Glasgow Artist Wins Turner

The winner of 'The 2005 Turner Prize' is Mr.Simon Starling, a Glasgow-based artist whose imaginative installations will dispel accusations by critics that Britain's most well-known and controversial art prize was becoming 'boringly mainstream'. Mr.Starling, 38, a graduate of 'Glasgow School of Art', was awarded the 25_000_GBP prize during a live 'Channel 4' programme from 'The Tate Britain' in London last night. He beat the favourite, Ms.Gillian Carnegie, tipped to win with her series of 'bare bum paintings'. Mr.Starling's success may herald a return to the exuberance of the days of Mr.Damien Hirst or Mr.Grayson Perry, both of whom managed to shock the jaded palate of the contemporary art scene. 'The Turner Prize', which began in 1984, is the most sought-after accolade awarded to a British artist aged under 50 for 'an outstanding exhibition or other presentation of their work'. Mr.Starling, shortlisted for his exhibitions at 'The Modern Institute', Glasgow, and the 'Fundació Joan Miró', Barcelona, is renowned for taking a solid everyday object and transforming it through a rigorous physical process. His 'Tabernas Desert Run 2004', showcased at 'The Glasgow Gallery' last year and which forms part of his 'Turner Prize' portfolio, features an improvised hydrogen-fuelled bicycle on which he crossed the Spanish desert, and the botanical watercolour of a cactus he painted using the bike's by-product, water. The artist, who lives in Woodlands, Glasgow, with his wife and son, was born in Epsom, Surrey, and graduated from 'Glasgow School of Art' in 1992. He also works in Berlin. Also on display in his installation room at 'Tate Britain' is 'Shedboatshed', which captured the public's imagination when a selection of 'Turner Prize' exhibits were put on show outside the gallery for the first time. For this work, he dismantled an old boat-shed, transformed it into a boat which he paddled down the Rhine, then put it back together again as the original shed. Last night, Mr.Starling said he was 'a bit flabbergasted' to win. He said of his artwork:
'I don't like to be thought of as eccentric because that's not what my work is about. It's a serious business on many levels.'
Being nominated for 'The Turner Prize' has won him many new fans, he revealed.
'I had a fantastic little poem from an elderly woman in St.Albans about sheds.
'That's the thing about the Turner Prize -- you have 80_000 people looking at your work.
'People engage with it and enjoy it, and that's special.'
Mr.Starling said his work was all about anti-globalisation. But asked if he had any qualms about accepting a 25_000_GBP cheque from the art establishment, he replied:
'Absolutely not, no.'
Explaining what 'Shedboatshed' means, Mr.Starling said:
'It's a bit of mobile architecture.
'It's an attempt to make an artwork which is very ergonomic and easy on the environment.
'It's a very simple idea.'
The artist also revealed plans for his next major project: throwing a replica Henry Moore sculpture into Lake Ontario. He said:
'Zebra mussels have been introduced into the lake and they are taking over and transforming the eco- system.
'There is a Henry Moore sculpture in Toronto called "Warrior With A Shield" so I thought it would be nice to throw it into the lake, leave it for six months, grow lots of mussels on it, then hang it in a gallery.'
The judges said they had admired Mr.Starling's unique ability to create poetic narratives which drew together a range of cultural, political and historical references. They also stressed the strength of the exhibition at 'Tate Britain' and their admiration for the outstanding presentations produced by all four artists. The other three shortlisted artists -- Ms.Carnegie, Mr.Jim Lambie, from Glasgow, and Mr.Darren Almond -- each received 5_000_GBP. This year's prize fund was 40_000_GBP supported by Gordon's gin. Mr.Lambie, 41, presented a range of work which included three sculptures and the transformation of a floor at 'Tate Britain' using vinyl tape. Mr.Almond, 34, is famed for his photography and film installations, and his work for 'The Turner' included a four-screen video installation. The Scottish culture minister, Ms.Patricia Ferguson, welcomed Mr.Starling's success.
'I am delighted that Simon Starling has been awarded "The Turner Prize", one of the most prestigious in the world,' she said.
She said the fact that two artists based in Scotland were on the shortlist and that one had won was a 'reflection of the vibrant nature of Scotland's artistic community', whose artists were at the forefront of arts innovation in the UK. However, not all in the Scottish art world are enthusiastic. In 2005-06, Mr.Julian Spalding, former director of 'Glasgow Museums and Art Galleries', criticised the efforts of 'The Turner Prize' shortlist and said he was not alone in hoping the competition was running out of steam. 'Glasgow-based artist sails off with Turner ', Shan Ross, The Scotsman, 2005-12-06, Tu Links: Turner Prize


Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is all a con

12/07/2005 12:50:00 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Destroy all art for medical reasons!!

12/07/2005 12:54:00 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What do you mean? Medical Reasons?

12/24/2005 08:08:00 pm  

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