Scottish countryside takes centre stage as Turner Prize Winner 2018 is announced

Charlotte Prodger
In a strong year, following her appointment to represent Scotland at the next Venice Biennale, Glasgow-based artist Charlotte Prodger (aged 44) was named the Turner Prize Winner 2018 at a ceremony in London on Tuesday evening.


Her solo exhibition from the Bergen Kunsthalle in Norway which featured two film works – Stoneymollan Trail and Bridgit – snapped Prodger the 34th edition of the £25,000 prize for “introducing something new to the filmic medium and how it is used in art”, according to Tate Britain Director and chair of the judging panel, Alex Farquharson.


Bridgit, the 32-minute film comprising of short clips filmed on an iPhone, is currently on show at the Tate Britain as part of its Turner Prize exhibition. Capturing the Scottish countryside, shots of the artist’s home and her travels, the film explores class, gender, sexuality and Neolithic goddesses through an autobiographical lens of coming out in early 90s Aberdeenshire; the piece intertwines landscape, body, technology and time in “the most profound use of a device as prosaic as the iPhone camera that we’ve seen in art to date”.





Prodger was one of four finalists for the prize, awarded each year to a British artist. Forensic Architecture, an interdisciplinary team including architects, filmmakers, lawyers and scientists, made the shortlist for their film exhibiting the results of their investigations into a police raid in 2017 on a Bedouin village in the Negev desert. Naeem Mohaiemen presented two 90-minute films about a man living alone in an abandoned airport and Bangladeshi moments of history. The fourth finalist, Luke Willis Thompson, caused controversy as some took exception to his silent film Autoportrait, which centred on Diamond Reynolds, the girlfriend of Philando Castile, victim of a police shooting in Minnesota.


The jury, however, comprising of Oliver Basciano (art critic and International Editor at ArtReview), Elena Filipovic (Director of the Kunsthalle Basel), Lisa Le Feuvre (Executive Director of the Holt-Smithson Foundation) and Tom McCarthy (novelist and writer) selected Prodger as their laureate for the psychological weight and “formation of a sense of self through disparate references” achieved from a video phone, which “ends up being so unexpectedly expansive.”


To see Prodger’s winning video, the Turner Prize Exhibition runs until January 6 at the Tate Britain.



Katy Cross