Turner Contemporary
Sat 28 Sep 2019 - Sun 12 Jan 2020

Supported by AKO Foundation, Eurotunnel, BNP Paribas, Southeastern, Canterbury Christ Church University, Lord Browne of Madingley and Lance Uggla, with additional funding from Kent County Council.


Image courtesy Turner Contemporary

Image courtesy of Turner Contemporary

It was announced this evening that the Turner Prize 2019, presented in partnership with Tate and Turner Contemporary, has been awarded to a collective bringing together the four nominated artists: Abu Hamdan/Cammock/Murillo/Shani. The prize was presented by Edward Enninful, Editor-in-Chief of British Vogue, at a ceremony broadcast live on the BBC from Dreamland in Margate.

The four nominees – Lawrence Abu Hamdan, Helen Cammock, Oscar Murillo, and Tai Shani – came together to request that the jury consider awarding the Prize to them as a collective. In recognition of these artists’ shared commitment to urgent social and political causes, the jury unanimously decided to honour that request.

In a joint letter to the jury, the artists said: ‘At this time of political crisis in Britain and much of the world, when there is already so much that divides and isolates people and communities, we feel strongly motivated to use the occasion of the Prize to make a collective statement in the name of commonality, multiplicity and solidarity – in art as in society.’

The jury praised the artists for their commitment to the collective power of art. They noted that this unique and timely act of solidarity encapsulates the very reasons for which these four artists were nominated in the first place, as demonstrated in the works they exhibited at Turner Contemporary.

The jury said:“At our meeting today, we were presented with the letter from the artists and unanimously took the decision to agree to their request. We are honoured to be supporting this bold statement of solidarity and collaboration in these divided times. Their symbolic act reflects the political and social poetics that we admire and value in their work.”

Alex Farquharson, Director of Tate Britain and chair of the Turner Prize jury, said: “In coming together and presenting themselves as a group, this year’s nominated artists certainly gave the jury a lot to think about. But it is very much in the spirit of these artists’ work to challenge convention, to resist polarised world views, and to champion other voices. The jury all felt that this made the collective a worthy winner of the Turner Prize.”

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. Established in 1984, the prize is named after JMW Turner (1775-1851) and is awarded to an artist born or based in the UK for an outstanding exhibition or other presentation of their work in the past twelve months.

The 2019 edition of Turner Prize is the first time that the venue for the exhibition, outside of London, has had a direct connection with JMW Turner. Turner Contemporary stands on the site of the artist’s lodging house and enjoys views of the skies that Turner felt were ‘the loveliest in all Europe’.

The members of the Turner Prize 2019 jury are Alessio Antoniolli, Director, Gasworks & Triangle Network; Elvira Dyangani Ose, Director of The Showroom Gallery and Lecturer in Visual Cultures at Goldsmiths; Victoria Pomery, Director, Turner Contemporary, Margate and Charlie Porter, writer. The jury is chaired by Alex Farquharson, Director of Tate Britain. Next year the prize will return to Tate Britain.

Turner Contemporary is working with partners across Kent to make Turner Prize 2019 an unforgettable moment for audiences from Margate, Kent and beyond. The exhibition of the four shortlisted artists at Turner Contemporary has already been seen by almost 100,000 visitors, making it one of the most popular Turner Prize shows outside London. The exhibition, curated by Rowan Geddis and Fiona Parry, continues until Sunday 12 January 2020. Entry is free.

Turner Contemporary is a charity, receiving public funding from Kent County Council and Arts Council England. Turner Prize 2019 is supported by AKO Foundation, Eurotunnel, BNP Paribas, Southeastern, Canterbury Christ Church University, Lord Browne of Madingley and Lance Uggla, with additional funding from Kent County Council.

The artists’ letter to the jury:

We are writing to you as the Turner Prize Nominees 2019.

After a number of discussions, we have come to a collective view that we would like to be considered together for this year’s award. We are therefore writing to request that you as the jury might consider awarding the Prize to the four of us collectively and not to any of us individually. We hope that you will both understand and honour the position we have arrived at.

This year you have selected a group of artists who, perhaps more than ever before in the Prize's history, are all engaged in forms of social or participatory practice. More specifically, each of us makes art about social and political issues and contexts we believe are of great importance and urgency. The politics we deal with differ greatly, and for us it would feel problematic if they were pitted against each other, with the implication that one was more important, significant or more worthy of attention than the others.

None of us had met each other prior to the Turner Prize, however on our initial meeting in Margate, we quickly recognised the underlying shared ethos that runs across our otherwise very different practices. At this time of political crisis in Britain and much of the world, when there is already so much that divides and isolates people and communities, we feel strongly motivated to use the occasion of the Prize to make a collective statement in the name of commonality, multiplicity and solidarity - in art as in society.

We hope you will find you can honour the position we have taken and award the Prize this year to the four of us collectively.

Lawrence Abu Hamdan, Helen Cammock, Oscar Murillo, and Tai Shani

The Turner Prize 2019 nominations:


For his solo exhibition Earwitness Theatre at Chisenhale, video installation Walled Unwalled and performance After SFX at Tate Modern, London. Self-proclaimed ‘private ear’, Abu Hamdan’s work investigates crimes that have been heard and not seen; exploring the processes of reconstruction, the complexity of memory and language as well as the urgency of human rights and advocacy. The jury was struck by Abu Hamdan’s exploration of sound as an architectural element and the way he recreates particular situations through sound and performance.

For her solo exhibition The Long Note at Void, Derry Londonderry and IMMA, Dublin. The jury praised the timely and urgent quality of Cammock’s work which explores social histories through film, photography, print, text and performance. Creating layered narratives that allow for the cyclical nature of history to be revealed, The Long Note looks at the history and the role of women in the civil rights movement in Derry Londonderry. 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.

For his participation in the 10th Berlin Biennale, his solo exhibition Violent Amnesia at Kettle’s Yard, Cambridge and solo exhibition at the chi K11 art museum Shanghai. The jury particularly praised the way Murillo pushes the boundaries of materials, particularly in his paintings. His work incorporates a variety of techniques and media including painting, drawing, performance, sculpture and sound, often using recycled materials and fragments from his studio. Murillo’s work reflects on his own experience of displacement and the social fallout of globalisation.

For her participation in Glasgow International 2018, solo exhibition DC: Semiramis at The Tetley, Leeds and participation in Still I Rise: Feminisms, Gender, Resistance at Nottingham Contemporary and the De Le Warr Pavilion, Bexhill-on-Sea. The jury noted the compelling nature of Shani’s ongoing project Dark Continent, particularly the work’s ability to combine historical texts with contemporary references and issues. Developed over four years, it takes inspiration from a 15th century feminist text, Christine de Pizan’s The Book of the City of Ladies. Shani uses theatrical installations, performances and films to create her own allegorical city of women populated by fantastical characters, transporting the viewer to another time and place.

Turner Prize Exhibition at Turner Contemporary:

  • 7.52% of people had never visited an art gallery in their lives before their visit to Turner Prize 2019 at Turner Contemporary
  • The gallery has welcomed 120+ visits from schools so far, that’s an average of 3 school visits every single school day during Turner Prize 2019.
  • 3000 children and young people have attended with their school and engaged in our learning programme.
  • Over 570 hours of volunteering time has taken place during Turner Prize 2019 so far from individuals based in Margate and the surrounding areas. Turner Contemporary volunteers have directly connected with over 5000 individuals as part of the wider programme; Margate NOW.
  • Over 26% of all visits have been from individuals who live in Margate and Thanet.
  • Research undertaken by Canterbury Christ Church University shows that 55% of respondents to came to Margate mainly to see the Turner Prize 2019 exhibition.
  • 33%, 1 in 3, survey respondents visiting Margate, who attended the Turner Prize 2019 exhibition, stayed overnight in the area
  • ¼ survey respondents, who attended the Turner Prize 2019 exhibition said that they will browse local shops whilst in Margate.
  • 30% of survey respondents, who attended the Turner Prize 2019 exhibition said that they will buy food or drink in a local café/bar/restaurant.
  • 500 artists and performers have participated in Margate NOW, (28 September – 12 January 2020), an inspiring festival of art, events and performance, led by Turner Contemporary and developed in collaboration with partners.

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.

Turner Contemporary

Turner Contemporary in Margate is one of the most distinctive galleries in the UK; its impact stretches beyond culture-led regeneration and the showcasing of world-class exhibitions, to pioneering change by making the arts more vital and connected to daily life. Turner Contemporary is a charity, receiving public funding from Kent County Council and Arts Council England.

Since opening in 2011, Turner Contemporary has generated over £70 million for the local economy, led to the opening of over 150 new businesses, safeguarded 155 jobs and attracted over 3.3 million visits. In copy please refer to Turner Contemporary and not ‘The Turner Contemporary’ or ‘The Turner’ Turner Prize 2019 opening times: Open Monday - Friday, 11am-6pm and Saturday – Sunday 10am-5pm. Address: Turner Contemporary, Rendezvous, Margate, CT9 1HG Information: + 44 (0) 1843 233000, www.turnercontemporary.org

Margate NOW
Margate NOW, an ambitious and dynamic festival of art, events and performances will be held across Margate from 28 September until 12 January 2020, to celebrate Turner Prize 2019 coming to Turner Contemporary. Led by Turner Contemporary and developed by a new consortium of partners and artists, the town-wide programme will be bigger than ever before and will place artworks in unexpected places. The programme is guest curated by Russell Tovey. This follows a successful bid to the Arts Council for £219,000 of National Lottery funding as well as further contributions from Kent County Council, Thanet District Council and Dreamland Margate. Barbara Walker, Place, Space and Who Exhibition runs until 19 April 2020 Place, Space and Who is a new commission by British, Birmingham based artist Barbara Walker. Exploring identity and belonging, it features sound and portraits of women and girls from the African Diaspora living in and around Margate. Walker has created the artwork over a 4-month residency at Turner Contemporary, filling the double height Sunley Gallery with large-scale portraits and drawings made directly onto the gallery walls with charcoal and Margate chalk.

For press information about Tate and Turner Prize contact Tate’s Press Office: Email cecily.carbone@tate.org.uk or call +44(0)20 7887 8731

For press information about Turner Prize 2019 and Turner Contemporary: Email dennis@boltonquinn.com or call +44(0)20 7221 5000

High resolution images can be downloaded from Tate's Dropbox

The AKO Foundation, a UK charity, was founded by Nicolai Tangen, the CEO and founder of AKO Capital, in 2013. Funded with a total of more than £150m, the primary focus of the AKO Foundation is the making of grants to projects which improve education or promote the arts. Web: https://www.akocapital.com/ako-foundation/

Eurotunnel is delighted to sponsor the 2019 Turner Prize, an event that draws the eyes of the world to Margate and to Kent and that will further enhance the cultural reputation of our county for years to come. We look forward to bringing overseas visitors to Turner Contemporary during the exhibition and beyond. Eurotunnel is the operator of the Channel Tunnel and runs the car, coach and truck carrying Le Shuttle service, the vital link for tourism and trade between the United Kingdom and continental Europe.

Southeastern have been a longstanding corporate supporter of Turner Contemporary. Southeastern’s sponsorship of Turner Prize 2019 builds on this and provides opportunities to further strengthen the close links with the communities we serve. Southeastern is Britain’s third-largest rail franchise, serving South East London, Kent and parts of East Sussex. Running the UK’s only high-speed domestic train line and this year celebrating its 10th anniversary. The service runs from London St Pancras International, with trains calling at 37 stations across Kent – including Ashford International, Canterbury, Folkestone, and Margate.

BNP Paribas is a leading European bank, with global reach. The Group has a presence in 72 countries, employs more than 202,000 staff, of which over 9000 are based in the UK. BNP Paribas has supported art and culture around the world for over 30 years. In the UK, it supports the Turner Prize as well as Turner Contemporary, Royal Academy of Arts, V&A London, V&A Dundee, Tate Britain, Tate Modern, Tate Liverpool and Tate St Ives, and the Royal Opera House. Web: www.bnpparibas.com; www.bnpparibas.co.uk Twitter: @BNPParibasUK #accessart25

Canterbury Christ Church University is a major contributor to the arts and creative industries in Kent and Medway, with strong and established partnerships across the South East, including Turner Contemporary. Its students are a key talent pipeline to creative industries locally and nationally, and the University is proud to be part of a vibrant and flourishing creative sector that is supporting regional economic growth and success.

Kent County Council (KCC) has been the prime sponsor of Turner Contemporary from its inception and continues to invest in culture and the creative industries, appreciating the benefits these bring to the local economy and communities. KCC sees culture as a driving force in attracting visitors to Kent, generating significant economic growth. This is especially true of Margate and its surrounding area, where Turner Contemporary has had a huge impact on the social and economic regeneration.KCC believes its investment in Turner Contemporary has encouraged significant private investment in Margate, with shops, restaurants and hotels all opening to support the regeneration of East Kent.

Arts Council England is the national development body for arts and culture across England, working to enrich people’s lives. We support a range of activities across the arts, museums and libraries – from theatre to visual art, reading to dance, music to literature, and crafts to collections. Great art and culture inspires us, brings us together and teaches us about ourselves and the world around us. In short, it makes life better. Between 2018 and 2022, Arts Council England will invest £1.45 billion of public money from government and an estimated £860 million from the National Lottery to help create these experiences for as many people as possible across the country. www.artscouncil.org.uk