History was made today with the official opening to the public of the controversial Turner Prize at Ebrington Square.
It is the first time that the polemic art award has been staged outside England.
The wave of positive publicity generated yesterday and today by the world’s media and internationally recognised art critics has, for now, overshadowed the public rift between the CEOs of Derry City Council and the Culture Company.
Normally housed in the Tate Britain, London, where it came into being in 1984, the Turner Prize is named after J M W Turner. It is an annual prize presented to a British visual artist under the age of 50.
There are four shortlisted artists. Laure Prouvost, nominated for her (film) work Wantee 2013. At Ebrington she shows two video installations, Wantee and Grandma’s Dream.
Tino Sehgal was nominated for his pioneering live encounter projects and is showing a version of ‘This is exchange’, 2003.’
David Shrigley is showing ‘Life Model’ from 2012, while, Lynette Yiadom-Boakye was nominated for her exhibition Extracts and Verses at Chisenhale Gallery. For Ebrington she is showing six paintings dating from 2010 to 2013, including two new works. One of her exhibited works is owned by U2’s Adam Clayton.
Londonderry’s UK City of Culture programme was cast into crisis last week when the Culture Company’s board was hit by a third resignation, that of Ana Leddy, who said she did not want to be part of a board that failed to challenge controversial decisions. She was concerned at the decision by Derry City Council to wind up the Culture Company early and make staff redundant despite the need to secure the legacy of 2013.
Fellow board member Claire McColgan stepped down last week. She oversaw Liverpool’s legacy after it was European Capital of Culture, 2008.
See video footage at www.Londonderrysentinel.co.uk