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Turner Prize exhibition opens at Baltic

Other posts by  |  Sheelagh Caygill on Google+ |  October 21, 2011 | 0 Comments

The much anticipated Turner Prize exhibition has opened at Gateshead’s Baltic Centre for Contemporary Arts.

A sculpture made of cellophane and Vaseline, paintings of a council estate, a video installation featuring the moon and tower blocks, and a wastepaper bin are part of the display of artworks by the four artists in the running for this year’s prestigious Turner Prize – the first time the exhibition and ceremony have been held outside a Tate venue.

It is also only the second time the prize has moved outside London, the last being in 2007 when Tate Liverpool played host.

The winner of the celebrated and often controversial contemporary art award (previous exhibits have included pickled cattle, unmade beds and flashing lights) which carries a £25,000 prize, will be announced on December 5.

Around 80,000 are expected to flock to Baltic between now and January 8, when the showcase closes, and will see the international spotlight undoubtedly shone not just on Gateshead but the North East as a whole.

Baltic director Godfrey Worsdale said taking the prize out of London was good for the Turner, as well as Baltic and the region.

“The idea of the Turner Prize travelling the regions, alternate years’ maybe, is a real shot in the arm for the prize. It’s taking it to new audiences, it’s a new phase in its life.”

The nominated artists are Karla Black and Martin Boyce, both from Scotland, former Newcastle Polytechnic student Hilary Lloyd and Devon-based George Shaw, who exhibited at Baltic earlier this year.

Karla’s large-scale sculptural installations form giant, crumpled piles of paper and sheets of plastic, with coloured powder smeared on the floor. The materials used include cellophane, sugar paper, bath bombs, Vaseline and moisturising cream.

Martin has reimagined items such as a library table, trees and a park bin by combining the experimental flair of contemporary art and the style and form of modern design. Brown leaf-like shapes made from wax-coated crepe paper are scattered around the floor.

Meanwhile Hilary, a film and video artist is exhibiting screens and projections of snatched footage of shapes including the moon and a tower block which form patterns as they are displayed in rows and grids.

Finally George is a painter who depicts the empty, grey landscape of the Coventry housing estate where he grew up, including scenes of a derelict pub, muddy wasteland and shut-up shops.

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