2015 Turner Prize goes to urban regenerators Assemble

London-based Assemble were named winners of the 31st Turner Prize on Monday night in a ceremony in Glasgow. The group, which consists of 18 members, was recognised for their work regenerating urban spaces in Toxteth, Liverpool, using art and design. They are the first ‘non-artists’ to win the prize since its inception in 1984.

As reported in The Guardian, judges were supportive of the collective’s “ground-up approach to regeneration, city planning and development in opposition to corporate gentrification”. They added, “[Assemble] draw on long traditions of artistic and collective initiatives that experiment in art, design and architecture. In doing so they offer alternative models to how societies can work. The long-term collaboration between Granby Four Streets and Assemble shows the importance of artistic practice being able to drive and shape urgent issues.”

Formed in 2010, Assemble’s working practice, according to their website, “seeks to address the typical disconnection between the public and the process by which places are made. They champion a working practice that is interdependent and collaborative, seeking to actively involve the public as both participant and collaborator in the on-going realization of the work.”

The collective fought off competition from Bonnie Camplin, a London-based artist whose work spans drawing, film, performance, music and writing, nominated for her work The Military Industrial Complex; Janice Kerbel, nominated for her operatic work DOUG; and Nicole Wermers, whose exhibition Infrastruktur  ‘adopted the glossy aesthetics and materials of modernist design and high fashion’.

The Turner Prize, named after artist J. M. W. Turner and arguably Europe’s most prestigious contemporary visual art award, each year recognises a British artist under 50 for an outstanding exhibition or presentation of their work in the preceding year. This year’s awards were presented at Tramway in Glasgow, an art space known for commissioning, producing and presenting contemporary arts projects.

Read more about the Turner Prize, and this year’s nominees, on the official Tate website: http://www.tate.org.uk/whats-on/tramway/exhibition/turner-prize-2015

Paul Turner

Image: Andy Buchanan/AFP/Getty Images via The Guardian

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