Artist Profile: Josephine Pryde

Josephine Pryde’s Turner Prize entry is comprised of three sections. First is a train tagged by graffiti artists of the cities where it has previously been displayed where it ran along tracks in the galleries.

At the Tate, however, it is static. Some have accused the Tate of restricting the artists with health and safety restraints. This claim has been denied with the insistence that the stasis is for artistic purposes, to illustrate that the train has come to rest at the Tate. Around the walls are a series of photographs, of hands touching objects focussing on the point where they meet.

“The works are reminiscent of advertisements or commercial images the sense of tactility is tangible”

Though the works are reminiscent of advertisements or commercial images the sense of tactility is tangible. One is forced to consider the moment of touch as well as to examine the gestures.

There are also a series of sculptures, created by exposing objects to sunlight in various locations.

These works combine to give a sense of distance, through both space and time. The train is an obvious indicator of this, emphasised by the cross-continental graffiti. The sense of wear in the sculptures from their exposure to the sun give a feeling of age while we are reminded that they too have travelled to various locations, adding distance as well as time.

“Exposing objects to sunlight […] give a sense of distance, through both space and time”

The photographs, in contrast, give a sense of proximity perhaps highlighting, perhaps contradicting the distance in the others. They are closely cropped and focus on small areas of the body. One is also forced to consider the curiously intimate moment of touch by the way the hands handle the objects. The objects themselves are arbitrary ranging from driftwood to tablets.

The versatility of her thought provoking works make Pryde the best candidate for the prize.

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