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Scottish Talent Awarded with Turner Bursaries

Published: 02 Jul 2020

Arika Episode 10 boychild performance

Photo: Arika 'Episode 10: A Means Without End' Performance, by Barry Esson

Tate Britain today announced the ten artists who will each receive one-off £10,000 bursaries in place of this year’s Turner Prize.

The Awards include three Scottish artists and organisations; Arika, Jamie Crewe and Alberta Whittle.

Arika is a political arts organisation based in Edinburgh who since 2001 have organised projects supporting connections between art and social change. The Creative Scotland RFO was selected by the jury for their innovative project Episode 10: A Means Without End presented at Tramway, Glasgow. The project was a 5-day programme of performances, discussions, screenings and study sessions exploring ideas in maths and physics as analogies for the desires and struggles of social life and existence.

Glasgow-based artist and singer Jamie Crewe uses video, sculpture, drawing and text to probe ideas of identity, power, desire, community and history. Crewe was selected for their ‘sister’ exhibitions at the Grand Union in Birmingham and the Humber Street Gallery in Hull. These were inspired by Radclyffe Hall’s 1928 novel The Well of Loneliness and its lasting impressions on generations of LGBTQIA+ people. The jury particularly praised Crewe’s dynamic and poetic retellings of mythology and literature while exploring contemporary notions of gender.

Alberta Whittle lives and works between Barbados, Scotland and South Africa. Rooted in the experiences of the diaspora, Whittle’s work incorporates performance, video, photography, collage and sculpture to tackle anti-blackness and the trauma, memory and ecological concerns which come in the aftermath of slavery and colonialism. The jury were moved by Whittle’s exhibition How Flexible Can We Make the Mouth at Dundee Contemporary Arts which thoughtfully focused on healing, writing and speech as means of self-liberation.

The other winners are Liz Johnson Artur, Oreet Ashery, Shawanda Corbett, Sean Edwards, Sidsel Meineche Hansen, Ima-Abasi Okon, Imran Perretta.

In response to the pandemic, Tate Britain announced last month that it would not be possible to stage a Turner Prize exhibition this year and instead it would ask the jury to select 10 artists to receive bursaries. After 12 months visiting hundreds of exhibitions in preparation for selecting the nominees, the jury chose the artists for their significant contributions to new developments in British contemporary art. The artists are eligible for the Turner Prize in future.

Alex Farquharson, Director of Tate Britain said: “Following a lively and rigorous virtual debate, the jury has settled on a list of ten fantastic artists who reflect the exceptional talent found in contemporary British art. From ceramics to film, performance to photography, they represent the many exciting and interdisciplinary ways that artists work today. These bursaries represent a vote of confidence in that work and offer some much-deserved support in challenging times. We’re extremely grateful to John Booth, Catherine Petitgas and The Ampersand Foundation who generously stepped forward at such short notice to make these bursaries possible.”

Amanda Catto, Head of Visual Arts at Creative Scotland, “Congratulations to all the recipients of the Turner Bursaries, and of course we are especially thrilled for those based in Scotland - Alberta Whittle, Jamie Crewe and Arika. The awards are a great recognition of the exceptional vision, rigour and integrity of their work and will be invaluable in supporting their development into the future."


Notes to Editors


About the Turner Prize

One of the best-known prizes for the visual arts in the world, the Turner Prize was established in 1984 and named after the artist JMW Turner (1775-1851). It is eligible to artists born or based in the UK for outstanding exhibitions or other presentations of their work in the previous 12 months. Turner Prize 2022 at Tate Britain will be supported by BNP Paribas.