Array Wins The 2021 Turner Prize

Array Wins The 2021 Turner Prize

Date: 26/11/2021 13:31

We are delighted to congratulate Array Collective on winning the 2021 Turner Prize. 

Array Collective shines an important light on urgent social and political issues affecting Northern Ireland with humour, seriousness and beauty.

The Turner Prize judges said of the winning collective:

"The jury awarded the prize to Array Collective for their hopeful and dynamic artwork which addresses urgent social and political issues affecting Northern Ireland with humour, seriousness and beauty. The jury were impressed with how Belfast-based Array Collective were able to translate their activism and values into the gallery environment, creating a welcoming, immersive and surprising exhibition." 

We are honoured that the Digital Film Archive is part of the Turner Prize exhibition at the Herbert Gallery & Museum until 12th January 2022. (Image Rosa Tralee at the Druthaib's Ball 2021 courtesy of Array Collective). 

Array Collective have transformed a gallery in the Herbert into an immersive installation. An imagined síbín (a ‘pub without permission’) hosts a film created from the Druthaib’s Ball held in Belfast, and a TV showing Northern Ireland Screen’s Digital Film Archive. A large canopy styled from banners provides a floating roof. The síbín is approached through a circle of flag poles, that references ancient Irish ceremonial sites and contemporary structures, and is illuminated by a dawn-to-dusk light. Array invites visitors into a place of contradictions where trauma, dark humour, frustration, and release coexist. It is a place to gather outside the sectarian divides that have dominated the collective memory in the North for the last hundred years. 
The 35 minute archive montage includes Irish mythology, landscape, folk traditions, protests, the Agreement referendum, adverts, the border and the Irish Names Quilt. Filmed by UTV and the Northern Ireland Tourist Board between 1959-1998. (Image above: Turner Prize exhibition, image below - Irish Names Quilt copyright ITV)
Established in 1984, the prize is named after the radical British painter JMW Turner (1775-1851).

This year’s nominees work encompasses films, installations, and interdisciplinary practices, as well as socially engaged programmes reflecting on solidarity and community demonstrated in response to the pandemic. All nominees work closely and continuously with communities across the breadth of the UK to inspire social change through art.  Array Collective's exhibition features performances by Cleamairí Feirste, Phil Hession, Méabh Meir, Richard O'Leary, Rosa Tralee and Vasiliki Stasinaki.

Visit the exhibition in the Herbert Gallery & Museum until January 12th 2022: