West Midlands Dark Horse Bid To Host Turner Prize

Turner Prize

A dark horse candidate emerges in the race to host the Turner Prize 2015

A West Midlands art gallery is set to launch an audacious bid to stage the exhibition and award ceremony. Directors at The New Art Gallery in Walsall claim that they have both the necessary space and majestic vision to host award in 2015. The opportunity for such attempts has arisen from the decision that the Prize will be hosted outside of London every other year. It has been confirmed that the event will take place in Derry, Northern Ireland, next year. But the race is on for 2015.

Director of NAG, Stephen Snoddy, has spoken of the potential elixir effect on the local area should the bid be successful. While the cost of mounting a bid could be as much as £250,000, Snoody believes the potential benefits to be well worth the risk, with the returns being an estimated ten times that initial outgoing: ‘That would be repaid in media interest and a boost to the local economy’. ‘Over a three-month period we get between 40,000 and 50,000 visitors – but that could go up to 80,000’, he explained. Plus, ‘It would be in the national media and it’s very difficult to buy that kind of publicity.’

For Snoody, the winnings would be ‘immense’: ‘It would mean international recognition for the gallery and the town. It would be a lot of hard work and there’s the possibility of not winning, but that’s the only downside.’ Hey, you’re right! Maybe I should host the prize in my bedroom…

The Baltic in Gateshead hosted the Turner Prize in 2011 and saw its attendance figures soar to more than 500,000 visitors. The Prize war awarded to Martin Boyce (b.1967) for his solo exhibition at Galerie Eva Presenhuber, Zurich, which built upon his project for the 53rd Venice Biennale by holding the viewer within an atmospheric sculptural installation.   

The Prize is awarded to a British artist under fifty for an outstanding exhibition or other presentation of their work in the twelve months proceeding 4 April 2011.  BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art was the first venue outside Tate to host The Turner Prize. It will be hosted at Tate Britain in 2012 and then in Derry-Londonderry Northern Ireland, as part of the City of Culture celebrations in 2013. 
The Prize was established in 1984 by the Patrons of New Art and is intended to promote public discussion of new developments in contemporary British art.  Previous 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. 

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