arts

Turner Prize 2018: Charlotte Prodger wins with powerful iPhone-shot film

Updated 5th December 2018
Credit: Courtesy Tate
Turner Prize 2018: Charlotte Prodger wins with powerful iPhone-shot film
Written by Oscar Holland, CNN
Glasgow-based artist Charlotte Prodger has won the prestigious Turner Prize for a pair of autobiographical films -- one of which was shot entirely on an iPhone.
The 44-year-old, whose work explores landscape, language and queer identity, was named winner of the £25,000 ($32,000) award at a ceremony in London Tuesday evening.
One of Prodger's two winning films, the highly personal "Bridgit," addresses the artist's experience of coming out as gay in rural Scotland. The 33-minute-long artwork was created over the course of a year, and was filmed only using her iPhone.
A scene from the film "Bridgit," which Charlotte Prodger shot entirely on an iPhone.
A scene from the film "Bridgit," which Charlotte Prodger shot entirely on an iPhone. Credit: Courtesy Tate
It features shots of the countryside accompanied by music and passages from the artist's diary recited by friends. The jury reportedly commended Prodger for the "painterly quality" of her work, which "explores lived experience as mediated through technologies and histories."
The second film, "Stoneymollan Trail," brings together material shot by the artist between 1999 and 2015, and was named after a walking route in western Scotland.
In a video released by the Turner Prize's organizers ahead of Tuesday's announcement, Prodger praised the ability of smartphone cameras to produce footage that is "almost sculptural."
"The systems of the body are enmeshed with the camera," she said. "It's a kind of symbiosis but also a kind of grappling."
Prodger was born in Bournemouth, England, though she later relocated to Scotland where she now lives and works. She is set to represent Scotland at the 2019 Venice Biennale.
Having previously studied at the Glasgow School of Art, she used her acceptance speech to praise the role of state funding in her work.
"Bridgit" was filmed in rural Scotland and explores the artist's experience of coming out as gay.
"Bridgit" was filmed in rural Scotland and explores the artist's experience of coming out as gay. Credit: Courtesy Tate
"I wouldn't be in this room were it not for the public funding that I received from Scotland for free higher education and then later in the form of artists' bursaries and grants," she said, after being presented her award by Nigerian novelist Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie at the Tate Britain gallery in London.
Prodger's work is on show at the Tate Britain gallery in London, alongside the Turner Prize's three other nominees.
Prodger's work is on show at the Tate Britain gallery in London, alongside the Turner Prize's three other nominees. Credit: Mark Milan/Getty Images Europe/Getty Images
Founded in 1984, the Turner Prize is awarded annually to a UK-based artist or collective. Other nominees for this year's award included artists Luke Willis Thompson and Naeem Mohaiemen, as well as Forensic Architecture, a multidisciplinary team using the built environment to investigate human rights abuses.
The prize has previously helped launch the careers of high-profile artists, especially in the 1990s when winners included members of the renowned "Young British Artists" movement. Damien Hirst took the prize in 1995, for a body of work including some of his famous formaldehyde sculptures, while Tracey Emin's "My Bed" installation won the title four years later.
Other high-profile winners include sculptor Anish Kapoor and potter Grayson Perry.