Tuesday, 8 December 2015

The Turner Prize - Tramway, Glasgow

During my recent trip to Glasgow I stopped at Tramway to visit The Turner Prize exhibition. The nominees this year are Assemble, Bonnie Camplin, Janice Kerbel and Nicole Wermers. It was the London-based collective known as Assemble that caught my attention, and I was delighted to hear that they were announced winners last night.

The collective, comprising of 18 members, were nominated for their ongoing collaboration with the local community in the Granby Four Streets area of Liverpool.

"The Granby Four Streets are a cluster of terraced houses in Toxteth, Liverpool that were built around 1900 to house artisan workers. Following the Toxteth riots in 1981, the council acquired many of the houses in the area for demolition and redevelopment. Hundreds of people were moved out the area and houses subsequently fell into disrepair.

Local residents consistently fought plans for demolition and battled to save the houses. Over the past 10 years they have cleaned and planted their streets, painted the empty houses, organized a thriving monthly market, founded a Community Land Trust and shown their area in a different light.


Assemble worked with the Granby Four Streets CLT and Steinbeck Studios to present a sustainable and incremental vision for the area that builds on the hard work already done by local residents and translates it to the refurbishment of housing, public space and the provision of new work and enterprise opportunities."

For the Turner Prize exhibition Assemble present a life size replica of one of the houses that they are helping the local residents redevelop. The replica house has become a showroom for the products created at the Granby Workshop. Granby Workshop is a social enterprise in Granby that equips local people with experimental manufacturing skills and enables them to create an appealing range of handmade household features designed to replace those items that were removed from the properties during the demolition. These include door knobs, ceramic tiles, fabrics and furniture.

Seizing the opportunity that the Turner Prize presents, the products on show in the workshop are available to pre-order throughout the exhibition. It is hoped that the proceeds will assist in the launch of the business which will live on after the art prize.

To see the full catalogue of products available visit


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