Turner Prize 2019 nominees share award after 'solidarity' plea

Tuesday 3rd December 2019 23:15 GMT

Artists Oscar Murillo, Lawrence Abu Hamdan, Helen Cammock and Tai Shani have all won the prestigious title and will have to split the £40,000 prize money between them.

The decision was made after the artists wrote a joint letter to the jury asking that the prize be used as a statement of "commonality, multiplicity and solidarity" at a time of "political crisis".

It was revealed at a glamorous event at Dreamland Margate amusement park in Kent.

The winners were presented the prize on stage by Edward Enninful, the editor-in-chief of British Vogue.

Alex Farquharson, director of Tate Britain and chairman of the Turner Prize jury, said: "In coming together and presenting themselves as a group, this year's nominated artists certainly gave the jury a lot to think about.

"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."

Jurors said their decision was "unanimous" and praised the artists' actions for reflecting the "political and social poetics that we admire and value in their work".

Colombian artist Oscar Murrillo's paper mache figures are inspired by his homeland's tradition of making models to be burned on New Year's Eve.

The work of Lawrence Abu Hamdan is an audiovisual installation which offers a glimpse inside the Syrian prison of Saydanya, where inmates suffered torture.

Helen Cammock, 49, made a film which explores the history and role of women in the civil rights movement that began in Northern Ireland in 1968.

Tai Shani's "DC:Semiramis" feminist science fiction work features an alternative reality in which the 43-year-old explores dark worlds.

The artists' work has been on display at the Turner Contemporary gallery on Margate seafront.

It is the first time the venue has had a direct connection with JMW Turner, the painter whom the awards are named after.

The gallery stands on the site of the artist's lodging house and has views of the skies that Turner described as "the loveliest in all Europe".

The Turner Prize was established in 1984 and celebrates contemporary British art.

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