The Turner Prize 2016 has been awarded to Helen Marten it was announced at Tate Britain this evening. The £25,000 prize was presented by author Ben Okri during a live broadcast on the BBC, the broadcast partner for the prize. A further £5,000 is awarded to each of the other shortlisted artists. 

The jury applauded the four nominated artists’ commitment and the strengths of their diverse artistic practices. They awarded the prize to Helen Marten for projects including Lunar Nibs at the 56th Venice Biennale and the solo exhibition Eucalyptus Let Us In at Green Naftali, New York. The jury think the work is outstanding for its extraordinary range of materials and form. They admire the work’s poetic and enigmatic qualities which reflect the complexities and challenges of being in the world today. The jury believe she is making an exceptional contribution to the continuing development of contemporary visual art. 

One of the best known prizes for the visual arts in the world, the Turner Prize aims to promote public debate around new developments in contemporary British art. The Prize, established in 1984 by the Patrons of New Art, is awarded to a British artist under fifty for an outstanding exhibition or other presentation of their work in the twelve months preceding 28 April 2016. The shortlisted artists for 2016 were: Michael Dean, Anthea Hamilton, Helen Marten and Josephine Pryde.

The members of the Turner Prize 2016 jury are Michelle Cotton, Director, Bonner Kunstverein, Bonn; Tamsin Dillon, Curator; Beatrix Ruf, Director, Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; and Simon Wallis, Director, The Hepworth Wakefield. The Chair of the jury is Alex Farquharson, Director, Tate Britain.

An exhibition of the four shortlisted artists is at Tate Britain until 2 January 2017.

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Previous Turner Prize winners are: 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.

Poet and novelist Ben Okri was born in 1959 in Minna, northern Nigeria. He grew up in London before returning to Nigeria with his family in 1968. He left the country when a grant from the Nigerian government enabled him to read Comparative Literature at Essex University. Ben Okri has published 10 novels, as well as collections of poetry, short stories and essays. In 1991 he won the Man Booker Prize for Fiction for his novel The Famished Road. He was awarded an OBE in 2001. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and has been awarded numerous international prizes including the Commonwealth Writers Prize for Africa, the Aga Khan Prize for Fiction and the Chianti Rufino-Antico Fattore. He is a Vice-President of the English Centre of International PEN and was presented with a Crystal Award by the World Economic Forum. Ben Okri lives in London.


Helen Marten was born in Macclesfield in 1985. She studied at Central Saint Martins, University of the Arts, London and Ruskin School of Fine Art, University of Oxford. Her solo exhibitions include: Eucalyptus, Let us in, Greene Naftali Gallery, New York, USA (2016) Orchids, or a hemispherical bottom, König Galerie, Berlin (2014); Parrot Problems, Fridericianum, Kassel, Germany (2014); Oreo St. James, Sadie Coles HQ, London, UK (2014); No Borders in a wok that can’t be crossed, CCS Bard Hessel Museum, New York, USA (2013); Plank Salad, Chisenhale Gallery, London, UK (2012); Evian Disease, Palais de Tokyo, Paris, France (2012); Almost the exact shape of Florida, Kunsthalle Zürich, Zürich, Switzerland (2012); Dust and Piranhas, Park Night Project, Serpentine Gallery, London, UK (2011); Take a stick and make it sharp, Johann Konig, Berlin, Germany (2011); and Wicked Patterns, T293, Naples (2010). She has a forthcoming solo exhibition at The Serpentine Sackler Galleries opening in September 2016. Selected group exhibitions include: Hepworth Sculpture Prize, Hepworth Wakefield, UK (2016); The future is already here - it’s just not evenly distributed, 20th Biennale of Sydney, Australia (2016); All the World’s Futures, 56th International Art Exhibition, Venice Biennale, Venice, Italy (2015); Mirrorcity: 23 London Artists, Hayward Gallery, London, UK (2014); The 12th Lyon Biennale, Lyon, France (2013); and Il Palazzo Enciclopedico (The Encyclopaedic Palace), 55th International Art Exhibition, Venice Biennale, Venice, Italy (2013).

Helen Marten is 31 and lives and works in London.