It’s the time of year again when the winner of the Turner Prize is announced. This accolade is awarded to an artist under the age of 50 who lives and/ or works in Britain. Particular commendation goes to an outstanding exhibition or other public display of artistic creativity of some description.

This year’s shortlist includes Michael Dean, Anthea Hamilton, Helen Marten and Josephine Pryde, each one an outstandingly talented artist in their own right.

And the winner is… Helen Marten, an artist whose unconventional approach has brought her much acclaim.

Born in 1985, Macclesfield, Marten now lives and works in London. There is a very physical element to the art she generates. She brings together a vast number of objects to form a sculpture. As a result of the wide range of objects comprising its structure, the sculpture will maintain a highly referential element, both to historical and contemporary matters.

The objects used in Marten’s sculptures can be normal, or perhaps slightly more obscure. Coins, shoe souls, marbles, limes, eggs and a host of other items have all found their way into her work. An example of her more bizarre pieces is Night-Blooming Genera (2015), which comprises metal substances such as steel and aluminium, hardwoods, fabric and ceramics. The result is a very modern look, quite unlike anything ever seen elsewhere.

By examining Marten’s work and the material she uses, the viewer is encouraged to challenge the other objects seen around them and question what they see. What do those objects really represent? What do they mean to me? Might they even inspire me to create my own artistic masterpieces? The answers to these questions lie only in the hearts of each beholder.

– Luke Mayo, Correspondent (Art)

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