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Organiser of cancelled Turner art prize gives winners grants

LONDON • A photographer who captures black British life, an artist who works with industrial air-conditioners and a mixed-media practitioner who made his mother the star of a show are among 10 artists being given grants of £10,000 (S$17,500) each as a replacement for this year's Turner Prize.

The prize, perhaps Britain's most prestigious art accolade, is usually awarded each December after an exhibition displaying the work of four shortlisted artists.

This year's edition was cancelled in May because of the coronavirus pandemic, and Tate Britain, its organiser, asked the jury to select artists to receive grants instead.

"Gallery closures and social distancing measures are vitally important, but they are also causing huge disruption to the lives and livelihoods of artists," Mr Alex Farquharson, director of Tate Britain, said in a statement.

He said J.M.W. Turner – the 19th-century British artist the prize is named after – would have approved of sharing the prize money so widely, since he "once planned to leave his fortune to support artists in their hour of need".

The grant recipients include Liz Johnson Artur, a Ghanaian-Russian who photographs members of the African diaspora in London in settings such as schools and nightlife; Oreet Ashery, an Israeli artist who has made films about preparing for the afterlife; and Shawanda Corbett, an American artist based in Oxford, England, who makes ceramics and performances, some of which have commented on slavery.

Another recipient, Sean Edwards, is a Welsh artist who received media attention in Britain last year for an exhibition at the Venice Biennale that focused on his working-class upbringing.

Every day during the show, his mother read a monologue from her home in a Wales housing project, and it was relayed to Venice and played aloud in a grand exhibition space.

The other winners are Arika, a political art collective based in Scotland; Jamie Crewe; Sidsel Meineche Hansen; Ima-Abasi Okon, whose project featured air-conditioners; Imran Perretta; and Alberta Whittle.

The Turner Prize was once a major event in Britain, though public interest has waned in recent years. Past winners have included Damien Hirst, Grayson Perry and Steve McQueen, directorRead More – Source