HULL will host Europe’s most prestigious contemporary arts prize as part of its year as UK City of Culture 2017, it was announced today.
The Turner Prize is awarded each year to a British artist under 50 for an outstanding work of contemporary visual art. In 2017, the event will leave the Tate Britain in London for Hull’s Ferens Art Gallery, where it will be the cornerstone of a year-long festival of culture.
It is the first event to be announced for the city’s year as City of Culture, and the gallery will get a £4.5m facelift for the occasion.
Martin Green, chief executive of the 2017 Culture Company, called the news “a fantastic boost” for the city.
He said: “Our vision is for Hull 2017 to be a truly transformative year of arts and culture that will engage people at local, national and international level.
“Working with the Tate and the outstanding team at the Ferens, we will not only present a world-class exhibition of contemporary visual art; we will also use the work created to inspire, challenge and engage local artists and new audiences, creating a partnership and legacy that will extend well beyond 2017.”
Coun Steven Bayes, Hull Council’s portfolio holder for UK City of Culture added: “This is brilliant news and a credit to the work of the teams at the Ferens and Hull 2017 Company who have been working really hard behind the scenes to make this happen for the city.
“Hosting the Turner Prize will put Hull and the Ferens on the national and international cultural map. It is another game-changer that will help transform perceptions of the city, reinvigorate our economy and bring about positive change in people’s lives through the power of art and culture.”
Hull will be the fifth city outside London to host the award, following Liverpool, Gateshead, Londonderry and Glasgow.
Chancellor George Osborne welcomed the news, saying: “The North of England is home to some of the country’s best cultural assets and investing in these is a vital part of our plan to build a Northern Powerhouse.
“A few months ago the Prime Minister and I committed £1.5 million of support for the Ferens Gallery in Yorkshire and I am delighted to hear that it will host the Turner Prize. Having one of the country’s most prestigious arts events in Hull will play a big part in its success as the City of Culture in 2017.”
The Ferens Art Gallery permanently hosts collections including works by Canaletto, Frans Hals, Henry Moore, Barbara Hepworth and previous Turner prize winners Gillian Wearing and Mark Wallinger.
Opened in 1927, the gallery was gifted to the city by TR Ferens, a local industrialist who also established a purchasing fund that has allowed the Ferens’ collections to grow in quality and range.
The Turner Prize 2017 will be presented at the Ferens from November 2017 to February 2018.