21 October 2011 – 8 January 2012
Karla Black / Martin Boyce / Hilary Lloyd / George Shaw

Image, headline and caption from

As any of you may know who looked at yesterdays page, and I’ve looked at the stats so I know there were some of you, I am currently half way through my introduction to the Turner Prize 2011.  And for any of you who didn’t already know this, where were you yesterday? Anyway yesterday I started by taking a brief look at two of this years finalists, But I also opened a forum as to what people thought maybe the value of the completion and approached this partly through an article on the BBC News channel. Today’s starting point is from within the home of the Turner Prize; Tate Britain. In 2004 Tate produced an essay: Twenty Years of the Turner Prize: 1984-2004, which they intended to answer many of the FAQs about the competition, although now several years out of date I would make it recommend it as a reading source  for anyone genuinely interested in the subject. Follow the link below:

Turner Prize History.

George Shaw


I first came into close contact with the work of George Shaw when some of his work was included in the; “Subversive Spaces: Surrealism and Contemporary Art” at the Whitworth Art Gallery in 2009. Up until that point, I think, I had only seem examples of his work as reproductions online. Seeing them as part of this exhibition was  an interesting experience because I think it set-up an expectation about them which sustained for some time. Because of the nature of the exhibition and the works selected; Scenes from the Passion: The Swing, 2002/3, I was left with a perhaps more brooding image of them than they generally deserve.

Now having seen his works in several more exhibitions my feelings towards them has lightened. I now feel a much greater sense of nostalgia when I look at them, mingled with a sense of loss; I guess that’s where the darkness, which still does linger about them, comes from. I was born on a similar estate and when for some reason I passed through it I see the same images. But there are other things going on here and they are perhaps other things which have familiar echos for me and draw me towards them. Shaw is a man of about the same age as me, from a similar social background and upbringing; and I am left to wonder how much these resonances affect my approach to these paintings. Even down to them being painted with enamel paints, that good old staple of the kit-modeller. It makes me wonder how these paintings speak to different audiences, or do they perhaps just have a generally wide appeal because they are in a sense quite traditional landscapes and as such a rarity in the completion. I would love to hear other people’s takes on these.

Hilary Lloyd

I’m going to start this off by saying something quite unusual for me, anyone who knows me may well be shocked by this statement, and it is also something which Hilary Lloyd herself may well disagree with; Hilary Lloyd is a video artist. Doesn’t sound that controversial does it? But you see for me video is a massively over-used medium usually favoured by lazy artists who don’t understand their own work or the medium. All to often I see videos being presented of a piece of art, often a very good piece of art, when they are in fact just a documentation of that actual piece of work. Too many artists do not see the difference or even worse do not take the time to seek out a better way to exhibit what might be referred to as “temporal art”. Hilary Lloyd, I’m delighted to say is not this kind of artist or perhaps I should say sculptor, because that what I really feel she is. Not just for because of the sculptural way she exhibits the work but because of the nature of the video. For me the images and installation are all part and parcel of the same idea, there is no feeling of anxiety between one and the other. I didn’t get to see her show at Raven Row in London earlier this year and I really regret it. For me her work has the feel of early  Bill Viola, at his best, without the slightly smug “knowingness” that I feel has crept into his more resent pieces. Normally in an exhibition like this the “video artist” would be the one of least interest to me, but in a way, I feel at the moment anyway, that Lloyd may well be the strongest contender this year; an unexpected statement, to me more than anyone!

So that is my introduction weekend to the Turner Prize 2011. Over the next 4 weekends I will look at each of the artists in more detail. But for anyone interested, tomorrow I will revert to presenting a piece from my own past portfolio and it will be one of my and I think a lot of people’s favorites; Yellow (conversation piece).