Turner Prize 2019

Turner Prize 2019: Shortlist revealed for UK's biggest arts award

Every year countless prizes are awarded all over the world to contemporary artists in recognition of their contribution to the field. The Turner Prize perhaps the most notorious of them all. Since 1984 is the most talked about event in the art world and entertainment for British media. A cash prize of GBP£25,000 is given to the winner, while GBP£5,000 is awarded to the shortlisted artists. The shortlist is generally thought to reflect the state of contemporary British Art and it is considered a strong indicator of who might be the future stars.

This year’s nominees are Lawrence Abu Hamdan, Helen Cammock, Oscar Murillo and Tai Shan

An exhibition of the shortlisted artists will be held at Turner Contemporary in Margate from 28 September 2019 until 12 January 2020.  The announcement of the winner will be broadcast live by the BBC on 3 December. 

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Abu Hamdan

Photo by Eric T White

Abu Hamdan, 34 lives in Beirut. His work explores crimes that are heard and not seen. Using survivor testimonies from Saydnaya, a high-security Syrian prison which has been described as an "architectural instrument of torture", he created a sound installation. Prisoners had been subjected to total sensory deprivation and forced to live in darkness in the prison, operated by President Bashar al Assad's regime. The sound effects help the six survivors recall their memories, "to map the unknown architecture of the prison and to understand what happened there".

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Helen Cammock

Photo by Thierry Bal


Helen Cammock, 48, lives in London. In 2018 she won the Max Mara Prize for Women. This year for the Turner prize the jury praised the "timely and urgent quality" of her work. The Long Note, explores the history and role of women in the civil rights movement in Derry/Londonderry in 1968 using film, photography, print, text and performance art. The work "highlights how the complexities of the politics of Northern Ireland have overshadowed the social history of the region and the variety of political positions taken by women during that time".

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Tai Shani

Self-taught artist Tai Shani, 42, lives in London. She explores "feminine subjectivity and experience through a gothic/science-fiction lens".The jury noted the "compelling nature of her ongoing project Dark Continent and its "ability to combine historical texts with contemporary references and issues".Developed over four years, Shani takes inspiration from the 15th-century feminist text, Christine de Pizan's The Book of the City of Ladies, using theatrical installations, performances and films..

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Oscar Murillo

The Colombian-born Oscar Murillo, 33, lives and works in various locations. He incorporates a variety of techniques and media in his work, including painting, drawing, performance, sculpture and sound, often using recycled materials and fragments from his studio. The jury praised him for "pushing the boundaries". His art explores "materials, process and labour, as well as issues of migration, community, exchange and trade in today's globalised world".

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