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Gentle/Radical nominated for the Turner Prize

One of the projects I'm involved in as part of Gentle/Radical is “Doorstep Revolution” a project to collect stories of Riverside during the pandemic. This has been a fascinating and rewarding project. It's such a privilege when people let you into their lives and tell you their stories. One of the themes that has come out of this work is the importance of connection, the connections that have been strained under lockdown, and the connections we want to grow and strengthen in the coming months.

This, and other work, has now been recognised with a nomination for the Turner Prize. The following article is from the BBC:

The 2021 Turner Prize nominees are, for the first time, made up of collectives who have helped to "inspire social change through art", organisers say.

Exhibitions have been largely closed over the past year due to the pandemic.

With that in mind, Friday's shortlist contained the names of five groups who continued to work in the community.

Prize chair and Tate Britain director Alex Farquharson said it is intended to capture and reflect the mood of the moment in contemporary British art.

"After a year of lockdowns when very few artists have been able to exhibit publicly, the jury has selected five outstanding collectives whose work has not only continued through the pandemic but become even more relevant as a result," he said in a statement.

The efforts - by Array Collective, Black Obsidian Sound System (B.O.S.S.), Cooking Sections, Gentle/Radical and Project Arts Works - have included artwork in support of law changes in Northern Ireland, a 24-hour fundraising rave for queer, trans and intersex black and people of colour, and the use of food to help understand the workings of the world.

As well as a lockdown doorstep neighbourhood story-telling campaign and work by a group of neurodiverse artists.

Last year's Turner Prize didn't happen at all due to the effects of coronavirus and it was instead replaced by a fund for struggling artists.

In 2019, the prize pot was split four ways at the nominees' request.

Eventual joint-winners Lawrence Abu Hamdan, Helen Cammock, Tai Shani and Oscar Murillo said they wanted to make a "collective statement" at a time when there was "already so much that divides and isolates people and communities" - a nod to the fall-out from the Brexit referendum.

This year is the first time a Turner Prize jury has selected a shortlist comprising entirely of artist collectives, who the judges say have all showed "solidarity" with various communities across the UK during a difficult 12 months...

Over in Cardiff, Gentle/Radical - made up of artists, community workers, performers, faith practitioners, writers and others - are advocating for art as a tool for social change.

They create real and virtual spaces for communities in Wales to engage with culture, such as the creation a pop-up cinema space showing independent films.

Their ongoing Doorstep Revolution helped people to share neighbourhood stories during lockdown.

The jury admired their "deep commitment" to the hyper-local community of their native Riverside...

An exhibition of all five Turner Prize nominees work will be held at the Herbert Art Gallery and Museum in Coventry from 29 September until 12 January 2022, as part of the UK City of Culture 2021 celebrations.

The winner will be announced on 1 December.


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