Turner Prize nomination and exhibition

Back in May, Gentle/Radical received news about their nomination for this year’s Tate Turner Prize. In 2021, for the first time in the prize’s history, nominations were made up entirely of collectives, five in all, including Gentle/Radical. 

The news of the nomination came very much out of the blue, and for an organisation like ours – which doesn’t routinely show up in contemporary art or gallery spaces – involvement threw up all kinds of questions for us, as well as possibilities. Our group consists of different people working within different contexts – we are community activists, faith ministers, conflict resolution trainers, land workers, performers, writers – and – artists.  So back in May, a lot of rapid thinking, around how we might all show up within a working frame together, began in earnest, alongside a curatorial team made up of Melissa Hinkin, Ben GJ Thomas and our director, Rabab Ghazoul. 

Our presentation for the Turner exhibition includes video work, sung elements, text-based and printed works, and is a culmination of some of our thinking at this moment in time; a series of reflections on how we relate to, and witness each other, in moments of both trouble and possibility. The exhibition draws inspiration from Welsh Gorsedd prayers; introduces notes on an emergent Gentle/Radical curriculum; and sheds light on some of the habitual questions we continue to explore as a collective – how do we raise children beyond the nuclear family? How do we hold spaces for grief and loss? How do the multiplicities of diaspora show up amongst us? 

The 2021 Turner Prize exhibition will take place at the Herbert Art Gallery and Museum in Coventry, as part of the city’s UK City of Culture celebrations in partnership with Tate Britain. The exhibition is free to attend, and runs from 29th September 2021 to 12th January 2022. The winner is announced on 1st December 2021. 

With our deep thanks to Arts Council of Wales and Welsh Government for supporting us with the creation of this work.