Veronica Ryan Wins The 2022 Turner Prize In Liverpool

Veronica Ryan Wins Turner Prize

The £25,000 Turner Prize was awarded to Veronica Ryan at a gala ceremony at Tate Liverpool, this evening. She is the oldest nominee at 66 to win the prize since its conception in 1984. The prize was presented by Holly Johnson, former lead singer of the band Frankie Goes to Hollywood. The Turner Prize is awarded to a British artist. ‘British’ can mean an artist working primarily in Britain or an artist born in Britain working globally.

The prize focuses on their recent developments in British art rather than a lifetime’s achievement.

Veronica Ryan shared her interest in issues revolving around identity, history, belonging and human psychology, “using a wide range of materials, including bronze, plaster, marble, textile and found objects.” Similarly, other nominees Heather Phillipson and artist Ingrid Pollard also used found objects in their art.

For her exhibition, Ryan presented cast forms in clay and bronze; sewn and tea-stained fabrics; and bright neon crocheted fishing line pouches filled with a variety of seeds, fruit stones and skins to reference displacement, fragmentation and alienation. Rather than having fixed meanings, Ryan’s work is typically open to a wide variety of readings, as implied by titles such as Multiple Conversations 2019–21 or Along a Spectrum 2021. Made during a residency at Spike Island, the forms she creates take recognisable elements and materials – such as fruit, takeaway food containers, feathers, or paper – and reconfigure them, exploring ecology, history and dislocation, as well as the psychological impact of the pandemic.

Ryan described how she carried out the crochet of some of her artworks in quiet spaces, even on public transport. She is fascinated with organic shapes and the creative interpretation of these forms. I loved how she used the placement of objects and juxtapositions to create unusual contrasts and harmonies. Sometimes, you couldn’t determine what things were because of how they had been placed with other associate objects, “enabling multiple narratives to emerge.” “Themes such as the historical networks of intergenerational and commercial exchange alongside the cycles of death and rebirth, environmental breakdown and collective trauma, all inhabit her unique sculptural practice.” Her installation ‘Central Island” consists of found objects she had adapted and also left natural at Tate Liverpool, particularly her crocheted pouches that were suspended from the ceiling and her steel and glass tables adorned with unusual combinations of found objects. In her video where she describes her work, she said that the giant Caribbean fruits she had designed as sculptures in London were often played upon and sat upon by many people. She said that she was fascinated by this public interaction with her work regarding how it related to the present and the past. Situated on Narrow Way in Hackney Central, Veronica Ryan’s ‘giant Caribbean fruits’ is the first permanent public sculpture by the first Black female artist in the UK. The three-piece, marble and bronze work serves as a tactile intervention at the heart of community life in the borough.

Veronica Ryan
Veronica Ryan Photo Alice Lenkiewicz © Artlyst 2022

Other Nominees:

SIN WAI KIN brings fantasy to life through storytelling in performance, moving images, and ephemera. Their work realises fictional narratives to describe lived realities of desire, identification, and consciousness. For the Turner Prize, Sin presents three films, including A Dream of Wholeness in Parts 2021, in which traditional Chinese philosophy and dramaturgy intersect with contemporary drag, music and poetry; In It’s Always You 2021, the artist adopts the roles of four boyband members, striving to take on the multiplicity of identities that transcend constructed binaries, while Today’s Top Stories, sees Sin playing the character of The Storyteller, posing as a news anchor who recites philosophical propositions on existence, consciousness, naming and identity.

Alex Farquharson, Director of Tate Britain and Co-chair of the Turner Prize 2022 jury, said: “15 years since Turner Prize ventured out of London for the first time to Liverpool, it’s fantastic to see the prize back in the city. This year’s shortlisted artists have delivered a visually exciting, thought-provoking, and wide-ranging exhibition, and I encourage art lovers from across the country to come and see it for themselves.”

INGRID POLLARD works primarily in photography but also sculpture, film and sound to question our relationship with the natural world and interrogate ideas such as Britishness, race and sexuality. For the Turner Prize, Pollard presents Seventeen of Sixty Eight 2018, developed from decades of research into racist depictions of ‘the African’ on pub signs, ephemeral objects, within literature and in surrounding landscapes. Bow Down and Very Low – 123 2021 includes a trio of kinetic sculptures using everyday objects to reference power dynamics through their gestures, while the photo series DENY: IMAGINE: ATTACK 1991 and SILENCE 2019 look at the language of power, both emotional and physical.

HEATHER PHILLIPSON presents RUPTURE NO 6: biting the blowtorched peach, 2022. Reimagining her 2020 Tate Britain’s Duveen Galleries commission, Phillipson conjures what she calls ‘a maladapted ecosystem, an insistent atmosphere.’ Charged with colour, video and kinetic sculpture and augmented with a brand-new audio composition, Phillipson proposes her space at Tate Liverpool as alive and happening in a parallel time zone. It is, she says, a whole new season. Phillipson’s audacious and wide-ranging practice often involves collisions of wildly different materials

The 2022 jury:

  • Irene Aristizábal, Head of Curatorial and Public Practice, BALTIC
  • Christine Eyene, Research Fellow, School of Arts and Media, UCLan
  • Robert Leckie, Director, Spike Island
  • Anthony Spira, Director, MK Gallery

The jury is co-chaired by Alex Farquharson, Director, Tate Britain and Helen Legg, Director, Tate Liverpool.

Every other year, a venue outside Tate Britain, London hosts the prize. Previous galleries include Baltic in Newcastle, Ferens Art Gallery in Hull, Ebrington in Derry~Londonderry and at Turner Contemporary in Margate. The 2022 Turner Prize is hosted by Tate Liverpool.

Visitors can now explore the work of this year’s nominees free of charge. 

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