London-based collective Assemble has won the Turner Prize, the British art world’s most coveted and controversial award, for its work on a regeneration scheme at Granby Four Streets in Toxteth.
Assemble works across the fields of art, design and architecture to create projects in partnership with the communities who use and inhabit them. The group was founded in 2010 and is made up of 18 people.
The group was awarded the prize along with £25,000 at a ceremony in Glasgow yesterday evening, Monday 7 December.
The Granby Four Streets are a cluster of terraced houses in Toxteth, Liverpool that were built in the early 1900s to house artisan workers. Following the Toxteth riots in 1981, the council acquired many of the houses in the area for demolition and redevelopment. Due to the relocation of many residents the area fell into a state of disrepair.
Assemble worked with resident group Granby Four Streets Community Land Trust and Steinbeck Studios to create a sustainable vision for the area. According to the group, the project “builds on the hard work already done by local residents and translates it to the refurbishment of housing, public space and the provision of new work and enterprise opportunities.
“The approach is characterised by celebrating the value of the area’s architectural and cultural heritage, supporting public involvement and partnership working, offering local training and employment opportunities and nurturing the resourcefulness and DIY spirit that defines the four streets.”
Many of the streets in Granby, on the edge of Toxteth, have been boarded up for decades. In 2014 Liverpool City Council agreed a three-year deal with Liverpool Mutual Homes and Plus Dane Group to refurbish 95 homes in the Granby Four Streets.
Separately, the Granby Community Land Trust agreed to refurbish 10 properties in Cairns Street and brought Assemble on board to advise on the project.
According to the Turner Prize judges, Assemble’s work “draws on long traditions of artistic and collective initiatives that experiment in art, design and architecture. In doing so they offer alternative models to how societies can work. The long-term collaboration between Granby Four Streets and Assemble shows the importance of artistic practice being able to drive and shape urgent issues.”
Aseemble beat three other shortlisted artists; Bonnie Camplin, Nicole Wermers and Janice Kerbel.
The Turner Prize, named after the English painter J.M.W. Turner, was established in 1984 and is an annual prize presented to a British visual artist under the age of 50.