We are delighted to share the news that Array are one of five artist collectives that have been nominated for the Turner Prize which will be held in Coventry as part of the UK City of Culture 2021 celebrations. The shortlist also includes: Black Obsidian Sound System (B.O.S.S.), Cooking Sections, Gentle/Radical and Project Art Works.
Array were part of Jerwood Arts major group exhibition Jerwood Collaborate! curated by Harriet Cooper, Head of Visual Arts, in 2019. The exhibition presented new commissions by artists working in collaborative and collective practices across the UK, also including Keiken + George Jasper Stone, Languid Hands and Shy Bairns. It responded to research about the challenges faced by early-career artists working in collaboration, creating a dedicated high-profile platform to support this method of artistic practice and contribute to critical dialogues in the visual arts sector.
For Jerwood Collaborate! Array created a large-scale installation called As Others See Us which centred on three fictional characters drawn from pre-Christian myths and folklore of ancient Ireland to consider the contemporary anxieties and fixations that preoccupy Northern Ireland today. Their performance of these characters in Belfast and London was documented through film, photography, text and textiles, leading visitors to a dedicated archive and resource space that reflected historic and current activism around LGBTQ+ rights, feminisms and anti-colonialism. Their symposium If you don’t play the game, don’t make the rules expanded on this collective research opening the conversation to artists and activists to directly respond to the issues affecting Northern Ireland and its possible future scenarios.
“We are hugely excited that Array have been nominated for the 2021 Turner Prize. Their collaborative actions demonstrate the power of art to reflect, communicate and influence change in society, drawing important attention to the issues affecting Northern Ireland. The announcement of a shortlist comprising entirely of artist collectives is a timely recognition of their vital contribution to the arts sector and the creative potential of working collaboratively.”
Harriet Cooper, Head of Visual Arts
This is the first time that the Turner Prize shortlist is made up entirely of artist collectives and an exhibition of work by all five groups will run from 29 September 2021 at the Herbert Art Gallery and Museum. The judging panel consists of the actor Russell Tovey; Aaron Cezar, the director of the Delfina Foundation in London; Kim McAleese, the programme director of Grand Union in Birmingham; and Zoé Whitley, the director of the Chisenhale Gallery in London. The winner of the £25,000 prize will be announced at an award ceremony at Coventry Cathedral on 1 December 2021.
Find out more:
Read about Jerwood Collaborate! here
Watch If you don’t play the game, don’t make the rules here
Find out more about Array here
Visit the Turner Prize 2021 website here