Past Event Tate Britain Exhibition

Turner Prize 2005

18 October 2005 – 22 January 2006

The Turner Prize 2005 was awarded to Simon Starling. Culture Minister David Lammy presented the artist with the £25,000 prize.

Simon Starling with Shedboatshed (Mobile Architecture No 2), after receiving the 2005 prize

Simon Starling Installation view, Turner Prize 2005 exhibition


  • Darren Almond – nominated
  • Gillian Carnegie – nominated
  • Jim Lambie – nominated
  • Simon Starling – winner

Winner combines craft, concept and a journey – but can it be art?

The appearance of a ‘traditional painter’ on the shortlist, Gillian Carnegie, first attracted newspaper headlines, but it was Simon Starling’s Shedboatshed – a shed transformed into a boat and sailed down the Rhine before being reconstructed back into a shed in the gallery – that initiated the habitual flurry of ‘is it art?’ questions. In presenting the Prize to Starling, for the second year running the award prioritised an artist with a process-based practice whose projects mostly took shape outside the gallery. In this year the Tate Patrons relinquished their seat on the jury to be replaced by a ‘representative from the media'.


  • Louisa Buck, London contemporary art correspondent, The Art Newspaper
  • Kate Bush, Head of Art Galleries, Barbican Art Gallery
  • Caoimhin Mac Giolla Leith, art critic and Lecturer, Modern Irish Department, University College Dublin
  • Eckhard Schneider, Director, Kunsthaus Bregenz
  • Nicholas Serota, Director, Tate and Chairman of the Jury

Turner Prize 2005 in quotes

Art for me is a free space to explore things. The things I do don’t always come out looking like conventional works of art. But then I’m like any artist these days working in relation to a long history of art. I think the press is a long way behind understanding this or responding to art in a sympathetic way. I got a lovely poem from a lady in St Albans about sheds.Simon Starling as quoted in The Guardian, 2005

Shedboatshed is an object, a thought and an action. It expresses complex things quietly in simple bold steps. When an artist can turn a shed into a boat and back he has the kind of creative freedom we all need.Visitor comment, 2005

I’m not entirely sure whether it counts as art … I’m dead certain that it’s not conceptual art. Then again, however, in just raising these questions, maybe it is.Guy Dammann, Guardian Unlimited, December 2005


Tate Britain
Plan your visit


18 October 2005 – 22 January 2006