It’s highly likely that Lawrence Abu Hamdan, Helen Cammock, Oscar Murillo and Tai Shani are grinning a big collective smile right now. Why? They’ve only gone and been nominated for the 2019 Turner Prize!
While it might only feel like yesterday since British art’s biggest prize was nabbed by iPhone-wielding Charlotte Prodger, we’re now just a short few months away from the annual Turner Prize shortlist show, which this year takes place at the gallery’s Margate outpost.
Tate is evidently proud that, for the first time in the prize’s 35 year history, there’s finally a physical link to the painter who (unwittingly, it must be said) has lent his name to the prestigious gong. A press release accompanying the shortlist announcement says: “Turner Contemporary stands on the site of artist’s lodging house and enjoys views of the skies that Turner felt were ‘the loveliest in all Europe’.”
After last year’s Turner Prize show presented viewers with four video-based works, sceptical punters hoping for a bit of variation have found themselves in luck. One nominated artist, Tai Shani, Tate says “uses theatrical installations, performances and films,” to create an “allegorical city of women populated by fantastical characters, transporting the viewer to another time and place.”
Mixed-media artist Oscar Murillo has been praised by the jury for the way he “pushes boundaries of materials, particularly in his paintings,” creating work which reflects on his “experience of displacement and the social fallout of globalisation.” And, highlighting how the complexities of Northern Irish politics have “overshadowed the social history of the region and the variety of political positions taken by women during that time,” Helen Cammock has been nominated for The Long Note, an exploration of social history through film, print, performance, text, and photography.
Rounding things off for 2019 is “self-proclaimed ‘private ear’,” Lawrence Abu Hamdan. “The jury,” Tate says, “was struck by Abu Hamdan’s exploration of sound as an architectural element and the way he recreates particular situations through sound and performance.”
The winner will waltz out of Margate £25,000 richer, while the runners up each claim £5,000. The prize will be announced on 3 December 2019.