The winner of this year’s Turner Prize will be revealed at an award ceremony in Eastbourne’s Winter Garden on Tuesday 5 December.
Jesse Darling, Ghislaine Leung, Rory Pilgrim and Barbara Walker are the four artists nominated for this year’s Turner Prize.
Their work has been on show at Towner Eastbourne in East Sussex, UK. The winner of 2023’s prize will be awarded £25,000 (€29,000), with £10,000 (€12,000) going to the three runners up when it is announced tonight.
Established in 1984, the Turner Prize is one of the most distinguished prizes in the world of visual art. Named after famed English painter JMW Turner due to his status today as one of the UK’s greatest artists, despite his controversial reputation during his career.
Over the years, the Turner Prize has recognised some of the UK’s brightest stars early in their careers.
In 1991, Chicago’s ‘The Bean’ sculptor Anish Kapoor won the prize. Antony Gormley won in 1994, four years before he’d create ‘The Angel of the North’. Damien Hirst won in 1995 after his first nomination in 1992. Film director Steve McQueen (12 Years a Slave, Hunger, Small Axe) won in 1999 for his paintings, while Tracey Emin was nominated for her ‘My Bed’ exhibition.
More recently, the prize was shared by the nominees Lawrence Abu Hamdan, Helen Cammock, Tai Shani, and Oscar Murillo in 2019 after they wrote to the judges requesting they not pick a single winner. Last year’s winner was sculptor Veronica Ryan.
This year’s nominees continue the prize’s tradition of electing four of the nation’s most exciting and unique artists.
Here’s our rundown of the nominees.
Born in 1981, Jesse Darling only started art school at the age of 30. His work over the past 10 years has included sculpture, drawings and installations. He uses a ‘materialist poetics’ to explore and reimagine the everyday technologies that represent how we live through the combination of industrial materials with everyday objects.
Darling’s solo exhibitions ‘No Medals, No Ribbons’ at Modern Art Oxford and ‘Enclosures’ at Camden Art Centre are nominated for the prize. Taking cues from Towner’s coastal location, he brings together new and recent works in an installation that explores borders, bodies, nationhood and exclusion.
Born in Stockholm, Leung moved to England to train in art. Her ‘score-based artworks’ often revolve around providing a set of text instructions to be realised by a gallery, akin to how a musical score is interpreted by conductor and orchestra.
Leung’s nominated work is her solo exhibition ‘Fountains’ at Simian, Copenhagen. The score for the piece ‘Fountains’ (2022) was simply ‘a fountain installed in the exhibition space to cancel sound’. The Danish gallery created a fountain that poured water from an opening in the ceiling connected to a man-made lake.
This year’s youngest nominee at 35 years old, Rory Pilgrim has works across disciplines including songwriting, composing music, film, music video, text, drawing and live performances.
Pilgrim is nominated for RAFTS at Serpentine and Barking Town Hall and a live performance of the work at Cadogan Hall, London. The commissioned film is a seven-song oratorio narrated by eight Barking and Dagenham residents. Reflecting on the symbolism of a raft during the COVID-19 pandemic, the narrators are joined by singers and dancers with the final film presented alongside Pilgrim’s paintings and drawings related to the same theme.
Hailing from Birmingham, Barbara Walker’s art has reflected the political and cultural divisions she has observed due to class and power, gender, race, representation and belonging. Her work has largely focused on painting and drawing across a range of formats.
‘Burden of Proof’ at Sharjah Biennial 15 was Walker’s interrogation of the 2018 Windrush Scandal, where it was revealed the UK was wrongly deporting legal residents originating from the Caribbean. Monochromatic portraits of people impacted by the scandal are layered over hand-drawn reproductions of documents that evidence their right to remain in the UK.
The Turner Prize 2023 winner will be announced tonight at Eastbourne’s Winter Garden.