Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 27 August 2014

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

Turner Prize nominee David Shrigley's piece entitled 'Life Model'
Turner Prize nominee David Shrigley's piece entitled 'Life Model'
A member of the media watches a video installation by Turner Prize nominated artist Laure Prouvost
A member of the media watches a video installation by Turner Prize nominated artist Laure Prouvost
Lynette Yiadom-Boakye', Bound Over to Keep the Faith
Lynette Yiadom-Boakye', Bound Over to Keep the Faith

The Turner Prize would not be the most famous award in the art world were it not for the controversy surrounding it.

And for the Tate Gallery's first Turner exhibition outside London, the artists have lived up to its reputation for provoking deep debate.

After Tracey Emin's soiled bedsheets and Damien Hirst's bisected cows in formaldehyde, the show at Ebrington Square looks likely to continue that tradition of forcing visitors to ask: "Is it art?"

Central to David Shrigley's exhibition is a larger than life cartoon-ish model of a naked man with a tin bucket between his feet.

Viewers will be able to have a go at drawing his piece – unsurprisingly entitled Life Model – and their own work could then be displayed on the walls of Gallery 1, becoming part of the exhibition.

Glasgow-based artist Shrigley is the favourite to win the £25,000 prize money, but some schools have indicated they will be keeping their pupils away from this part of the exhibition.

"There's a few schools have a problem with the nudity. That's up to them," admitted Mr Shrigley.

"The drawings are part of the artwork. The idea is that people can take a bit of the artwork away. I hope they enjoy trying to figure out what it's about."

In Gallery 3, visitors enter a room without anything on display. They will be asked by interpreters if they would like to voice an opinion on the common market.

Their views are not recorded, but those who accept artist Tino Sehgal's challenge in This Is Exchange, get a password and are paid a £2 fee – and as the exhibition is free, visitors can make a small profit.

However, the exhibition also features what more traditional art fans might consider art – paintings hanging on a wall.

Ghanaian Lynette Yiadom-Boakye has a number of large canvasses on display in Gallery 4.

Meanwhile, Yiadom-Boakye is the first black woman contesting the award.

The final exhibit is a powerful video installation from Laure Prouvost, who is shortlisted for her work, Wantee.

This personal piece shows a representation of her grandparent's house, where her grandfather, also an artist, worked and disappeared from.

The winner will be announced at an awards ceremony in Derry on December 2.

Shona McCarthy, chief executive of Derry's Culture Company, encouraged the public to take advantage of a unique opportunity.

Penelope Curtis, director of Tate Britain, added: "Visitors to the exhibition at Ebrington will gain a good sense of the diversity of British art."

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

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