Stevenage sculptor Veronica Ryan shortlisted for Turner Prize

Hackney Windrush Art Commission by sculptor Veronica Ryan

Veronica Ryan's Hackney Windrush Art Commission - Credit: Andy Keate

A sculptor from Stevenage is one of four nominees for this year's Turner Prize.

Veronica Ryan, who was awarded an OBE last year for services to art, has been shortlisted alongside Heather Phillipson, Ingrid Pollard and Sin Wai Kin, and an exhibition of their work will be held at Tate Liverpool from October 20 this year to March 19, 2023.

Veronica, who explores history, belonging and human psychology using a wide range of materials including bronze, plaster, textiles, marble and found objects, has been shortlisted for her solo exhibition Along a Spectrum in Bristol and her Hackney Windrush Art Commission in London.

Stevenage sculptor Veronica Ryan

Sculptor Veronica Ryan has been shortlisted for this year's Turner Prize - Credit: Steven Probert

Veronica, who lives between New York and Bristol, was commissioned by Hackney Council last year to create the first permanent artwork in the UK to honour the Windrush generation - those who arrived in the UK from Caribbean countries between 1948 and 1973.

Works produced for Along a Spectrum include forms cast in clay and bronze; sewn, tea-stained and dyed fabrics; and bright neon crocheted fishing line pouches filled with seeds, fruit stones and skins.

The judges praised Veronica's "highly accomplished [Along a Spectrum], which explores ecology, history and dislocation, as well as the psychological impact of the pandemic". They said they were "struck by the exquisite sensuality and tactility of her sculptures" in both Bristol and Hackney.

Along a Spectrum exhibition by Stevenage sculptor Veronica Ryan

Veronica's Along a Spectrum exhibition - Credit: Max McClure

Peter Warren, Veronica's ceramics teacher when she was a pupil at Stevenage's Collenswood School, said: "I am immensely proud of Veronica. Although I was only involved in teaching her during her secondary school stage, she did show a remarkable ability to use almost any material which was offered to her with the same strength and determination and understanding of the medium.

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"Her drawings were always bold, while searching to understand the nature of the subject. Veronica’s use of clay and plaster was dynamic and sensuous, while her forms were always well-observed in order to bring out the character of the subject, but delivered in her own attacking style."

The Turner Prize - named after radical British painter JMW Turner (1775-1851) - aims to promote public debate around new developments in contemporary British art.

The winner, announced in December, will be awarded £25,000.