Helen Marten Wins First Hepworth Prize, Vows to Share Winnings With Nominees

Will she win the Turner Prize next month too?

Helen Marten, with her artwork at The Hepworth Wakefield Gallery in West Yorkshire. Photo Anthony Devlin/PA Wire.

Helen Marten has been awarded the inaugural Hepworth Sculpture Prize and has vowed to share the £30,000 ($37,204) cash prize with her fellow nominees.

Marten was awarded the prize at the Hepworth Wakefield yesterday evening by chief creative and chief executive officer of British fashion brand Burberry, Christopher Bailey.

“Helen Marten is one of the strongest and most singular voices working in British art today,” Simon Wallis, director of the Hepworth Wakefield, said in a statement. ”Her refined craft and intellectual precision address our relationship to objects and materials in a digital age. We believe that Marten is a fitting winner of the inaugural Hepworth Prize for Sculpture, which celebrates the legacy of one of Britain’s finest sculptors.”

A visitor views a series of works by Helen Marten at The Hepworth Wakefield. Photo courtesy: Danny Lawson/PA Wire.

A visitor views a series of works by Helen Marten at The Hepworth Wakefield. Photo courtesy Danny Lawson/PA Wire.

Marten was awarded the prize by an esteemed panel of five judges, Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev director of Castello di Rivoli Museo d’Arte Contemporanea and Galleria Civica d’Arte Moderna e Contemporanea di Torino; critic Alastair Sook; Sheikha Hoor al-Qasimi president of the Sharjah Art Foundation; Sir David Chipperfield who designed the Hepworth Wakefield; and collector, patron and president of the Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo Patrizia Sandretto Re Rebaudengo.

Their choice has already been very well received, with many taking to social media to congratulate Marten’s win and generosity as she announced she wanted to share the award immediately after she received it on BBC Radio 4’s Front Row.

Marten, who is also nominated for this year’s Turner Prize, was born in 1985 in Macclesfield in the North of England, she studied at the Ruskin School of Fine Art, University of London, and Central St. Martins, University of the Arts London.

“The Hepworth Prize for Sculpture is a fitting legacy for Barbara Hepworth, one of Britain’s greatest sculptors, whose career was enhanced through a variety of awards from early in her professional life,” Sophie Bowness art historian and granddaughter of Barbara Hepworth.

The nominees she wants to share her award with are Phyllida Barlow, Steven Claydon, and David Medalla.

The “Hepworth Prize” exhibition is on view at the Hepworth Wakefield until February 19, 2017.

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