While the film industry has The Oscars, music has The Grammy awards and fashion has The Fashion Awards to highlight the most influential, ground-breaking people working within each individual sector, The Turner Prize is the chance for the British art scene to recognise the best visual art showcases throughout the year. Organised by the Tate Gallery, the first prize was awarded in 1984. Now, over 20 years on this has become a highly publicised event, responsible in part for the Young British Artists movement in the late 80’s and early 90’s.

There are four artists nominated every year, who then exhibit at the Tate from October until the winner is announced in December. This year, Michael Dean, Anthea Hamilton, Helen Marten and Josephine Pryde were nominated, but it was Helen Marten that took the crown in 2016.

Who is Helen Marten?

Helen, aged 31, is an installation and sculptural artist, born in Macclesfield but now living and working in London. She studied at Central Saint Martins in 2004, and at the Ruskin School of Drawing and Fine Art at the University of Oxford between 2005 and 2008.

What are her achievements?

This is not the first time her work has been recognised in the industry, and she also won the Hepworth Prize for Sculpture earlier this year. Her work has been shown at various galleries across the world such as the Serpentine Gallery in London, Greene Naftali in New York and Johann König in Berlin. While she is already a well-established artist, this Turner Prize win looks set to propel her career even further forward in 2017!

What is her work like?

Helen Marten creates contemporary sculpture and installations, also using other medium such as screen printing and writing to add to her pieces. Although it may appear as if all of the objects used in her work are all found, a closer look will reveal that they are not quite as expected. With meticulous planning and attention to detail, Helen         Marten creates many of the objects that make up her sculptures, mixing them with found articles to re-tell familiar tales in unusual ways. You can learn more about the seven pieces of her work that were shown at the Turner Prize exhibition online.

At Art2Arts, we are proud to host a community of innovative, contemporary British artists at our online art gallery – with so much talent, we may even be hosting a future Turner Prize winner in the years to come!

What do you think to the Turner Prize, and what are your thoughts about Helen Marten’s work? Let us know!

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