Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 31 August 2014

Turner Prize: A genuine jewel in Derry's culture city crown

Laure Prouvost after she is announced as the winner of this years Turner Prize at the Venue in Londonderry
Laure Prouvost after she is announced as the winner of this years Turner Prize at the Venue in Londonderry
Irish actress Saoirse Ronan (left) carries Laure Prouvost's baby, Celeste, to the stage after announcing her as the winner of this years Turner Prize at the Venue in Londonderry
Irish actress Saoirse Ronan (left) carries Laure Prouvost's baby, Celeste, to the stage after announcing her as the winner of this years Turner Prize at the Venue in Londonderry
Part of Laure Prouvost's, Wantee,  which is one of the exhibits nominated for this years £25,000 Turner Prize taking place at Ebrington in Derry~Londonderry as part of the UK City of Culture celebrations. Picture Martin McKeown. Inpresspics.com. 22.10.13
Part of Laure Prouvost's, Wantee, which is one of the exhibits nominated for this years £25,000 Turner Prize taking place at Ebrington in Derry~Londonderry as part of the UK City of Culture celebrations. Picture Martin McKeown. Inpresspics.com. 22.10.13

A dead shark in formaldehyde, a dirty, unmade bed, and blobs of elephant dung. Just three of the 'exhibits' submitted over the 29-year history of the Turner Prize, the annual competition from Tate Britain to find the cream of British-based visual artists under the age of 50.

This year the shortlist exhibition comes to Londonderry for the UK City of Culture 2013 celebrations, at Ebrington.

In the grand tradition of the Turner Prize, they are nothing if not thought-provoking. David Shrigley's Life Model is a sculpted naked man of simian demeanour, shorn of body hair, looking skyward and occasionally blinking.

At his feet is a galvanised bucket, into which he intermittently relieves himself.

Dozens of drawings and sketches on the walls, by groups of children and adults who have already viewed Life Model, signal its collaborative nature. Some of them are amusing, many strikingly impressive.

In a second, softly lit room, six largely naturalistic paintings by Lynette Yiadom-Boakye make a dramatic impression, whites of eyes and teeth launching shafts of gleaming light from burnished backdrops.

In a long, white-walled gallery on the first floor nothing seems to be happening initially, until a team of black-shirted assistants initiate conversations involving the spectators as part of Tino Sehgal's conceptual piece This Is Exchange, an examination of how market-based principles apply in relationships.

Laure Prouvost's mixed media installation Wantee is a wryly observed amalgam of fact and fiction, reality and illusion, with a starring role for teapots.

Who'll win? That'll be clear when Channel 4 broadcasts the judges' verdict live from Ebrington on December 2. Meanwhile, join the debate by visiting this uniquely stimulating exhibition, a genuine jewel in the crown of the City of Culture.

Turner Prize may have quit London to set up in Derry, but the usual controversies have not been left behind 

Turner Prize: UK's best-known art award comes to Derry

Artists battle for Turner Prize 

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Try not to dwell on a recent disappointment. The sooner you recover from this setback, the faster you will achieve success. Model your behaviour after an artist you've always respected. Overcoming adversity will win the admiration of a powerful executive. If you continue to work towards your goal, you will be offered an impressive job. Getting handsomely rewarded for your communication skills will be gratifying. When one door closes, another will usually open.More