All the nominees for this year’s art prize, which will be decided tonight, have a social and political dimension.
An architecture collective with a strong social conscience could take home the Turner Prize tonight.
Assemble is a 14-strong group which blurs the line between art and architecture and is the first design studio ever to be nominated
They worked with the local community in Granby in Toxteth, Liverpool, to transform a number of rundown houses in an area which has seen huge deprivation since the 1981 Toxteth Riots.
Since being nominated they have also set up a workshop which makes products used in the renovations and these can now be bought by the public with the money being ploughed back into the project.
Matt Leung from Assemble told Sky News no one was more surprised by the nomination than they were.
“It’s the largest visual art prize in the UK and we didn’t really understand what was happening.
“It was quite bewildering but once we got the context of it – in the context of useful art and what that means – we used it as an opportunity to further the project, to set up Granby workshop as a social enterprise.”
Turner has the power to transform careers even with a nomination.
Damien Hirst, Steve McQueen and Grayson Perry are all winners – Tracey Emin was only nominated yet this was enough to cement her place in the history books.
Art critic Estelle Lovatt says the prize is more relevant than ever this time round, with all the nominees having a social and political dimension to them.
“This year it’s extra special because the Turner Prize has its finger on the pulse of the nation,” she said.
“We’re really concerned this year about refugees, about people not being able to pay their bills – and this year we’ve actually got people bringing the community together through art.”
This year marks the first time the Turner exhibition has come to Scotland.
The prize will be presented in Glasgow, which has had 12 nominees and six winners in the past.
The other three nominees are Bonnie Camplin, Janice Kerbel and Nicole Wermers.