Turner Prize 2018 exhibition installation view, Tate Britain (26 September 2018 - 9 January 2019).

Turner Prize 2018 exhibition installation view, Tate Britain (26 September 2018 - 9 January 2019).

Now in its 34th exposition, The Turner Prize this year is hosted at Tate Britain and sees work from Forensic Architecture, Naeem Mohaiemen, Charlotte Prodger and Luke Willis Thompson.

Every year, the Turner Prize selects four British based artists for outstanding exhibits from the previous year and this time judges seemed to have unanimously favoured moving image and video, arguably meriting light onto a recently widely used medium in contemporary art. 

Within these four exhibits, we see video being used in a range of ways and to different effects, from iPhone shooting to 35mm projections to 3D models overlaid with combined videos and aerial shots. This is perhaps the most testimonial to the Prize’s single aim of questioning and tackling contemporary art and constantly checking if our definition of it is in need of an update. 

That’s not to say that The Turner Prize has run without its critiques, with a most popular phrase used in review playing on a pun of William Turner ‘turning in his grave’. But we think differently, by choosing to believe in the power of discourse as a model of progress; in such instances the choice of nominees this year bring into discussion all aspects of this world-renowned competition, and ultimately those partaking in the debate are left a little wiser.

Turner Prize 2018 exhibition installation view, Tate Britain (26 September 2018 - 9 January 2019).

Turner Prize 2018 exhibition installation view, Tate Britain (26 September 2018 - 9 January 2019).

The exhibition is on display on the main floor and the layout sees an open space, centred with a table lined with contemporary reading material corresponding to the four pieces. The walls hold entrance to each room where films are either played on constant loop, as with Forensic Architecture, Charlotte Prodger and Luke Willis Thompsons; or at timed intervals as with Naeem Mohaiemen’s two films. With a total combined time of 241min and 90sec, excluding that of Forensic Architecture, this years prize demands prolonged attention and commitment, decreasing possibilities of snap judgements.

While bearing in mind that this is an art competition, judging the winner can be trickier than first perceived as this ‘artistic expression’ has to be measured to some degree. Fortunately, this is easily recognised with this year’s winner, Scottish artist Charlotte Prodger.

Charlotte Prodger, BRIOGIT20l 6, single-channel HD video. Turner Prize 2018 exhibition installation view, Tate Britain (26 September 2018 - 9 January 2019).

Charlotte Prodger, BRIOGIT20l 6, single-channel HD video. Turner Prize 2018 exhibition installation view, Tate Britain (26 September 2018 - 9 January 2019).

With very still moving images overlaid with poetic speech, in what she calls her most autobiographical work, we can identify testimony to contemporary video as a work of art. 

The title ‘BRIDGIT’ is chosen from a Neolithic deity and forms part of the spoken audio of the film. And this consideration of the name and its time tie in with the rest of the transcript that draws heavily on notions of identity and Prodger’s personal experiences, as what is read aloud is material from her diaries and correspondences. Timed intervals of image and softs silences combine well in allowing us to reflect on the words spoken.

Naeem Mohaiemen, Tripoli Cancelled 2017, single-channel video, Turner Prize 2018 exhibition installation view, Tate Britain (26 September 2018 - 9 January 2019).

Naeem Mohaiemen, Tripoli Cancelled 2017, single-channel video, Turner Prize 2018 exhibition installation view, Tate Britain (26 September 2018 - 9 January 2019).

Naeem Mohaiemen, Two Meetings and a Funeral 2017, three-channel video, Turner Prize 2018 exhibition installation view, Tate Britain (26 September 2018 - 9 January 20191.

Naeem Mohaiemen, Two Meetings and a Funeral 2017, three-channel video, Turner Prize 2018 exhibition installation view, Tate Britain (26 September 2018 - 9 January 20191.

Bangladeshi artist Naeem Mohaiemen’s Tripoli Cancelled is a work inspired by his father being trapped in Athen’s Ellinikon Airport in 1977. While in reality, he was there for only nine days, this fictional film sees a week in the life of the protagonist as he passes days in his ninth year in the abandoned airport. It focuses ‘on the isolation of modern life, and the ways we find hope through the stories we tell ourselves and our loved ones’. as Naeem puts it.


Two Meetings and a Funeral follows the power struggle between the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) and the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), following two meetings in 1973 and 1974. At 89 minutes long, the underlying focus of this documentary is to bridge a gap of knowledge in generations when it comes to countries of NAM, and especially Bangladesh. 

Luke Willis Thompson, autoportrait 2017, 35mm. Turner Prize 2018 exhibition installation view, Tate Britain (26 September 2018 - 9 January 2019).

Luke Willis Thompson, autoportrait 2017, 35mm. Turner Prize 2018 exhibition installation view, Tate Britain (26 September 2018 - 9 January 2019).

New Zealand born Luke Willis Thompson’s display is nothing short of visually impressive as we are first met with a grand projector emitting an intimidating whirl and plastering on the back wall a loop of black and white portraits of Diamond Reynolds, Brandon and Graeme, who are relatives of UK state violence victims from the 1980s (and that’s all we know). 

It is perhaps this entry that has received most controversy this year for seemingly making art from race. Certainly, when compared with the rest of the pieces, it is difficult to argue otherwise. Prodger’s work is almost entirely personal and Naeem Mohaiemen’s Tripoli Cancelled is loosely based on his father being stranded in an Athenian airport. His Two Meetings and a Funeral documentary on the short-lived Non Alignment Movement, and the entire work on display from Forensic Architecture is objectively factual. Maybe the point is lost on us, only fine art printers. But, we do wonder what is being said with these black and white Warhol inspired portraits… 

Forensic Architecture, The Long Duration of a Split Second consisting of two projects Killing in Umm al-Hiran 18 January 2017, Negev/Naqab, Israel/Palestine, Investigation: 2017-ongoi ng, video, model, texts and Traces of Bedouin Inhabitation 7 945-present, Negev/Naqab, Israel/Palestine, Investigation 2015-ongoing, video, aerial images, text. Turner Prize 2018 exhibition installation view, Tate Britain (26 September 2018 - 9 January 2019).

Forensic Architecture, The Long Duration of a Split Second consisting of two projects Killing in Umm al-Hiran 18 January 2017, Negev/Naqab, Israel/Palestine, Investigation: 2017-ongoi ng, video, model, texts and Traces of Bedouin Inhabitation 7 945-present, Negev/Naqab, Israel/Palestine, Investigation 2015-ongoing, video, aerial images, text. Turner Prize 2018 exhibition installation view, Tate Britain (26 September 2018 - 9 January 2019).

Lastly, Forensic Architecture (FA), a collaborative of 17 architects, filmmakers, scientists and lawyers are nominated for their extensive work into the events of January 18th and the attempt by Israeli police to ‘clear an unrecognised Bedouin village resulted in the deaths of two people.’ These two people were Yakub Musa Abu al-Qi’an, a Bedouin and resident of the village, and Erez Levi, an Israeli policeman. Initially broadcast as a terror attack by Israeli Police, the relentless work by FA eventually cast light on a true and undeniable reconstruction of the events of the night. The exhibition walls follow this chronology, with explanatory videos of each stage of findings that contradict all that which official Israeli documents have released.

Forensic Architecture, The Long Duration of a Split Second consisting of two projects Killing in Umm al-Hiran 18 January 2017, Negev/Naqab, Israel/Palestine, Investigation: 2017-ongoi ng, video, model, texts and Traces of Bedouin Inhabitation 7 945-present, Negev/Naqab, Israel/Palestine, Investigation 2015-ongoing, video, aerial images, text. Turner Prize 2018 exhibition installation view, Tate Britain (26 September 2018 - 9 January 2019).

Forensic Architecture, The Long Duration of a Split Second consisting of two projects Killing in Umm al-Hiran 18 January 2017, Negev/Naqab, Israel/Palestine, Investigation: 2017-ongoi ng, video, model, texts and Traces of Bedouin Inhabitation 7 945-present, Negev/Naqab, Israel/Palestine, Investigation 2015-ongoing, video, aerial images, text. Turner Prize 2018 exhibition installation view, Tate Britain (26 September 2018 - 9 January 2019).

There is also an additional general examination piece that is an ongoing investigation from 2010. It looks at the geography of the Negev/Naqab desert and makes a map of the history of habitation in the area predating the formation of the State of Israel. The imagery of these lands are only available at low resolution, with evidence of life unidentifiable. Together with recording official documents from residents, FA used their own aerial photography means to capture the region and match outlines with RAF imagery from 1945 to make a case against the Israel Land Administration’s claims for trespassing.

This is but an example of the innovative ways in which this collective work in search of the truth in these very political times. Nothing short of inspiring, they truly deserved to win.




Photo credit for all images: Tate Photography


Posted
AuthorNazy Raouf

'Diana’ printed on Hahnemühle Photorag

'Diana’ printed on Hahnemühle Photorag

Interview with Becky Donnelly

Originally from Dublin, Becky Donnelly is a London based artist with a background in animation. However, deciding in favour of keeping traditional media at the core of her work has led her toward illustration, giving way to her wonderfully curious creations.

Becky is exhibiting at The Cluster Illustration Exhibition which celebrates emerging illustrators from different backgrounds with a diverse range of styles.

The exhibition runs from 27 Sept - 2nd Oct at The Old Truman Brewery.

Tell us about your upcoming exhibition as part of the Cluster Illustration Art Fair?

I was approached by Cluster a few weeks back about taking part in the exhibition, which is focused on providing a platform for emerging illustrators to showcase and sell their work. The exhibition is starting on Thursday 27th September at The Old Truman Brewery, and is open until Tuesday 2nd October. And yes, this is my first time exhibiting, so it’s safe to say I’m pretty nervous!

How are your illustrations created?

My work always begins with sketching on paper. Once I’m happy with a design I transfer it to watercolor paper and start painting, and subsequently I add line work with pen. I do the odd digital painting now and again, but I’m happier working with traditional media. Most of the time I only use Photoshop to clean up scans of my work.

How does your modelling tie in with your artwork?

I think a large part of any illustrator’s work is a response to the world around them, so being in the fashion industry has had an automatic influence on my mine. My illustrations are character based, and in some ways I find working as a model quite similar, as you are providing a visual extension of yourself.

Is there any underlying commentary to your drawings?

I think the central theme of my work is identity, more specifically, the contradictory nature of it. As a kid I was always drawn to monsters in stories; the fact that they are inherently flawed makes them more interesting and relatable as characters to me. So I guess with goofy creatures or sassy skeletons I’m trying to expand upon this. When a character is scary but funny, hideous but beautiful, or menacing but fragile, are they really a “monster” at all? Aren’t they just as human as us?

That being said, I’ve never felt a need for my work to be taken too seriously – sometimes I just feel like painting a one-eyed gremlin wearing harem pants and a party hat, and it’s really no more meaningful than that! 

Your work has been featured by major fashion designers, how did 

this come about?

The majority has happened through social media, which I still find pretty nuts. I’m immensely grateful for the response I’ve had from designers, it’s definitely not something I had expected. I’ve never really pictured myself as a fashion illustrator, despite my background, but I do enjoy putting a dark or humorous twist on the conventional ideas of fashion illustration. The fashion industry is controversial, and I guess my illustrations explore, even gently poke fun at, some of the stereotypes surrounding the topic.

Would you describe yourself as more of an independent artist?

So far I’ve worked independently, but the idea of collaboration has always appealed to me. I’m starting an MA in Illustration at Camberwell College of the Arts in October, so I’m hoping to have opportunities to work with other students on collaborative projects during my time there. 

What type of paper do you think works best with your printed artwork?

I’ve had a lot of difficulty in the past finding suitable papers for producing prints of watercolor work, but the Hahnemuhle Photorag paper I’ve used for my exhibition prints has been a dream. The slight grain and matt finish really replicate the watercolor paper I use for my paintings, so the prints have retained the integrity of the originals. Honestly, side by side it’s hard to tell them apart!

It seems that your lifestyle is very much your career too. How do you take time out?

Pretty normal stuff really – hanging out with friends, binge-watching TV shows, expanding my useless ornament collection. The usual.

Tell us about your other upcoming projects.

With my MA just around the corner I’ll be focusing on that for now, and I’m looking forward to the opportunities that will bring! 

More of Becky’s work on her website or Instagram

Posted
AuthorNazy Raouf
point101 hahnemuhle giclee print

Interview with Ryadraws

Ryadraws is a London based digital artist, currently exhibiting at Rivington Studios as part of The Anti Trump Art Show. 

 

Tell us about your upcoming exhibition as part of Creative Debuts Anti Trump art show

The exhibition will focus on our depictions of America’s celebrity in chief, Trump!  

There was an open call put out a couple of months ago, and I was one of the artists selected to exhibit on the 12th of July.

 

How strongly do you feel about social art as a young practicing artist?

Day by day we are continually being presented with distractions, and we forget what is going on around us. The issues that deserve our attention. Social art is a way for us to be informed by pretty pictures.

 

Where do you envision your work belonging? 

Magazines but mainly in galleries. We have gotten to a point where digital art is becoming more widely accepted and galleries treat digital art like you would any traditional painting.

 

How would you describe your techniques?

I replicate my traditional drawing process but in a digital space. Most of my work will start off with a pencil sketch on paper, and then I will scan the image in and render digitally.

I layer my images metaphorically, and bury meaning within to be discovered, and when possible add an Adrinka symbol if it matches the artwork.

The Adrinka’s are Ghanaian symbols of the Ashanti that represent thoughts and I use them in my work to further explain my ideas.  

 

Would you call yourself more of a traditional artist?

No, a lot of my work is digital, and there is no physical output until printed. Digital art has made my process more straightforward, I don’t have to think about being extra careful while drawing to make sure I don’t smudge the page etc.

Painting and sculptures are on my radar to explore, and I do write from time to time - I doubt I will ever share them though.

 

point101 hahnemuhle giclee print

What type of paper do you think works best with your printed artwork?

Hahnemuhle German Etching is literally the only thing I print on and gives me the desired visual. I can’t get enough of the grain and paper texture.

 

When you aren’t producing art, what do you like to do?

Sleeping, watching TV shows and I play games from time to time. I’m currently playing Zelda: Breathe of the wild. I set myself a project often just so I don’t get burnt out from drawing. At the moment, I’m teaching myself UI/UX and animation.

The usual stuff, reading and hanging out with friends.

 

Is there anything that particularly influences your projects or inspires you? 

Everything around me. Unfortunately, a lot of what fuels my practise tends to be the negatives. I’ll flip it and show my outlook on the topic.

 

Any more exciting projects on the horizon?

I will be illustrating a children’s book focusing on Ghanaian lore. Also on the horizon is a billboard illustration which will be a painting focusing on social commentary. I have a few ideas floating around on what I’m going to paint.

 

 

Ryadraws and The Anti Trump Art Show

The Anti Trump Art Show promotion with Ryadraws' artwork

The Anti Trump Art Show promotion with Ryadraws' artwork

 

"In response to Donald’s Trump’s planned visit to London on 13th July, Creative Debuts have joined forces with over 50 artists to show their collective disdain of the, ‘dangerous racism, sexism and narcissism that flow daily from the White House,’ through a unique art exhibition.
The exhibition celebrates a specially curated range of contemporary artwork including photography, sculpture, craft, fine art, and film whilst raising money for End Violence Against Women"-Creative Debuts 2018
 
 

See more of Ryadraws' work here.

Check out Creative Debuts.