The Turner Prize Exhibition At Tate Britain, London

Modern art. Some of it is interesting and thought-provoking, some of it is exciting and challenging and some of it is… well ultimately nonsense. Of course, art is a very subjective matter, what one person will love another person will hate and that is all part of the beauty of art.

I (Mrs W) particularly enjoy modern art, my son is also a brilliant artist and is studying visual effects at university. So when we visited London recently we decided to visit the Turner Prize exhibition at the Tate Britain art gallery.

The Tate Britain is located in Millbank, a ten-minute walk from the Houses of Parliament. Housing art from the 1500s to the present day, this art gallery is well worth visiting and also importantly it is free, although donations are welcome. With displays from artists such as Francis Bacon to Henry Moore, if you are an art lover, it is a must see when visiting London.

The Turner Prize is an annual art award named after English painter J. M. W. Turner and is presented to a British visual artist every year, under the age of 50. Notable past winners include outgoing personality and transvestite Grayson Perry, Academy Award-winning director of ’12 Years A Slave’, Steve Mcqueen and controversial artist Damien Hurst, known for his displays of animals in formaldehyde. Nominated artists are always at the cutting edge of modern art and the award really provokes debate around British art.

This year’s exhibition showcases the work of nominees, Michael Dean, Anthea Hamilton, Helen Marten and Josephine Pryde.

For the Turner Prize, a selection of the artists’ work is exhibited but the award is not based on only what is seen at the Tate Britain, instead the breadth of their work is examined. Some of the notable pieces on display are below.

Michael Dean

The work (United Kingdom poverty line for two adults and two children: twenty thousand four hundred and thirty-six pounds sterling as published on 1st September 2016) consists of £20,436 in pennies. The reason this amount was chosen is because it is the minimum amount of money the government states two adults and two children need for a year to survive in the UK. When the work was installed Michael Dean removed one penny, so it is one penny less than the poverty line.

Mrs W says, “A thought-provoking work.

Mr W says, ” What would happen If I added a penny?

Anthea Hamilton

Project for a Door (After Gaetano Pesce) is a large bottom inspired by a project of a doorway designed for a New York apartment block, although the original door was never made. Project for a Door is part of a series by Hamilton of larger than life-size remakes, physical realisations of images taken from her archive.

Mrs W says, “The scale is impressive, I bet this has brought in the punters eager to see a big ass

Mr W says, “There wasn’t a bum hole

Helen Marten

Marten’s exhibition space is divided into three sections. Each suggests an area where some unknown human activity has been interrupted.  Marten asks us to consider familiar items as if we are seeing them for the first time. In the process, these objects may become strange and abstract – ‘husked down’, Marten says, ‘to geometric memories of themselves’, that can be remodelled to give rise to new and unexpected stories or ideas.

Mrs W says, “I really like this, the shells and feathers add a native American feel to the work. I don’t understand the meaning behind the work though!

Mr W says, “Interrupting human activities, not sure about that.

Josephine Pryde

The New Media Express in a Temporary Siding (Baby Wants To Ride) is a scale model of a Class 66 diesel locomotive and carriages. The carriages are tagged by graffiti artists from the cities in which the train has previously been exhibited. For its showing at the Tate Britain, the train, is temporarily static, elevated on a platform and awaiting its next move.

Mrs W says, “I think this is cheating as all she has done is put some pretend graffiti on a Hornby train set.

Mr W says, “I like trains!

The winner of the Turner Prize was Helen Marten. Do you think she was a worthy winner? Check out the video below to see more and read the comments, some funny, from the exhibition attendees.

All in all we thought the Turner Prize exhibition was interesting and worth visiting. It has now finished but be sure to check out the exhibition for 2017 when it goes on display in one of the Tate galleries later in the year.

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  • Amber Myers
    January 5, 2017 at 8:17 pm

    What interesting pieces. I do like Helen’s piece so it was well deserved.

    • Mr and Mrs W
      January 5, 2017 at 10:12 pm

      The Turner Prize always produces some interesting pieces. Michael Dean had a lot of support, well on the visitors comments board.

  • Sarah-Louise Bailey
    January 6, 2017 at 3:42 am

    Everything in here fascinates me and very much appreciated their work of art. The final room that is filled with Michael Dean’s tactile, sinuous sculptures very much caught my attention and I praise him for that work.

    • Mr and Mrs W
      January 6, 2017 at 9:44 am

      Michael Dean’s work was very popular and the majority of visitors think he should’ve won the prize.

  • tara pittman
    January 6, 2017 at 4:26 am

    What an interesting place to visit. It would be hard to walk through the door and not touch the bib but.

    • Mr and Mrs W
      January 6, 2017 at 9:46 am

      Kid and big kids alike wanted to touch it, I think it was the most photographed exhibit.

  • LC of Birdgehls
    January 6, 2017 at 10:03 am

    I thought Michael Dean was a cert for sure! I loved the bottom… who wouldn’t?!

    • Mr and Mrs W
      January 6, 2017 at 12:35 pm

      We agree, a big bum always gets in the crowds!

  • Maryanne
    January 6, 2017 at 1:44 pm

    I am not like the expert on this but it looks original and creative, thanks for sharing. Hugs!

    • Mr and Mrs W
      January 6, 2017 at 2:12 pm

      It was fun to visit and quite different from most galleries.

  • Scott
    January 6, 2017 at 3:02 pm

    We went to the modern art museum in Chicago last summer. Just didn’t get it and left shaking our heads…

    • Mr and Mrs W
      January 6, 2017 at 3:58 pm

      We like a lot of modern art but what we don’t get, is the ridiculous amount money spent of some of it.

  • Ashley
    January 6, 2017 at 4:30 pm

    I try to get into art…..I just don’t get a lot of it.

  • Karlyn Cruz
    January 6, 2017 at 7:56 pm

    I like what I’m seeing! Especially that park, it doesn’t look like it’s in a museum at all. The great thing about Modern art is that most of them aren’t really that flashy, it’s more substance IMO.

  • Dawn Gibson-Thigpen
    January 6, 2017 at 8:18 pm

    lol. what an interesting place. i would die laughing while walking through the bum part. hehe

    • Mr and Mrs W
      January 7, 2017 at 12:33 pm

      The big bum did get a bit of that reaction.

  • Vera Sweeney
    January 6, 2017 at 8:30 pm

    It really is amazing what can be called art these days! I have never seen some of these pieces before.

  • Dana Vento
    January 6, 2017 at 10:13 pm

    That “bumhole” looks hilarious at first but I really admire the artistic meaning behind it. Or whatever my interpretation is. But that’s the beauty off modern art I guess, everything molds with anything.

    • Mr and Mrs W
      January 7, 2017 at 12:01 am

      Yes it was funny at first but like you said, there was more to her collection, however it did seem to dominate the exhibition.

  • mhaan a
    January 7, 2017 at 5:33 am

    Interesting art pieces. I would love to see them in my own eyes. That must be mind-blowing!


  • Maria Han
    January 7, 2017 at 3:11 pm

    Such an interesting place to visit, That is so creative. Glad you share this with us

  • Elizabeth O.
    January 9, 2017 at 3:25 am

    That’s all very lovely, I like the meanings behind the artworks it’s just that I don’t get the one from Helen. I’m not sure if I’m missing anything. I loved the first one, it raises awareness on poverty.

  • CourtneyLynne
    January 9, 2017 at 5:26 am

    Modern art is definitely interesting!!!! It’s fun to look at but at the same time I just don’t get it most of the time!

  • tiana
    January 9, 2017 at 2:49 pm

    Maybe label NSFW! haha my coworkers did a double take at my screen! What interesting modern art.

    • Mr and Mrs W
      January 9, 2017 at 9:21 pm

      Hi, it’s sounds like they’ve never seen a 15 foot bum before! The kids there were loving it.