Turner Prize 2016 // Helen Marten

It’s that time of year again where the prestigious prize is awarded to another brilliant British artist.

It was announced that Helen Marten is this years winner earlier this evening. Her work expresses an endearing sense of poetic logic within colourful chaos.

Here’s a look at her work and the nominees…

Helen Marten

no policing of fantasy


A poetic collection of everyday objects illustrate Helen Marten’s mind within her three-walled exhibition. Originally on show at the Venice Biennale, the trio of works evoke feelings of algorithmic logic and seem to capture a measured sense of dimension.

The pieces are displayed like collages, where a regularity of viewing coexists within the cyclical movement of the intersecting walls. Before creating final pieces, Marten is thorough with the process of movement and form, which is quite evident in her exhibition pieces.


 She aims to hold no separation between image and language; her pieces ask us to explore our familiarity and to remodel our geometric memories with these everyday objects.


Her composition technique and her understanding of eye-catching proportions are two of the many reasons viewers are so captivated and intrigued by her exhibitions.

In our eyes, at Poison Concrete, Marten is a worthy winner.

She was up against some great contenders//

Take a look at her fellow nominees…

Michael Dean

thinking about their proximity to something else in the world


The works of Michael Dean derive deeply from the very essence of writing. He begins by isolating words that illustrate emotion, which develop into diagrams and evolve into physical expressions in space.

Collating concrete, steel, soil and water, Dean provides us with a language that depicts his delight in creating / manifesting / producing.

His typefacemoulds, casts and abstracted creations seem accidental and intentional at the same time: where the objects merely hint at Dean’s underlying expression and the viewers are free to manifest their own perspective.


In contrast, Dean’s piece titled United Kingdom poverty line for two adults and two children has a much clearer and distinct impression, which can introduce public debate and question our social perspective. His work on display consisted of £20,436 in pennies; which (according to the UK government) is the minimum figure that a family of two adults and two children need to survive. At the time of placement into the gallery, Dean removed one coin: leaving his work to illustrate that the money sprawled out on the floor is

one penny less than the poverty line

Anthea Hamilton

I think humour is a positive


Hamilton’s research of everyday things alludes towards a generous democratic question about ourselves. Perhaps not just the one, but many.

Titled Lichen! Libido! Chastity! her exhibition, in New York’s Sculpture Centre, introduced visitors to a collaborative space of researched fabrication and played with their perspective of scale, humour and material. The exhibition has been restaged at the Tate.

Of course there is an obvious expression of fetishism and sexuality, but rather than being blatant and blunt, Hamilton leaves subtle remarks; merely making the viewer question their opinion – rather than persuade them of her own.

Her most memorable piece for many is the 10 metre high sculpture of a man’s bum. Inspired through a photograph by Gaetano Pesce (Italian architect, designer and artist), Hamilton expresses ideals of gateways and doors along with the seriousness of sexuality and the humour of nudity is oversize form.

Josephine Pryde

movement between countries… is an ancient common right

josephineprydeturnerprize Holding tightly onto her views of freedom and expression, Josephine Pryde is the artist who is perhaps set aside from the others. Rather than delving into subtly, Pryde’s work seems to express her views explicitly.

 Entitled The New Media Express in a Temporary Siding (Baby Wants to Ride) a miniature train illustrates notions of movement between countries, locations and places. In every location that the train was previously exhibited at, Pryde asked graffiti artists to mark a single carriage. It is these tags, along with the example of movement, which evoke questions of identity, possession and freedom.

Pryde also exhibited a series of photographs Hands / Für Mich, which illustrate ideals of advertisement, fashion and connection through the interaction of body and object.

Using an ancient photographic technique employed by sunlight, Pryde has also captured the material essence of three-dimensional objects as two-dimensional transfers.


Photo credits (clockwise from top left):

Helen Marten//

Feature image, Helen Marten, from James O Malley

Photo of Helen Marten, Photo by Juergen Teller

Night-blooming genera, 2015 (detail), Spun aluminium, airbrushed steel, welded steel, lacquered hardwoods, stitched fabric, handthrown glazed ceramic, leather, glass, feathers, acid etched concrete © The Artist, Sadie Coles HQ, London, Photography: Annik Wetter, Geneva

Limpet Apology (traffic tenses), 2015 Screen printing and painting on leather, suede, cotton, velvet; stained and sprayed Ash; folded steel; enamel paint on Balsa wood; airbrushed steel; magnets; inlaid Formica; Cherry © The Artist, Sadie Coles HQ, London, Photography: Annik Wetter, Geneva

Artwork by Marten for her show Drunk Brown House, at the Serpentine gallery, London. Photograph: Annik Wetter/© Helen Marten/Courtesy of Sadie Coles HQ

Michael Dean//

Installation view of Sic Glyphs 2016, South London Gallery Photo: Andy Keate

Photo of Michael Dean taken by artist

Installation view of Sic Glyphs 2016, South London Gallery Photo: Andy Keate

UK poverty line  Photo: Martin Godwin

Anthea Hamilton//

Portrait of Anthea Hamilton, Photo by Lewis Ronald

Project for Door (After Gaetano Pesce), 2015 installation view, Anthea Hamilton: Lichen! Libido! Chastity!, SculptureCenter, 2015 Photo: Kyle Knodell

Brick Suit, 2010, installation view, Anthea Hamilton: Lichen! Libido! Chastity! Sculpture Center, 2015, Wool, lining, 22 x 5 x 46 inches (55.9 x 12.7 x 116.8 cm) Photo: Kyle Knodell

Josephine Pryde//

Photo of Josephine Pryde, Photo: Dan Mitchell

Für Mich 2, 2014, C-print Unframed: 60 x 45 cm (23 5/8 x 17 3/4 in.) Edition of 3 + 2 AP (SLG-JOP-08391)  Simon Lee Gallery, London; Reena Spaulings Fine Art, New York; and Galerie Neu, Berlin.

Installation view lapses in Thinking By the person I Am 2015 Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts, San Francisco, Photo: Johnna Arnold

Josephine Pryde’s installation at the ‘Turner Prize 2016’, Tate Britain. Photo: Joe Humphrys © Tate Photography


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