Tate Britain awarded bursaries to 10 artists in place of the canceled 2020 Turner Prize.

Daria Simone Harper
Jul 2, 2020 3:52PM, via Tate Britain

Tate Britain. Photo by and courtesy Tate Photography.

Tate Britain revealed the 10 artists who will each receive a £10,000 ($12,400) bursary in lieu of this year’s Turner Prize competition. The artists would have been in the running for this year’s Turner Prize, but the 2020 edition was cancelled in May due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Administrators of the Turner Prize decided instead to grant 10 notable artists with individual awards (the prize-winner typically receives £25,000, or about $31,060).

Among the winners of the individual bursaries are photographer Liz Johnson Artur, who is best known for her vibrant images of Black youth culture, and the Edinburgh-based political arts organization, Arika. Other recipients of bursaries include Oreet Ashery, Shawanda Corbett, Jamie Crewe, Sean Edwards, Sidsel Meineche Hansen, Ima-Abasi Okon, Imran Perretta and Alberta Whittle. The recipients of the bursaries are still eligible for future editions of the Turner Prize.

Alex Farquharson, Tate Britain’s director and chair of the jury selecting the artists, said in a press release:

Following a lively and rigorous virtual debate, the jury has settled on a list of 10 fantastic artists who reflect the exceptional talent found in contemporary British art. From ceramics to film, performance to photography, they represent the many exciting and interdisciplinary ways that artists work today. These bursaries represent a vote of confidence in that work and offer some much-deserved support in challenging times. We’re extremely grateful to John Booth, Catherine Petitgas and The Ampersand Foundation who generously stepped forward at such short notice to make these bursaries possible.

The selected artists create work across a range of media, from photography and film to performance, sculpture, and ceramics. Many of them examine themes of identity, marginality, and mortality throughout their practice. Farquharson told The Guardian: “I’m sure one can give examples of humor and visual pleasure in there but yes, they are reflecting on very serious issues.” After being temporarily closed for some four months due to COVID-19, all four Tate galleries will reopen on July 27th.

Last year’s edition of the Turner Prize ended in unprecedented fashion, with the four finalists—Lawrence Abu Hamdan, Helen Cammock, Oscar Murillo, and Tai Shani—forming a collective and accepting the prize in unisom as a gesture of solidarity. The most prominent contemporary art award in the U.K., past Turner Prize winners include Chris Ofili, Anish Kapoor, Damien Hirst, Steve McQueen, and Rachel Whiteread.

Further Reading: How the Turner Prize Became One of Art’s Biggest Awards

Daria Simone Harper