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Jesse Darling, a British sculptor and installation artist, has been named the winner of the 2023 Turner Prize. Darling’s winning installation at Towner Eastbourne is made up of faded union jack bunting and metal pedestrian barriers. Jesse is the first transgender artist to win the £25,000 prize.

What do we know about Jesse Darling?

  • Born in Oxford, England in 1981.
  • Studied at Central Saint Martins and Slade School of Fine Art.
  • Based in Berlin.
  • Works in sculpture, installation, video, drawing, sound, text and performance; his work often explores themes of labour, class, and Britishness.
  • Uses a “materialist poetics” to explore and reimagine the everyday technologies that represent how we live.
  • Has had solo exhibitions at Modern Art Oxford and Camden Art Centre.
  • Was the fourth recipient of the Camden Art Centre Freelands Lomax Ceramics Fellowship.
  • Has exhibited internationally, including at the Palais de Tokyo and the Venice Biennale.

What is the Turner Prize? The Turner Prize is a prestigious annual award for British contemporary art. It is awarded to a British artist born or based in the UK, for an outstanding exhibition or presentation of their work in the past twelve months. Previous winners include Damien Hirst, Tracey Emin, Rachel Whiteread, and Anthony Gormley.

Why did the jury award Darling the prize? The jury praised Darling’s “use of materials and commonplace objects like concrete, welded barriers, hazard tape, office files and net curtains, to convey a familiar yet delirious world”. They also applauded his ability to illustrate “the world’s underlying fragility”.

Where can we see Darling’s work? Darling’s work is currently on display at Towner Eastbourne as part of an exhibition of the four shortlisted artists for the Turner Prize 2023. The exhibition is on until 14 April 2024.

Elena Leo is the Arts & Lifestyle Editor of Ikon London Magazine.