Worlds Collide In 2014 Turner Prize

by Cass Art

(Pictured Above, Tris Vonna-Mitchell, Postscript II, 2013)

Artists spend years developing their practice, choosing the very best materials to suit them, and getting their art out there for the public to see. The Turner Prize is one of the UK's most prestigious platforms for artistic talent, awarded each year to an outstanding British artist under the age of 50. In their 30th year, this year's Turner Prize is one of the best examples of casting a spotlight on relatively obscure artists, and its shortlist of artists is already causing a stir. A glance at the four-strong nominees creates a fascinating clash of cultures for both new and old followers, asking questions in true Turner Prize fashion. 

Each nominated artist is relatively uknown, and they are all working in what could be recognised as rather unorthodox methods of making art.

Obscure Shortlist

The techies in our midst, for example, might cast an empathetic eye on the progress of James Richards, who fuses seemingly unconnected clips via eclectic sources such as YouTube, other people's movies and self-shot footage.

Those of a more Luddite persuasion could be forgiven for cheering on Tris Vonna-Michell instead, who uses the good old-fashioned egg-timer to keep his part-improvised presentation work on schedule.

Ciara Phillips and Duncan Campbell complete a line-up described by Tate Britain director Penelope Curtis as “the most obscure yet”.

Obscure, we hear you cry? But isn't that the point of the Turner Prize? To offer up new ways of thinking and shake up the norm in the face of the visual arts?

Curtis, who also chairs the jury, explained to The Telegraph that this year's quartet is not as well known as those on previous shortlists, but says that this affords the competition the opportunity to trump some smaller names to the wider public.

This can be no bad thing, especially for a prize that is continually controversial. 

The Turner Prize is the country's most famous art competition and offers £25,000 for the winning entrant and £5,000 each for the runners-up.

The Nominees

Cass Art takes a look at the short-listed four artists for 2014:

James Richards, Cass Art blog, Turner Prize

James Richards (Pictured Above, Still from film 'Rosebud', 2013)

A Freudian's dream, Richards' work includes photos of raunchy art defaced by sandpapering sensors. The Cardiff-born 30-year-old is fascinated by film and divides his time between London and Berlin.

Tris Vonna-Michell 

Tris Vonna-Michell, 31, employs yesterday's “old-tech” methods, including audio cassettes and slide projections to develop his work through live storytelling. The Southend-er has a Jimmy Hillesque belief that life is too short for punctuation or breaths during diatribes. This probably explains the egg-timer, which reminds him when he has run out of time.

Ciara Phillips, Cass Art blog, Turner Prize

Ciara Phillips (Pictured Above - 'Workshop (2010-ongoing)', 2013)

Her screen prints on banners, walls and textiles are laced with political statements and are heavily influenced by US silkscreen maestro Corita Kent (1918-1986). The Irish-Canadian, 37, has collaborated with community organisations to generate posters and banners, sometimes to underline the tribulations of poorly-paid cleaners.

 Duncan Campbell, Cass Art blog, Turner Prize

Duncan Campbell (Pictured Above, Still from film 'It For Others', 2013)

Few people could have used the dance medium to examine commodity markets, and yet the 41-year-old Dubliner manages it. He employs the renowned choreographer Michael Clark to help him, and was nominated for his film installation at last year's Venice Biennale.

Follow The Prize

The winning artist will be named at an awards ceremony on the 1st December, to be screened live on Channel 4.

The competition's exhibition launches at Tate Britain on 30th September and runs until 4th January, so make sure you don't miss the show. 

Tickets will cost £11. For more information on the prize and this year's exhibition, click here.  

Feeling inspired? 

Shop online for all of your art supplies and dream big. You never know - it could be your name on that shortlist one day. Document your work from an early stage using a Moleskin Sketch Folio or Daley Rowney Graduate Jumbo Spiral Sketchbook, and track your creative progression. 

Tell us what you think about the nominated artists on Facebook or Twitter, or leave a comment below. 

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