News Intelligence Analysis
Award Means £30,000 Each for Next-big-things in Visual Arts
Charlotte Higgins, arts correspondent
Friday November 11, 2005
From the Guardian
The winners of this year's Paul Hamlyn award for artists include one who destroyed everything he owned; another who built a huge concrete heated bench and let loose a python atop it; and another who has made a film about dogging.
The award gives five artists £30,000 each, and since its 1998 foundation has identified future Turner nominees and now-famous artists including Jeremy Deller, Anya Gallaccio, Yinka Shonibare and Bank. This year's winners are Clio Barnard, Ian Breakwell, Jacqueline Donachie, the Belfast collective Factotum, and Michael Landy.
Barnard's 1999 film, Random Acts of Intimacy, was about dogging, the practice of having sex with strangers in a public place. A 2004 work, Road Race, charted the secret practice of Gypsy-organised horse racing on motorways.
Glasgow-based Donachie has been collaborating with scientists on the genetic disorder myotonic dystrophy. A previous work involved setting up a bar in New York and giving drinks to anyone who would share a problem with her; she also built the concrete bench for the Bristol artists' studios of Spike Island. "I've got three kids, and this gives me a bit of financial security for a couple of years, so I can actually do a bit of planning," she said.
Factotum - Stephen Hackett and Richard West - run a satirical paper called the Vacuum. Last year twin issues, one called Satan and one called God, were regarded by some as encouraging devil worship, leading Belfast city council to demand a formal apology. The artists responded by holding a Sorry Day involving eating humble pie, washing feet, and having a Sorry Bus distributing a Sorry issue of the Vacuum. "They are really working on the ground in very difficult conditions," said a Hamlyn judge, the Tate Liverpool director, Christoph Grunenberg.
The artist who destroyed his possessions was Landy: he spent a fortnight in a shop window in Oxford Street, central London, for the 2001 work titled Breakdown. Breakwell died a month ago, after the decision to award him the prize was made. He used a wide variety of media, from painting and printmaking to radio and film. The money is likely to be used by his estate to further his work.
Guardian Unlimited © Guardian Newspapers Limited 2005
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