Array Collective wins the Turner Prize 2021

Array Collective wins the Turner Prize 2021

Art, Art Prizes And Awards

12/2/2021 1:15:00 AM

Array Collective wins the Turner Prize 2021

Northern Ireland\u2019s Array Collective has been crowned winner of the Turner Prize 2021 in a ceremony held at Coventry Cathedral.\u00a0\nIn 2019, the Turner Prize made headlines after all four nominees were awarded the top prize, at their collective request. This year\u2019s format was also unprecedented; for the first...

Photography: David Levene Their common thread is art for social change, but each collective is dispersed in theme, and diverse in approach. Array was chosen from a shortlist of five collectives, which also included Black Obsidian Sound System,Cooking Sections

, Gentle/Radical, and Project Art Works. As the winner, Array Collective will be awarded £25,000, while £10,000 will be given to each shortlisted collective. Each nominee was selected for their close and consistent work with communities across the UK. The collaborative practices selected also reflect the solidarity demonstrated in response to the ongoing Covid-19 crisis. 

An exhibition of the collectives’ work isin Coventry (until 12 January 2022), forming part of the UK City of Culture 2021 celebrations. Photography: David LeveneBelfast-based Array Collective is known for work that tackles issues around language, gender and reproductive rights, as well the politics and identity of Northern Ireland, often conveyed through collaborative performances, protests, exhibitions and events.

For its Turner Prize show, Array Collective createdThe Druthaib’s Balla fantasy síbín (‘a pub without permission’). The work has been realised twice. In Belfast, it was a wake for the centenary of Ireland’s partition, in the Black Box (grassroots venue). Quasi-mythological druids were in attendance, along with a community of costumed artists and activists. 

RELATED STORYTurner Prize 2021 exhibition opens: pick your winnerArray Collective’s Herbert exhibition hosts a film created from the Belfast event, and a TV showing Northern Ireland Screen’s Digital Film Archive. A large canopy styled from banners provides a floating roof. Visitors can approach the síbín through a circle of flag poles that references ancient Irish ceremonial sites, and is illuminated by a dusk-to-dawn light.

Array Collective,The North is Now (one week after decriminalisation),2020.Photography: Simon MillsThe collective has staged a contradictory world that simultaneously inhabits trauma, black humour and angst. It is a place to look beyond sectarian divides that have overwhelmed Northern Ireland’s collective memory for the last century. In a more subtle intervention, Array has also made its mark in the Herbert’s collections, inserting an etching of

The Druthaib’s Ball into Gallery 2 of the museum.Array Collective comprises Sighle Bhreathnach-Cashell, Sinead Bhreathnach-Cashell, Jane Butler, Emma Campbell, Alessia Cargnelli, Mitch Conlon, Clodagh Lavelle, Grace McMurray, Stephen Millar, Laura O’Connor, and Thomas Wells.

The Turner Prize 2021 jury consisted of Aaron Cezar, director, Delfina Foundation; Kim McAleese, programme director, Grand Union;, actor; and Zoé Whitley, director, Chisenhale Gallery. §The Druthaib’s Ballby Array Collective, installation view at Turner Prize 2021 exhibition.

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