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Thursday, 17 April 2014

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Turner Prize-winning art returns to Cumbria

AN ARTIST who produced her famous installation in Cumbria and scooped one of the most sought-after awards in the art world, will bring her artwork back to the region next month.

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Laure Prouvost, the winner of this years Turner Prize

Laure Prouvost won the 2013 Turner Prize last night with a project produced with Grizedale Arts in Coniston.

Her piece, called Wantee, features a film and tea party-like installation that takes the audience in search of her fictional grandfather.

It was commissioned as part of a Kurt Schwitters exhibition at Tate Britain earlier this year.

Prouvost was intrigued by the artist's partner, Edith Thomas, nicknamed Wantee because of her habit of asking “want tea?” From that starting point, Prouvost spun a fictional story about her grandfather – apparently a close friend of Schwitters.

Prouvost often references her grandfather, who in her fictional world once decided to tunnel to Africa through the living room floor and never came back.

The French artist worked over a period of months in Coniston, involving local artists such as Peter Hodgson of Ambleside and Coniston Youth Club who helped to build the set for the film.

Alistair Hudson, deputy director of Grizedale Arts: “We are so pleased Laure has won the Turner Prize with this project. In many ways she was an outside bet, but in the end it seems the jury were won over by this strange, moving and funny and accessible piece of story telling.

“Grizedale has a long history of supporting artists who have gone on to feature in the Prize - such as Jeremy Deller, Mark Wallinger, Spartacus Chetwynd, Liam Gillick and Mark Titchner.

“The stimulation artists get through the Grizedale programme and from working here in Coniston offers so much to artists and often changes the way they think - this makes for a very distinctive type of work that is consistently recognised around the world.”

Speaking last night, Prouvost said: “I'm not ready, I didn't expect it at all.

“I thought ‘It can't be me,’ - I was sure it was not me.”

The work from Laure’s Turner Prize show will have a ‘homecoming’ exhibition in Coniston, with a performance by Laure and the Youth Club opening on January 24 in the Ruskin Museum, Coniston.

Read more: The Turner Prize - Connected to Cumbria

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