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Colour & Materials
Published: 8 Dec 2016

Turner Prize 2016: Helen Marten’s Colour and Materials Focus

Helen Marten: Turner Prize Winner 2016

The 2016 Turner Prize, currently on show at Tate Britain in London, has been awarded to an artist with colour and materiality at the heart of her work. London-based Helen Marten combines finely crafted components and found objects in compelling sculptural assemblages that inspire a new aesthetic direction.

Industrial forms and finishes are coupled with handcrafted materials and pre-existing articles. Colourful painterly glazes sit next to perfectly uniform powder-coated surfaces and unexpected elements such as snakeskin, embroidered linen, sequins and dense embellishments made of pearls. This mix of high-tech with handcraft and seemingly disparate components is refreshingly experimental yet intuitively drawn together by form, colour and materiality.

This acute understanding of such a broad range of materials with different behaviours and properties shines through in Marten's work, providing inspiration for industries that design products incorporating textiles, metals, wood, ceramics and plastic.

Marten's textural 3D collages are sophisticated and intricate, conveying a sense of complexity that's in tune with the way we live today. We also explore this idea in our latest Materials Focus theme, Tech Spiritual.

The Turner Prize exhibition, which includes the work of three additional shortlisted finalists, is on show at Tate Britain until January 2 2017.

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