Turner Prize 2022: Sculptor Veronica Ryan wins for work dealing with Windrush and Covid

Sculptor Veronica Ryan has been named the 2022 Turner Prize winner for her work honoring the Windrush generation and exploring the Covid pandemic.

The Montserrat-born British artist, 66, received the annual £25,000 prize for the “personal and poetic way she expands the language of sculpture” through found and usually forgotten objects and handmade materials.

Frankie Goes to Hollywood singer Holly Johnson presented the award at a ceremony at St George’s Hall in Liverpool on Wednesday.

Ryan was recognized for two projects. One was her commission from Hackney Council to create the UK’s first permanent public sculpture to honor the legacy and contributions of the Windrush generation.

On a street in Hackney, north-east London, the three-part marble and bronze work Custard Apple (Annonaceae), Breadfruit (Moraceae) and Soursop (Annonaceae) evokes tropical fruits that are widespread in the Caribbean and Americas.

She was also recognized for her new work Along A Spectrum, which examines perception, history and personal narratives, and the psychological impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Works produced for the exhibition included pieces cast in clay and bronze; sewn, tea-stained and dyed fabrics; and bright neon crocheted fishing line bags filled with a variety of seeds, pits and skins.

The jury praised the “tangible change” in their use of space, color and scale in both the gallery and public spaces.

Born in 1956 in Plymouth, Montserrat, Ryan has exhibited around the world and was made an OBE for services to the arts earlier this year.

Fruit, seeds, plants and vegetables are recurring sculptural objects in her installations, representing displacement, fragmentation and alienation.

(Brian Robert’s pictures)

The three other shortlisted artists – Heather Phillipson, Ingrid Pollard and Sin Wai Kin – were all awarded £10,000.

The jury commended all four nominees for their “strong and varied presentations,” all of which they felt “have pushed the boundaries of materials exploration by unraveling the complexities of body, nature, and identity.”

Helen Legg, director of Tate Liverpool and co-chair of the Turner Prize jury, told the PA news agency that the jury felt it was the right time to recognize Ryan’s practice as she felt that she does “the toughest job” of her career.

She said: “The jury felt she had an exceptionally strong shortlist, but what mattered was that it felt like now was a really important time for Veronica’s practice.

“The jury talked about how you could sense in the exhibition that this was an evolving practice, that she was experimenting, that there was this compulsion to make that she has.

“She’s always doing when she’s traveling, when she’s in the gallery, when she’s at home, and you could feel that vitality in the work.”

Veronica Ryan’s Turner Prize-winning installation

(Photo © Tate (Matt Greenwood))

Legg added that Ryan’s work makes many references to the history of sculpture and encompasses a variety of themes that allow for personal interpretation.

She said: “She’s interested in psychology and migration, loss, trauma, movement, caring, there’s a lot written about mother-daughter relationships.

“And all of those threads seem to be connected in her practice, so it’s very difficult to say, ‘Veronica Ryan’s work is about that,’ because it’s about a lot of things, and it’s about all of these things being brought together. “

A free exhibition of the four nominated artists is taking place at Tate Liverpool until 19 March 2023.

This year’s Turner Prize ceremony is being held at the Tate Liverpool to celebrate the 15th anniversary of the award in the city.

Tate Liverpool was the first gallery outside of London to host the awards in 2007, helping to launch the city’s year as European Capital of Culture.

Last year, Array Collective, a group of 11 Belfast-based artists whose work is a response to issues affecting Northern Ireland, made history by becoming the first Northern Ireland winners of the awards.

The Turner Prize, named after the radical British painter JMW Turner, is one of the world’s most renowned visual arts awards, recognizing British artistic talent.

Established in 1984, the prize is awarded to a British artist for an outstanding exhibition or other presentation of his work.

High-profile winners included Anish Kapoor, Grayson Perry, Damien Hirst and Steve McQueen.

https://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/art/news/turner-prize-2022-winner-veronica-ryan-b2240959.html Turner Prize 2022: Sculptor Veronica Ryan wins for work dealing with Windrush and Covid

JOE HERNANDEZ

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