Jasleen Kaur’s art rooted in her childhood in Glasgow on Turner Prize shortlist

Jasleen Kaur, Alter Altar, 2023
Jasleen Kaur, Alter Altar, 2023Courtesy: Tate Britain

London-based artist Jasleen Kaur has been nominated for the 2024 Turner Prize her solo exhibition ‘Alter Altar’ at Tramway, Glasgow. Scotland-born Kaur joins three other artists on this year’s shortlist for one of the world’s leading visual art prizes, worth £25,000 for the winner and £10,000 for the nominees.

Her shortlist entry reads: “Exploring cultural inheritance, solidarity and autobiography, Kaur created sculptures from everyday objects, each animated through an immersive sound composition, giving them an uncanny illusion of life. Objects including family photos, an Axminster carpet, a vintage Ford Escort covered in a giant doily (pictured above), Irn-Bru and kinetic hand bells were orchestrated to convey the artist’s upbringing in Glasgow’s Sikh community.

“The jury praised the artist’s evocative combination of sound and sculpture to address specifics of family memory and community struggle.”

One of the world’s best-known prizes for the visual arts, the Turner Prize aims to promote public debate around new developments in contemporary British art. Established in 1984, the prize is named after the radical painter JMW Turner (1775-1851) and is awarded each year to a British artist for an outstanding exhibition or other presentation of their work.

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Others on this year’s shortlist include:

  • Pio Abad: Nominated for his solo exhibition ‘To Those Sitting in Darkness’ at the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford. Abad’s work considers cultural loss and colonial histories, often reflecting on his upbringing in the Philippines.

  • Claudette Johnson: Nominated for her solo exhibition ‘Presence’ at The Courtauld Gallery, London, and ‘Drawn Out’ at Ortuzar Projects, New York. Johnson is noted for her figurative portraits of Black women and men in a combination of pastels, gouache and watercolour. 

  • Delaine Le Bas: Nominated for her presentation ‘Incipit Vita Nova. Here Begins The New Life/A New Life Is Beginning’ at Secession, Vienna. Drawing on the rich cultural history of the Roma people and her interest in mythologies, Le Bas addressed themes of death, loss and renewal, inspired by the passing of her grandmother.

Alex Farquharson, Director of Tate Britain and chair of the Turner Prize jury, said: “It is an honour to announce such a fantastic shortlist of artists and I cannot wait to see their exhibition at Tate Britain this autumn. All four of them make work that is full of life. They show how contemporary art can fascinate, surprise and move us, and how it can speak powerfully of complex identities and memories, often through the subtlest of details.

“In the Turner Prize’s 40th year, this shortlist proves that British artistic talent is as rich and vibrant as ever.”

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The members of the Turner Prize 2024 jury are: Rosie Cooper, Director of Wysing Arts Centre; Ekow Eshun, writer, broadcaster and curator; Sam Thorne, Director General and CEO at Japan House London; and Lydia Yee, curator and art historian.

An exhibition of the shortlisted artists’ work will be held at Tate Britain from 25 September 2024 to 16 February 2025. The winner will be announced at an award ceremony at Tate Britain on December 3.

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