.
Helen Cammock, The Long Note 2018
Lawrence Abu Hamdan, After SFX 2018 in The Tanks, Tate Modern
Tai Shani, DC Semiramis, 2018 Glasgow, Courtesy the artist, Photo Keith Hunter
For your chance to see the Turner Prize 2019 exhibition before it closes head to the Turner Contemporary in Margate before Sunday 12 January 2020.