Turner arrives in Derry - and brings a dose of controversy

Turner Prize nominees Laure Prouvost, David Shrigley and Lynette Yiadom-Boakye enjoying a break in Derry yesterday.  (DER4313JB0810))
Turner Prize nominees Laure Prouvost, David Shrigley and Lynette Yiadom-Boakye enjoying a break in Derry yesterday. (DER4313JB0810))

The Turner Prize Exhibition opened in Derry this week - taking the prestigious awards out of England for the first time.

The exhibition will run at Ebrington, in a building which has been gloriously restored to host the crowds of people expected to want to examine the work of some of the world’s greatest contemporary artists.

David Shrigley's Life Model 2012 which is one of the pieces on display in this years Turner Prize exhibition in Derry~Londonderry the UK City of Culture. Viewers are encouraged to create their own piece of art by producing a sketch of the installation which are then hung on the gallery walls. Picture Martin McKeown. Inpresspics.com. 22.10.13

David Shrigley's Life Model 2012 which is one of the pieces on display in this years Turner Prize exhibition in Derry~Londonderry the UK City of Culture. Viewers are encouraged to create their own piece of art by producing a sketch of the installation which are then hung on the gallery walls. Picture Martin McKeown. Inpresspics.com. 22.10.13

And if initial reactions from the national and international media are anything to go by - Derry itself has become as much of a talking point as the four installations on offer.

Writing for The Independent, Zoe Pilger says Derry has already “done a fantastic job” of hosting Turner 2013. Aidan Dunne writing for the Irish Times said: “Derry has made a great job of hosting the Turner in part of the refurbished and remodelled complex at the former barracks at Ebrington”,

At the press preview on Tuesday as many journalists seemed to ask about the history of the building in which the exhibition was housed as asked about the artwork within.

But make no mistake, it is the work of the four nominated artists which will draw people from far and wide to Ebrington - and the work on display is at times powerful, at times quirky and yes, at times humorous.

Those nominated are Laure Prouvost, a French born, English based filmmaker and artist, for her 2013 work Wantee.

Tino Seghal - the only artist not to attend the launch as he does not fly - has been nominated for his work The Variation and These Associations. In Derry he shows a version of his 2003 work This is Exchange - which requires a degree of audience participation.

David Shrigley is already known to local audiences. His work ‘Small City Becomes Huge’ caused a great deal of discussion when it was displayed outside the Guildhall earlier this year. He was nominated for his exhibition Brain Activity and displays Life Model at Ebrington.

Lynette Yiadome Boakye is a Ghanian born, London based artist who was nominated for her exhibition Extracts and Verses. She displays six paintings, two of them new works at Ebrington.

Shona McCarthy, Chief Executive of Culture Company said: “We are proud to be presenting the Turner Prize as one of the highlights of our programme, reflecting the powerful cultural relationships that have been built around this vital year. 2013 will be the first time that the Turner Prize has been located outside of England.

“The shortlist of artists is wonderful, and with the exhibition’s exceptional location ...the stage is set for the unique experience of Turner Prize 2013.”