The Turner Prize 2021 has been awarded to Array Collective, it was announced this evening at a ceremony at Coventry Cathedral, in partnership with Tate and Coventry UK City of Culture 2021. The £25,000 prize was presented by Pauline Black, the lead singer of 2 Tone pioneers, The Selecter, during a live broadcast on the BBC. A further £10,000 was awarded to each of the other nominees. This year the Turner Prize exhibition is being held at the Herbert Art Gallery & Museum in Coventry as a highlight of its City of Culture year.
The jury awarded the prize to Array Collective for their hopeful and dynamic artwork which addresses urgent social and political issues affecting Northern Ireland with humour, seriousness and beauty. The jury were impressed with how Belfast-based Array Collective were able to translate their activism and values into the gallery environment, creating a welcoming, immersive and surprising exhibition. The jury commended all five nominees for their socially engaged artworks, and how they work closely and creatively with communities across the breadth of the UK. The collaborative practices highlighted in this year’s shortlist also reflect the solidarity and generosity demonstrated in response to our divided times.
One of the world’s best-known prizes for the visual arts, the Turner Prize aims to promote public debate around new developments in contemporary British art. For the first time, this year's Turner Prize jury selected a shortlist consisting entirely of artist collectives and artist-run projects: Array Collective, Black Obsidian Sound System, Cooking Sections, Gentle/Radical and Project Art Works.
The members of the Turner Prize 2021 jury are Aaron Cezar, Director, Delfina Foundation; Kim McAleese, Programme Director, Grand Union; Russell Tovey, Actor; and Zoé Whitley, Director, Chisenhale Gallery. The jury is chaired by Alex Farquharson, Director, Tate Britain.
The exhibition is a highlight of Coventry’s UK City of Culture 2021 celebrations. Herbert Art Gallery and Museum champions Coventry’s culture, city and arts and is one of the UK’s leading regional museums. As part of its preparations for City of Culture 2021, the museum underwent a major redevelopment of its gallery spaces in anticipation of the Turner Prize exhibition. In parallel to the Turner Prize exhibition, Coventry also hosts ‘Coventry Biennial 2021: Hyper-Possible’ across Coventry and Warwickshire.
The exhibition of the five shortlisted collectives at The Herbert Art Gallery & Music continues until 12 January 2022. Entry is free.
Established in 1984, the prize is named after the radical British painter JMW Turner (1775-1851). Originating at Tate Britain, the Turner Prize regularly travels to other venues in the UK. It has previously been shown in Liverpool in 2007, Gateshead in 2011, Derry in 2013, Glasgow in 2015, Hull in 2017, and Margate in 2019. In 2022 it will be held at Tate Liverpool to mark 15 years since the prize was first held in the city as part of the European City of Culture celebrations. The members of the Turner Prize 2022 jury will be Irene Aristzábal, Head of Curatorial and Public Practice, BALTIC; Christine Eyene, Research Fellow, School of Arts and Media, UCLAN; Robert Leckie, Director, Spike Island; and Anthony Spira, Director, MK Gallery.
The Turner Prize 2021 is supported by the AKO Foundation, Avanti West Coast and Arts Council England, with additional support from ArtAV, The John Browne Charitable Trust and The Uggla Family Foundation.
Turner Prize 2021
29 September 2021 – 12 January 2022
Herbert Art Gallery & Museum, Jordan Well, Coventry CV1 5QP
High-resolution images and press pack available for download: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/aez8olmy2y2foej/AABfkkyBowWTH0m944iS5Y6la?dl=0
For press information about Turner Prize 2021 and Herbert Art Gallery and Museum:
Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call +44(0)20 7221 5000
For press information about Tate and Turner Prize contact Tate’s Press Office:
Email email@example.com or call +44(0)20 7887 8732
For press Information about Coventry UK City of Culture:
Email: Matt.Railton@fourcommunications.com or call +44(0)20 3697 4262
Array Collective is a group of 11 artists who create collaborative actions in response to socio-political issues affecting Northern Ireland. The collective has been working together more actively since 2016, motivated by the growing anger around human rights issues happening at the time. Their intention is to reclaim and review the dominant ideas about religio-ethnic identity in Northern Ireland. Working as constituents or allies of the communities they protest with and make art about, Array Collective aims to create a new mythology for the growing number of people who do not prescribe to embedded sectarian dichotomies.
BLACK OBSIDIAN SOUND SYSTEM
Black Obsidian Sound System (B.O.S.S.) is a London-based collective which works across art, sound and radical activism. Formed by and for QTIBPOC (Queer, Trans and Intersex Black and People of Colour) in Summer 2018, B.O.S.S. challenges the dominant norms of sound-system culture across the African diaspora through club nights, art installations, technical workshops and creative commissions.
Cooking Sections is a duo based in London. Established in 2013, their practice uses food as a lens and tool to observe landscapes in transformation. Their work investigates the impact of humans on this planet, and asks how we can adapt infrastructure and the built environment to ensure a thriving future.
Gentle/Radical is an artists-and-others-run project established in Cardiff in 2016. The organisation was formed through a commitment to art, creativity and culture as tools for social change. Gentle/Radical deliberately work in community contexts rather than mainstream cultural spaces to enable those routinely excluded from the arts to be met where they are. Above all, they are interested in asking questions about how power works, how to transform how power works, and how culture can better centre justice.
PROJECT ART WORKS
Project Art Works is a collective of neurodiverse* artists and makers based in Hastings. Established in 1997, they share an expanded idea of art created through collaborative practice with, for and by neurominorities. Through advocacy and activism in culture and care they seek to ensure that people with complex support needs have agency in their civic and creative lives.
* Neurodiverse is a term used to acknowledge different states of understanding and living in the world. Neurodivergence and neurominorities are terms that embrace autistic people and/or those who have learning or intellectual disabilities.
Previous Turner Prize winners:
1984 Malcolm Morley; 1985 Howard Hodgkin; 1986 Gilbert & George; 1987 Richard Deacon; 1988 Tony Cragg; 1989 Richard Long; 1990 (Prize suspended); 1991 Anish Kapoor; 1992 Grenville Davey; 1993 Rachel Whiteread; 1994 Antony Gormley; 1995 Damien Hirst; 1996 Douglas Gordon; 1997 Gillian Wearing; 1998 Chris Ofili; 1999 Steve McQueen; 2000 Wolfgang Tillmans; 2001 Martin Creed; 2002 Keith Tyson; 2003 Grayson Perry; 2004 Jeremy Deller; 2005 Simon Starling; 2006 Tomma Abts; 2007 Mark Wallinger; 2008 Mark Leckey; 2009 Richard Wright; 2010 Susan Philipsz; 2011 Martin Boyce; 2012 Elizabeth Price; 2013 Laure Prouvost; 2014 Duncan Campbell; 2015 Assemble; 2016 Helen Marten; 2017 Lubaina Himid; 2018 Charlotte Prodger; 2019 Abu Hamdan/Cammock/Murillo/Shani
Herbert Art Gallery & Museum
Herbert Art Gallery & Museum is an award-winning gallery and museum situated in the cultural heart of Coventry. The Herbert has a large and wide-ranging collection including social history, archaeology, natural history and art. There are around 6,000 works in the Herbert's visual arts collection, the earliest of which is an Elizabethan portrait attributed to Lucas de Heere. British life and landscape feature in canvases by LS Lowry, Stanley Spencer, David Bomberg, Paul Nash and George Shaw. The Gallery collects new and recent art in a variety of media and styles, currently developing a collection of art on the themes of conflict, peace and reconciliation. Temporary exhibition spaces have hosted collections from museums nationally and internationally. The Herbert has recently undergone a vast redevelopment in preparation for Coventry UK City of Culture, enabling the gallery to display more works and major world-class exhibitions. Further information: theherbert.org/about/default.aspx
Culture Coventry Trust (CCT) – which operates the Herbert Art Gallery & Museum – receives regular public funding from Coventry City Council and Arts Council England. CCT has also received additional funding from Coventry City Council and Arts Council England (through the National Lottery) to support the delivery of its UK City of Culture programme, including the Turner Prize.
Coventry UK City of Culture 2021 commenced on 15 May 2021, running for 12 months.
The 365-day cultural programme reflects Coventry as a diverse, modern city, demonstrating that culture is a force that changes lives. Coventry is the UK’s only city of peace and reconciliation, and known internationally as a city of welcome, a city of activists and pioneers, innovation, and invention, and now a City of Culture.
Coventry is the city where movement began, from innovation in the transport industry to a history of welcome, it has moved people for centuries. For a whole year, Coventry is celebrating with events, music, dance, theatre, and large-scale spectacle. As well as the expected celebrations, it is throwing a spotlight onto city voices with a range of hyper local experiences and ways to get involved across every neighbourhood. And it’s not just Coventry. This epic celebration also witnesses the entire region getting involved and benefitting from the opportunities that being City of Culture brings.
Our year of culture is co-created with the people of Coventry and is bringing about long-term social, economic, and cultural benefits.
Coventry UK City of Culture 2021 is grateful for the support of their Partners and Champions.
Coverage of the Turner Prize ceremony is commissioned by BBC Arts as part of an autumn of awards ceremonies across BBC TV, Radio and digital platforms. The Commissioning Editor is Stephen James-Yeoman.