The four artists shortlisted for this year’s Turner Prize were announced this morning at Tate Britain. They are: Lawrence Abu Hamdan, Helen Cammock, Oscar Murillo and Tai Shani.

The selection was made by the Turner Prize 2019 jury consisting of: Alessio Antoniolli, director, Gasworks and Triangle Network; Elvira Dyangani Ose, director, The Showroom Gallery; Victoria Pomery, director, Turner Contemporary; and writer Charlie Porter. The jury is chaired by Alex Farquharson, director of Tate Britain.

Lawrence Abu Hamdan, who was interviewed for a-n’s A Q&A with… series in 2017, has been shortlisted for his solo exhibition ‘Earwitness Theatre’ at Chisenhale Gallery, London and for the video installation Walled Unwalled and performance After SFX at Tate Modern, London.

Abu Hamdan works extensively in sound, with a strong focus on unearthing and witnessing human rights violations. He investigates and probes state-sponsored crimes that have been ‘heard but not seen’. Through reconstruction, he explores memory and language in compelling and often unsettling ways.

The jury was struck by his ‘exploration of sound as an architectural element and the way he recreates particular situations through sound and performance’.

Helen Cammock has been shortlisted for her solo exhibition ‘The Long Note’ at Void, Derry-Londonderry and IMMA, Dublin. The jury praised the ‘timely and urgent quality of Cammock’s work, which explores social histories through film, photography, print, text and performance’.

‘The Long Note’ looks at the history and the role of women in the civil rights movement in Derry-Londonderry. Cammock, who last year won the Max Mara Art Prize for Women, was also featured in a-n’s A Q&A with… series in 2017. Her heavily researched work often engages in social, political and cultural history, addressing issues of race, class and gender.

Oscar Murillo is the most high-profile artist on the shortlist, enjoying an international reputation and commanding high prices for his abstract paintings. He is shortlisted for his participation in the 10th Berlin Biennale, his solo exhibition ‘Violent Amnesia’ at Kettle’s Yard, Cambridge, and solo exhibition at the chi K11 art museum Shanghai.

The jury was impressed by the way he ‘pushes the boundaries of materials, particularly in his paintings’. Working across painting, drawing, performance, sculpture and sound, Murillo often uses recycled materials and fragments from his studio in his work.

Tai Shani is shortlisted for her participation in Glasgow International 2018, her solo exhibition ‘DC: Semiramis’ at The Tetley, Leeds and her participation in ‘Still I Rise: Feminisms, Gender, Resistance’ at Nottingham Contemporary and the De Le Warr Pavilion, Bexhill-on-Sea.

Creating work that combines stage set-like installation, performances and films, the jury was particularly impressed by her ongoing project ‘Dark Continent’, noting the way Shani combines historical texts with contemporary references and issues. Developed over four years, the project is inspired by a 15th century feminist text, Christine de Pizan’s The Book of the City of Ladies.

For the first time, this year’s Turner Prize exhibition has a direct link to the artist it was named after, JMW Turner, with an exhibition of work by shortlisted artists taking place at Turner Contemporary in Margate from 28 September 2019 to 12 January 2020.

The winner of the 2019 Turner Prize will be announced on 3 December 2019 at an awards ceremony live on the BBC, which is once again the broadcast partner for the prize. Recent winners of the prize include Charlotte Prodger (2018), Lubaina Himid (2017), and Helen Marten (2016).

The award winner will receive a £25,000 prize with the three runners-up each receiving £5,000.

1. Tai Shani, installation view of DC: Semiramis, Glasgow International 2018. Photo: © Keith Hunter; Courtesy: the artist
2. Lawrence Abu Hamdan, ‘Earwitness Inventory’, installation view, Chisenhale Gallery, London, 2018. 95 sourced and custom designed objects/instruments, animated text, 29: 44 minutes, looped. Dimensions variable. Courtesy: the artist and Chisenhale Gallery, London. Photo by Andy Keate.
3. Helen Cammock, video still from The Long Note, 2018. Courtesy: the artist
4. Oscar Murillo, ‘Oscar Murillo | Zhang Enli’, installation view, chi K11 art museum (Shanghai), 2018. Photo: Ou Chia-Cheng © Oscar Murillo; Courtesy: the artist and chi K11 art museum

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A Q&A with… Lawrence Abu Hamdan, artist exploring the socio-political implications of sound

A Q&A with… Helen Cammock

A Q&A with… Sean Edwards, artist representing Wales at the 2019 Venice Biennale