Entertainment & Arts

Turner Prize exhibits go on show in Gateshead

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Media captionExhibition curator, Laurence Sillars took the BBC's David Sillito for a tour

A sculpture made of cellophane and vaseline, a video installation of the moon and paintings of a council estate are in an exhibition of artworks that are up for the Turner Prize.

Pieces by the four nominated artists have now been installed at the Baltic gallery in Gateshead.

The prestigious contemporary art award will be handed out there in December.

It is the first time the exhibition - which opens on Friday - and ceremony have been held outside a Tate venue.

The event has only been held outside London once before in its 27-year history, at Tate Liverpool in 2007.

Baltic director Godfrey Worsdale said taking the prize out of London was good for the Turner, as well as being good for the gallery and the north-east.

Image caption The Baltic art gallery, housed in an old flour mill, was opened in 2002

"The idea of the Turner Prize travelling the regions, alternate years maybe, is a real shot in the arm for the prize," he said.

"It's taking it to new audiences, it's a new phase in its life."

The winner, who gets a £25,000 cheque, will be announced at the venue on 5 December.

One of the nominated artists, Karla Black, however, said she did not like being placed in competition with her fellow artists.

Speaking to BBC News arts editor Will Gompertz, she said: "I think the competition element just spoils it really.

"I think this year it's a really good show. I would just be interested to look at everyone's work and enjoy the show and try not to think about the competition element.

"It's not a sport. So for us, I don't think that comes into it."

The nominated artists are:

  • Karla Black, whose large-scale sculptural installations form giant, crumpled piles of paper and sheets of plastic, with coloured powder smeared on the floor. The materials used include cellophane, sugar paper, bath bombs, vaseline and moisturising cream.
  • Martin Boyce, who has reimagined items such as a library table, trees and a park bin by combining the experimental flair of contemporary art and the style and form of modern design. Brown leaf-like shapes made from wax-coated crepe paper are scattered around the floor.
  • Hilary Lloyd, a film and video artist who studied at Newcastle Polytechnic, who is exhibiting screens and projections of snatched footage of shapes including the moon and a tower block and, which form patterns as they are displayed in rows and grids.
  • George Shaw, a painter who employs model-making paint to depict the empty, grey landscape of the Coventry housing estate where he grew up, including scenes of a derelict pub, muddy wasteland and shut-up shops.

The exhibition's curator, Laurence Sillars, said the nominated art would be seen by as many people in Gateshead as would see it if it was in London.

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Media captionArts editor Will Gompertz speaks to the people behind moving the Turner Prize

"The Turner Prize, on average, gets 70,000 visitors a year in London," he said. "Our average seasonal attendance is between 70,000 and 90,000, so we confidently expect to get the same numbers, if not more."

In the future, the prize will be held in a different city around the UK every other year, returning to London in between. It will be held in Londonderry in 2013.

Gateshead council leader Mick Henry said the event was "a very important milestone" in the city's regeneration that would stir interest in art among local residents.

"What we want is for people to come into Baltic," he said. "We want them to come in, we want them to look, we want them to criticise it.

"More importantly, they'll talk about it, and fundamentally they'll realise that Baltic is in their home town and is alongside New York, Venice, London, and there will be a sense of pride that they can go and visit the one arts event that they've heard of.

"Everybody's heard of the Turner Prize. For me, it's about provoking that discussion. I think people in Gateshead will be talking about art, and that's got to be good."

Last year's prize was taken by sound artist Susan Philipsz.

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