From Jabba the Hutt to shipping disasters – the inspiration for Turner Prize art

view gallery VIEW GALLERY

The nominees in the running for this year's award are a predictably eclectic bunch

Spartacus Chetwynd (38)

Her work has drawn on cultural references from Paradise Lost to Jabba the Hutt, and she lives and works in a south London nudist colony. Performance artist Spartacus Chetwynd is now in the running for the top contemporary art prize in the UK.

Chetwynd, who is known for her "carnivalesque" live performances, caused the biggest stir when she was named on the shortlist for the Turner Prize yesterday. The 38-year-old has been working for a decade and described her approach as "unbridled enthusiasm" and "bottled mayhem". Her works have been seen at the Saatchi Gallery and Tate Britain.

She often works with a group of around 20 people, and the Tate said her work had "something of the anarchy of the 16th-century wandering troupe," which blurs the line between artist and viewer. Chetwynd said her work grew out of fancy-dress parties she threw as a student.

Curator Lizzie Carey-Thomas admitted staging a retrospective of Chetwynd's performance work "may prove challenging" when the works go on display in October. "It is an interesting one, but we have done performance before."

Chetwynd was nominated for her show at the Sarah Coles gallery. Odd Man Out was a five-hour performance piece addressing ideas of democracy, performed twice a week. There viewers would form part of the crowd as the artist re-enacted the story of Barabbas with puppets.

The artist studied social anthropology at University College London before heading to Slade School of Art and then the Royal College of Art. Her mother Luciana Arrighi is a set designer, winning an Oscar for Howard's End.

Born Alalia Chetwynd, she changed her name to the leader of a slave rebellion against Rome in 73 BC on her 33rd birthday. She has said in interviews that the name was "like a shield" and added: "Spartacus, I thought, was going to stop me from becoming professionalised and allow me to continue to have fun." She has also said: "Like my art, my name change annoys people," and pledged to change it again if it stopped being annoying.

Her eclectic body of work includes An Evening with Jabba the Hutt, where the Return of the Jedi villain was recast as a smooth-talking bon viveur.

Elizabeth Price (45)

Price, once the singer in 1980s indie band Talulah Gosh, creates video installations that combine images, sound and fragments of text. The Yorkshire-born artist's works include West Hinder 2012, inspired by the sinking of a ship in the channel that took almost 3,000 luxury cars to the bottom with it. The lost vehicles play songs and perform a synchronised dance as they attempt to raise themselves from the deep. Price was nominated after her recent solo show at the Baltic in Gateshead.

Luke Fowler (34)

Fowler is the latest acclaimed young artist from Glasgow. He works with film and said his formative viewing experiences came from his dad's "somewhat unreliable" recordings from television. The 34-year-old was nominated for his solo show at Inverleith House in Edinburgh, which included the third in a trilogy of films exploring the ideas of Scottish psychiatrist RD Laing. Fowler will hope to make it three in a row for Glasgow, after wins for Susan Philipsz won the Turner Prize in 2010 and Martin Boyce picked it up last year. The artist had his first major retrospective at the Serpentine in 2009. He is known for his film depictions of public figures "who, through cultural shift, have often become marginalised or maligned".

Paul Noble (48)

Noble has spent the best part of 15 years creating an imaginary town in minute detail, satirising British new towns and taking a bleak view of humanity. The graphite drawings of Nobson Newtown's buildings are structured around words that spell their function, such as the public lavatory, and the people are represented as excrement. Michael Stanley, director of Modern Art Oxford, said the artist presents worlds which are "dysfunctional and dystopian" where "people become turds and turds become people".

Noble is the most established of the artists on the shortlist and is the early frontrunner for the prize. The 48-year-old has been displayed at the Whitechapel Gallery and the Tate and was one of the founding members of London artists' space City Racing. He was born in Newcastle and lives in London.

Suggested Topics
PROMOTED VIDEO
Arts and Entertainment
Gothic revival: artist Dave McKean’s poster for Terror and Wonder: The Gothic Imagination
Exhibition
Arts and Entertainment
Diana Beard has left the Great British Bake Off 2014

TV
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Lisa Kudrow, Courtney Cox and Jennifer Anniston reunite for a mini Friends sketch on Jimmy Kimmel Live

TV
Arts and Entertainment
TVDessert week was full of the usual dramas as 'bingate' ensued
Arts and Entertainment
Clara and the twelfth Doctor embark on their first adventure together
TVThe regulator received six complaints on Saturday night
Arts and Entertainment
Vinyl demand: a factory making the old-style discs
musicManufacturers are struggling to keep up with the resurgence in vinyl
Arts and Entertainment
David Baddiel concedes his show takes its inspiration from the hit US series 'Modern Family'
comedyNew comedy festival out to show that there’s more to Jewish humour than rabbi jokes
Arts and Entertainment
Puff Daddy: One Direction may actually be able to use the outrage to boost their credibility

music
Arts and Entertainment
Suha Arraf’s film ‘Villa Touma’ (left) is set in Ramallah and all the actresses are Palestinian

film
Arts and Entertainment
Madame Vastra and Jenny Flint kiss in Doctor Who episode 'Deep Breath'

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Steve Carell in the poster for new film 'Foxcatcher'
filmExclusive: First look at comic actor in first major serious role
Arts and Entertainment

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Kingston Road in Stockton is being filmed for the second series of Benefits Street
arts + entsFilming for Channel 4 has begun despite local complaints
Arts and Entertainment
Led Zeppelin

music
Arts and Entertainment
Radio presenter Scott Mills will be hitting the Strictly Come Dancing ballroom
TV
Arts and Entertainment

TV
Arts and Entertainment

TV
Arts and Entertainment
The Doctor and Clara have their first real heart to heart since he regenerated in 'Deep Breath'
tv
Arts and Entertainment
Beyonce performs in front of a Feminist sign at the MTV VMAs 2014

music
Arts and Entertainment
Miley Cyrus has taken home the prize for Video of the Year at the MTV Video Music Awards 2014

music
Arts and Entertainment
Peter Paige and Scott Lowell in Queer as Folk (Season 5)
tvA batch of shows that 'wouldn't get past a US network' could give tofu sales an unexpected lift
Arts and Entertainment
books... but seller will be hoping for more
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

    The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

    Chosen to lead the women's wing of the ruling Zanu-PF, the wife of President Robert Mugabe appears to have her sights set on succeeding the 90-year old
    The model of a gadget launch: Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed

    The model of a gadget launch

    Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed
    Alice Roberts: She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

    She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

    Alice Roberts talks about her new book on evolution - and why her early TV work drew flak from (mostly male) colleagues
    Get well soon, Joan Rivers - an inspiration, whether she likes it or not

    Get well soon, Joan Rivers

    She is awful. But she's also wonderful, not in spite of but because of the fact she's forever saying appalling things, argues Ellen E Jones
    Doctor Who Into the Dalek review: A classic sci-fi adventure with all the spectacle of a blockbuster

    A fresh take on an old foe

    Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering
    Fashion walks away from the celebrity runway show

    Fashion walks away from the celebrity runway show

    As the collections start, fashion editor Alexander Fury finds video and the internet are proving more attractive
    Meet the stars of TV's Wolf Hall... and it's not the cast of the Tudor trilogy

    Meet the stars of TV's Wolf Hall...

    ... and it's not the cast of the Tudor trilogy
    Weekend at the Asylum: Europe's biggest steampunk convention heads to Lincoln

    Europe's biggest steampunk convention

    Jake Wallis Simons discovers how Victorian ray guns and the martial art of biscuit dunking are precisely what the 21st century needs
    Don't swallow the tripe – a user's guide to weasel words

    Don't swallow the tripe – a user's guide to weasel words

    Lying is dangerous and unnecessary. A new book explains the strategies needed to avoid it. John Rentoul on the art of 'uncommunication'
    Daddy, who was Richard Attenborough? Was the beloved thespian the last of the cross-generation stars?

    Daddy, who was Richard Attenborough?

    The atomisation of culture means that few of those we regard as stars are universally loved any more, says DJ Taylor
    She's dark, sarcastic, and bashes life in Nowheresville ... so how did Kacey Musgraves become country music's hottest new star?

    Kacey Musgraves: Nashville's hottest new star

    The singer has two Grammys for her first album under her belt and her celebrity fans include Willie Nelson, Ryan Adams and Katy Perry
    American soldier-poet Brian Turner reveals the enduring turmoil that inspired his memoir

    Soldier-poet Brian Turner on his new memoir

    James Kidd meets the prize-winning writer, whose new memoir takes him back to the bloody battles he fought in Iraq
    Aston Villa vs Hull match preview: Villa were not surprised that Ron Vlaar was a World Cup star

    Villa were not surprised that Vlaar was a World Cup star

    Andi Weimann reveals just how good his Dutch teammate really is
    Bill Granger recipes: Our chef ekes out his holiday in Italy with divine, simple salads

    Bill Granger's simple Italian salads

    Our chef presents his own version of Italian dishes, taking in the flavours and produce that inspired him while he was in the country
    The Last Word: Tumbleweed through deserted stands and suites at Wembley

    The Last Word: Tumbleweed through deserted stands and suites at Wembley

    If supporters begin to close bank accounts, switch broadband suppliers or shun satellite sales, their voices will be heard. It’s time for revolution