Wantee and the Turner Prize Homecoming Exhibition
at The Ruskin Museum
Yewdale Road, Coniston, Cumbria, LA21 8AD
Saturday 25 January – Sunday 9 March 2014
Open Wednesday – Sunday 1030 – 1530hrs
Special preview event and Wantee Café performance
Saturday 25 January 1400 – 1700 hrs
Wantee Café every Saturday throughout the show
Admission: Adults £5.25 Child £2.50 Family £14.00
Free to residents of Coniston Parish
On the 2nd of December in Derry, Northern Ireland, artist Laure Prouvost was announced as the winner of the 2013 Turner Prize on the back of the film and installation Wantee, created with Grizedale Arts in the village of Coniston in the English Lake District.
This is a unique chance to see the Turner Prize winning exhibition reprised and adapted for a special ‘home coming’ exhibition in Coniston itself and the first chance to see the project in Britain since the Prize was awarded.
The work, made in and around Coniston with the help of local crafts people, John Ruskin School and Coniston Youth Club, was originally co-commissioned by Grizedale Arts and Tate as part of the Kurt Schwitters exhibition at Tate Britain earlier in the year.
The title Wantee comes from Kurt Schwitters’ partner Edith Thomas, so nicknamed by him because of her habit of asking, "want tea?” From that starting point, Prouvost spun a story about her fictional grandfather who was apparently a close friend of Schwitters and also a (less recognised) conceptual artist in his own right. The film that is central to the project, tells the tale of Grandfather, his struggles to maintain a reputation and the battles with his wife, who would like to see his sculptures do something more useful.
However, her Grandad has, it seems, disappeared down a hole dug through the floor of their Lake District cottage to make his way to Africa, never to be seen again. The exhibition in Coniston is a reappraisal of his work and capitalises on the success of the Turner Prize to apparently raise funds for his search and to build a new visitor centre in his honour.
As part of the show, as in Derry, members of Coniston Youth Club will be running a tea room in the adjacent Coniston Institute Reading Room. Wantee merchandise, teapots, tea towels and works of art have also been made in the village to be sold during the exhibition. The merchandise is also available on the Wantee website and webshop.
The installation also features a new work by Laure Prouvost made with Grizedale Arts and pupils of the John Ruskin School, as well as proposals for a new large scale visitor centre dedicated to the work of Laure’s grandfather. The exhibition will also feature original works by Kurt Schwitters on loan from the Lakeland Arts Trust collections at Abbot Hall Art Gallery and artefacts from the Merzbarn site in Elterwater.
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