Art And Culture

Turner Art Prize for Housing Renovation Work

Turner Art Prize for Housing Renovation Work Turner Art Prize for Housing Renovation Work

An architectural and design collective that helped to renovate a run-down area of Liverpool city in northwest England to try to stem a tide of gentrification won Britain’s Turner Prize for contemporary art on Monday.

Joseph Halligan, 27, one of 18 members of Assemble, said he hoped the publicity for the prize would draw people worldwide to buy products from a workshop selling replicas of housing fixtures to help support the project.

“I think the idea that art is something that can only be created by someone that declare themselves an artist is maybe not the best thing,” the Birmingham native, who trained as an architect, told Reuters.

“I believe that anyone can create art and art should be for everyone and anyone can be an artist.”

The Turner Prize, established in 1984 and run in partnership with the Tate museums, comes with 25,000 pounds ($37,660) in cash. In the past, it has gone mostly to visual and conceptual artists such as Antony Gormley, Anish Kapoor and Damien Hirst.

Many houses in the Liverpool neighborhood had suffered severe damage in 1981 riots and been earmarked for demolition until residents banded together, sold produce to support renewal efforts and invited London-based Assemble to help out.”

  Ground-Up Approach

The jury has awarded the prize to Assemble, who work in tandem with communities to realize a ground-up approach to regeneration, city planning and development in opposition to corporate gentrification,” the jury said in Glasgow. It was the first time the event had been held in Scotland.

“They draw on long traditions of artistic and collective initiatives that experiment in art, design and architecture,” the jury said, citing the collective’s project of renewing the Granby Four Streets neighborhood.

Assemble says its work aims “to address the disconnection between the public and the process by which places are made”.

The collective not only undertakes housing renovation with low-cost materials, but also creates a means to sustain the redevelopment by manufacturing and selling objects based on the designs found in social housing, including everything from fireplaces to tiles to ceramic door handles.

The collective publishes an online catalog of its offerings at and says the proceeds “will support a program engaging young people aged 13 to 18 in creative, practical projects”.