Turner Prize 2014


The Turner Prize awards ceremony took place on Monday 01 December. I watched Channel 4’s broadcast of the Turner prize 2014, listened to the commentaries and guest speakers, and did further research.  Here are my thoughts on the Turner prize 2014.

Read further for links to the Tate website and reviews from The Independent, the Guardian and Telegraph newspapers.  You’ll find all you ever need to know about the Turner Prize 2014 shortlisted artists:

Turner Prize 2014

James Richards is the first of three film/video artists shortlisted for the Turner Prize 2014.  He combines live performance with film.  He takes film cuttings and collages found film images and sound samples to create emotional and intuitive experiences for the viewer.  His sound-scapes have the feel of a music video from his use of old VHS tape.  They have a beautiful and immersive quality about them.

Read what the Guardian had to say…

These are tough times for the Turner Prize, but hardly the apocalypse

A weak-ish shortlist led to demands for a revolution in the art prize’s administration – but surely this is an overreaction?

Turner Prize 2014

Tris Vonna-Michell selection for the Turner Prize 2014 is based on his work that uses spoken word and sound poetry and combines this with photo imagery.  He says this helps him create a more universal language than photography alone and enables him to communicate that much more to the viewer.  His use of different media enables him to create work that helps the viewer ask questions about narratives in our lives.

Read what the Telegraph had to say…

The annual Turner Prize exhibition at Tate Britain is engrossing, but only one man should win, says Richard Dorment

Turner Prize 2014

Duncan Campbell’s winning work in this year’s Turner Prize was made in response to a film about the social and historical context of how Western colonialism and commercialisation of African art has stripped it of its original value and meaning.  His Turner Prize winning film is the most political work of the shortlisted artists.  It makes us consider the collections held within our national collections, of African Art and other colonial cultures, in the context of the international move to return artefacts to their origins in an effort to right wrongs and restore value and morality.

His work encourages the viewer to question, or raises the issues, of how our actions effect and change our Values which in turn affect our place in the world.  It makes the viewer think about art in a moral context.

With 3 out of 4 of the Turner Prize 2014 shortlisted artists using film it does seem a bit biased to that medium and you might long for a return to the days when a transvestite potter won the Turner Prize.  That was back in 2003!  However some consider this short listing choice to showcase just how versatile a medium it is.  This may be a point if you consider how accessible this medium has become over the last few years with the rise of YouTube giving everyone the ability to showcase their video art to a worldwide audience with ease. 

Perhaps there is justification for this year’s Turner prize shortlist if you think back to 1999 when an unknown and controversial Steve McQueen won the prize.  Now he’s one of the UK’s most internationally acclaimed film directors with the acclaimed film  ‘12 years a slave’ his most recent triumph.

Turner Prize 2014

Ciara Phillips was nominated for her work in where she turned a gallery space into a collaborative print room where she worked with other artists and designers making large-scale spacious screen prints.  A community artist getting recognition?  It would be nice – but not quite!

Her work can be said to comment, sensitively, to the changing nature of art and society.  Her work can be seen to comment on the change in focus from the individual (1980 -90’s) to the group collective and our need to collaborate and share (think internet, YouTube, etc). Her gallery print room could be understood to be a fine art comment on the sea-change in humanities thinking with the rise in social media, connectivity (Twitter, facebook, etc), and the power collaboration has to affect social change (think China, Egypt, etc).  Perhaps Kiera’s work is giving recognition to this worldwide technologically driven social phenomenon.

Or is it simply the judging panel who are finally recognising that it is our most basic human need to share and work together towards a creative endeavour?  Perhaps the Turner prize is giving a signal that the days of worthy Fine Art being able to be created by a singular creative vision only, is able to be created through collaboration of creative minds?  I think music has been a step ahead of us for quite some time now!

Her exhibition gives the viewer a welcome break from the other video/film installations which dominate this year’s shortlist of the Turner Prize 2014.

If you want to know what the public think go to #TurnerPrize on Twitter.

I just wish I could get down to London to see it all for myself.  Next year The Tramway in Glasgow!!