Hepworth sculpture prize winner vows to share £30,000 winnings with other nominees

Turner Prize nominee Helen Marten won the inaugural award - established to recognise UK artists who have made a significant contribution to contemporary sculpture

Clarisse Loughrey
Friday 18 November 2016 09:32 GMT
(Getty Images)

Helen Marten's win of the inaugural Hepworth prize for sculpture may not have come to much surprise - she's been largely considered one of the most exciting British artists on the current scene.

However, what came as a shock was her vow to split her £30,000 winnings between the other three nominees; stating at the award ceremony in Wakefield on Thursday, "In the light of the world’s ever lengthening political shadow, the art world has a responsibility to show how democracy should work. I’m was flattered to be on the shortlist and even more so if my fellow nominees would share the Prize with me."

Marten later reiterated her intent to share the money - between herself, Phyllida Barlow, Steven Claydon, and David Medalla - on BBC Radio Four's Front Row; adding, "I'm lucky enough to be here and to be given a visible and audible platform to be doing what I'm doing and the fact that I'm supported by an enormously generous infrastructure of other artists, critics, curators, galleries is enough for me."

Simon Wallis, director of The Hepworth Wakefield and chair of the judging panel, said: "Helen Marten is one of the strongest and most singular voices working in British art today. Her refined craft and intellectual precision address our relationship to objects and materials in a digital age. We believe that Marten is a fitting winner of the inaugural Hepworth Prize for Sculpture, which celebrates the legacy of one of Britain's finest sculptors."

The Hepworth Prize was established to reward UK-based talents of all ages and at any stage of their career who have made a significant contribution to the development of contemporary sculpture, named after the legendary Barabara Hepworth; Marten's work has focused on transforming ordinary objects into intricately crafted installations.

The award tops off what's been a phenomenal year for Marten, following a critically praised show at the Serpentine in London; alongside making the four artist-shortlist for the Turner prize, announced next month.

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