The shortlist of nominees for the 30th edition of the Turner Prize was announced last week at Tate Britain. Duncan Campbell, Ciara Phillips, James Richards and Tris Vonna-Michell will be the contenders to the UK’s most prestigious art prize.
This year’s selection is all but predictable: the artists chosen use a range of techniques that include film, storytelling, installation and screenprinting and they are not very well known outside the contemporary art circuit.
Penelope Curtis, Tate Britain's director and chair of the judging panel, said ‘one of the aims of the prize was to bring lesser-known artists to a wider general public’.
All four artist could be defined ‘collagists’, as they often using images and films they have physically discovered or found online and they tend to explore subjects taken from the past.
Duncan Campbell, Dublin-born and Glasgow-based, is best known for his films, which weave fact and fiction to present portraits of provocative subjects. He is nominated for a show presented at the Venice Biennale in which he screened Chris Marker and Alain Resnais's 1953 film Statues Also Die alongside his response – a film that featured choreography by Michael Clark and explored the commercialisation of African art.
Tris Vonna-Michell, who grew up in Southend, is known for fast-paced live storytelling which sometimes uses slide projections, photocopies and found images. He is shortlisted for a solo show in Brussels.
Ciara Phillips is shortlisted for a show in London in which she was inspired by a pioneering artist called Corita Kent, who died in 1986. She produces screenprints, textiles, photographs and wall paintings to create art as site-specific installations.
James Richards is shortlisted for his show at last year’s Venice Biennale in which he "created poetic meditations on the pleasure, sensuality and the voyeurism that is within the act of looking".
Penelope Curtis expanded on the panel’s choice: "This year's nominations illustrate the mobility of the contemporary art world, in which works are seen at global biennales and festivals over the course of the year. The four shortlisted artists share a strong international presence and an ability to adapt, re-stage and re-interpret their own and others' works, very often in collaborative social contexts."
The four artists will use or create work for a Turner prize exhibition at Tate Britain from 30 September with the £25,000 winner named on 1 December.