Glasgow welcomes Turner Prize for first time

Nicole Wermers' Infrastruktur, being shown at the Tramway, as part of the Turner Prize 2015. Picture: Hemedia
Nicole Wermers' Infrastruktur, being shown at the Tramway, as part of the Turner Prize 2015. Picture: Hemedia
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IT IS the annual visual art extravaganza that leaves critics and visitors baffled and intrigued in equal measures.

Now Scotland’s art lovers can tackle the Turner Prize exhibition for the first time - in a show offering a comic opera, alien conspiracy theories, fur coats sewn into designer chairs and everyday household goods.

Janice Kerbel's Doug. Picture: Alan Dimmick

Janice Kerbel's Doug. Picture: Alan Dimmick

The Tate’s annual showcase of cutting-edge contemporary art opens today at the Tramway arts centre, in Glasgow’s Southside. The city was chosen after claiming seven previous winners in the prize’s 30-year history.

The city’s cultural credentials are expected to be boosted by hosting the Turner Prize, with the winner announced in a ceremony to be broadcast live on Channel Four in December.

It is hoped more than 80,000 visitors will flock to the free showcase of work created by the four contenders for the £25,000 art prize over the next three and a half months.

However they may have to be patient to catch the work of one of the nominees, Canada-born Janice Kerbel, whose operatic work was originally commissioned to be staged in Glasgow’s historic Mitchell Library.

Moira Jeffrey’s first-look review of the Turner Prize

The 24-minute a capella piece, describing a series of mishaps suffered by fictional character Doug, will be performed at various times by half a dozen singers in different sections, some lasting only a few seconds.

A London-based art collective who created an adventure playground next to one of Glasgow’s main Commonwealth Games venues have set up a workshop to showcase an ongoing project to transform part of Liverpool’s Toxteth estate.

Tiles, fireplaces, doorknobs, furniture and lamps have all been installed in a makeshift showroom for Assemble’s work to breathe new life into a series of neglected Victorian tenements.

German artist Nicole Wermers has transformed 10 versions of Marcel Breuer’s classic Cesca chair by covering them in vintage furs.

Read Moira Jeffrey’s in-depth preview of Glasgow’s art scene ahead of tomorrow’s Turner Prize

The show - said to allude to themes of lifestyle, class, consumption and control - is partly inspired by the “ritual” of placing coats on chairs in order to mark out private areas in cafes or restaurants.

Visitors to London artist Bonnie Camplin’s study room can watch a series of pre-recorded interviews with people outlining various conspiracy theories, as well as flick through textbooks on subjects as varied as fairies and witchcraft, to capitalism and warfare.

Judith Nesbitt, Tate’s director of national & international programmes, said: “Glasgow is an important centre for the arts in Britain so it’s very fitting for the exhibition to be hosted in the city this year.”


’I love Glasgow. It’s amazing. It deserves so much better than the hand it has been dealt’