THE Turner Prize, Britain’s leading contemporary arts contest, is coming to Glasgow in 2015, the first time it has been held in Scotland.
The Tramway arts centre, in the city’s south side, will be hosting the exhibition and awards ceremony after a Glasgow bid was selected out of four contenders.
The successful bid - which faced competition from Manchester, Walsall and Nottingham - had involved Glasgow Life, the city’s arts and culture body, the Glasgow City Marketing Bureau, Creative Scotland and EventScotland.
Glasgow has previously boasted five Turner Prize winners - including Martin Boyce, Richard Wright and Douglas Gordon, Susan Philipsz and Simon Starling - with all except Philipsz attending the city’s art school. One of the nominees last year, Luke Fowler, is also based in Glasgow.
The Tramway, a multi-arts venue in a former tram depot, was transformed for Glasgow becoming a European capital of culture in 1990, since when the city has undergone a dramatic artistic transformation.
Organisers Tate took the event outside London for the first time to Liverpool six years ago shortly before the city’s reign as European capital of culture began and it went to the Baltic in Gateshead two years ago. This year it will be presented in Londonderry.
Tate director Nicholas Serota said: “Over the last 20 years, Glasgow and Scotland has gained national and international recognition as a centre of excellence in, and for, the visual arts and for many years artists who are from Scotland or who have trained at the Glasgow School of Art - one of the world’s leading art schools - have been nominated for, or won, the award.”
Professor Seona Reid, director of Glasgow School of Art, said: “We are delighted that the Turner Prize exhibition is coming to Glasgow in 2015 recognising the importance of the visual arts community in the city.
“How appropriate that the venue for the exhibition should be Tramway which has played a seminal role in the promotion of artists and the visual arts at home and abroad over the last 25 years.”
The Turner Prize, which was first held by the Tate in 1984, is awarded to a British artist under the age of 50 for an outstanding exhibition or other presentation of their work over the previous 12 months. It has been valued at £40,000 for the last nine years.
Scottish culture secretary Fiona Hyslop said: “I’m thrilled that the world-renowned Turner Prize will be hosted in Scotland for the first time in 2015.
“Hosting the UK’s most prestigious arts prize at Tramway in Glasgow is not only a reflection of the strength and diversity of the work of Scotland’s artists over many years, but also stands testament to Scotland as the perfect stage for major cultural events and builds on our national and international reputation for cultural and creative excellence.”
Glasgow council leader Gordon Matheson added: “Glasgow is Scotland’s cultural powerhouse and we are delighted that our work with partners at Creative Scotland and Event Scotland has won us the right to host the UK’s most prestigious arts prize in 2015. With so many former winners and nominees, the city enjoys international recognition as a thriving centre for the production and hosting of contemporary visual arts.
“Tramway has been described as an industrial cathedral that connects art with humanity and has a thriving global reputation as a producer and promoter of the most innovative work by Scottish and international artists. In bringing the Turner Prize to Tramway and Glasgow, we will build on that growing reputation - and following from the ambitious Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games cultural programme, hosting the Turner Prize will continue to build both audiences and interest in the very best in contemporary visual art.”