Turner Prize 2023 shortlist revealed: meet the artists

Today, Tate Britain announced the Turner Prize 2023 shortlist: Jesse Darling, Ghislaine Leung, Rory Pilgrim and Barbara Walker

Turner Prize 2023 shortlist artist Ghislaine Leung, Fountains, 2023
Ghislaine Leung, Fountains, 2023, installation view at Simian, Copenhagen
(Image credit: GRAYSC)

The Turner Prize 2023 shortlist encompasses four artists – Jesse Darling, Ghislaine Leung, Rory Pilgrim and Barbara Walker – whose work, in the words of the jury, ‘explores the contrasts and contradictions of life, combining conceptual and political concerns with warmth, playfulness, sincerity and tenderness’. 

The Turner Prize, which celebrates contemporary British artistic talent, will host an exhibition of the artists’ work at Towner Eastbourne, East Sussex from 28 September 2023 to 14 April 2024, with the winner announced on 5 December 2023. 

Turner Prize 2023 shortlist

Barbara Walker

Barbara Walker, Burden of Proof, 2022. Installation view.

Barbara Walker, ‘Burden of Proof’, 2022. Installation view at Sharjah Biennial 15

(Image credit: Barbara Walker)

Barbara Walker has been nominated for her presentation ‘Burden of Proof’ at Sharjah Biennial 15. Boldly interrogating issues of racial identity, exclusion and power, ‘Burden of Proof’ explored the impact of the Windrush scandal through figurative portraits and facsimiles of documents. 

The jury commended Walker’s ability to ‘use portraits of monumental scale to tell stories of a similarly monumental nature’.

Jesse Darling

Jesse Darling, No Medals No Ribbons

Jesse Darling, ‘No Medals No Ribbons’, 2022, instillation view at Modern Art Oxford

(Image credit: Ben Westoby)

Jesse Darling has been nominated for two solo exhibitions: ‘No Medals, No Ribbons’ at Modern Art Oxford and ‘Enclosures’ at Camden Art Centre. Darling, who is based between London and Berlin, creates sculptures, drawings and objects that investigate the vulnerabilities of the human body, and reveal how the external systems that control those bodies – religion, technology, government – are often just as fragile. 

For the Turner Prize jury, these exhibitions were impressive for their ability to ‘skillfully express the messy realities of life’ and refusal to ‘make oneself appear legible and functioning to others’. 

Ghislaine Leung

Ghislaine Leung, Fountains, 2023

Ghislaine Leung, ‘Fountains’, 2023, instillation view at Simian, Copenhagen

(Image credit: GRAYSC)

Stockholm-born, London-based artist Ghislaine Leung is nominated for her solo exhibition ‘Fountains’ at Simian, Copenhagen.

The show featured a series of ‘scores’, or short written texts on the materials and implementation of the featured works, that propose a rethinking of time, leisure, and labour. Focusing on objects like baby monitors, inflatables, water fountains, toys and child safety gates, Leung has produced, in the words of the jury, ‘a warm, humorous and transcendental’ work behind ‘a sleek aesthetic and conceptual nature’.

Rory Pilgrim 

Rory Pilgrim, RAFTS

Rory Pilgrim, ‘RAFTS’, 2022, HD Video, Serpentine Gallery. 

(Image credit: George Darrell)

Rory Pilgrim has been nominated for the presentation of ‘RAFTS’ at Serpentine and Barking Town Hall, as well as a live performance of work at Cadogan Hall, London. 

Pilgrim’s work reflects on times of social change and struggle during the pandemic by interweaving stories, music, poems and films created with local communities in Dagenham and Barking, 

For the jury, Pilgrim’s ‘beautiful and affecting musical arrangements gave light to their collaborators' voices’ and ‘reflected the strength of the relationship between artist and community’. 

Turner Prize 2023 exhibition will be open 28 September 2023 – 14 April 2024, Towner Eastbourne, Devonshire Park, College Road, Eastbourne BN21 4JJ. Open Tuesday to Sunday 10am – 5pm, admission free, townereastbourne.org.uk

Writer and Wallpaper* Contributing Editor

Mary Cleary is a writer based in London and New York. Previously beauty & grooming editor at Wallpaper*, she is now a contributing editor, alongside writing for various publications on all aspects of culture.