Turner Prize 2018 winner Charlotte Prodger

Glasgow-based artist Charlotte Prodger was recently named the recipient of the prestigious £25,000 Turner Prize. Her winning work: a solo exhibition at the Bergen Kunsthall in Norway, featuring two films, BRIDGIT and Stoneymollan Trail.

Prodger works with sculpture, print, moving image and writing to explore issues surrounding queer identity, class, landscape, language, technology and time. Her single channel film BRIDGIT, which takes its title from a Neolithic goddess of that name, was the 44 year old’s only solo work at this year’s Turner Exhibition. 

Through a series of clips filmed entirely on her iPhone, the 32-minute-long film highlights Prodger’s own lived experience, drawing on gender identity, teenage diary extracts from her time growing up in the north east of Scotland, the Scottish landscape, and inspirational figures in her life.

Alex Farquharson, director of Tate Britain and chair of the judging panel, said Prodger’s work represented the ‘most profound use of a device as prosaic as the iPhone camera that we’ve seen in art to date’. In an interview with the Guardian, Prodger described the iPhone as a ‘filthy format – smeared and grubby’ which she enjoys because of its ease of use, its ability to become an extension of the body, and because it affords her the opportunity to work completely alone.

2018 has been big for Prodger, who earlier in the year was named as the artist who will represent Scotland at the 58th Venice Biennale (La Biennale di Venezia). A solo exhibition of Prodger’s new work, curated by Lindsey Young with Cove Park, will be presented on the Arsenale Docks in Venice from May 11 to 24 November 2019. 

The presentation is hosted through the Scotland + Venice partnership between British Council Scotland, Creative Scotland and the National Galleries of Scotland, and marks one of the most significant international showcases for Scotland’s visual arts sector. Previous artists represented through the partnership include Rachel Maclean, Graham Fagen and Karla Black.

The Turner Prize, one of the best known prizes for visual arts in the world, is awarded to a British artist for an outstanding exhibition or presentation of their work. In 2018, the Prize’s 34th year, the shortlist was compiled entirely of artists working in digital imagery.

Shortlisted alongside Charlotte Prodger were: 

  • Forensic Architecture, an interdisciplinary team of architects, filmmakers, lawyers and scientists, whose work uses the built environment to explore human rights violations. 
  • Naeem Mohaiemen, who uses films, installations and essays to investigate transnational left politics after WWII and legacies of decolonisation.
  • Luke Willis Thompson, who works across film, performance, installation and sculpture to tackle traumatic histories of class, racial and social inequality, institutional violence, colonialism and forced migration.

An exhibition of the four shortlisted artists is at Tate Britain until 6 January 2019. To learn more about Charlotte Prodger’s presentation at the 2019 Venice Biennale, click here