Coventry University Student Inspired by Turner Prize Opportunity

A Coventry University student says working with artists and art technicians to install the world-famous Turner Prize exhibition has given her an opportunity to turn her dreams into reality.

Evelynn Wenman gained invaluable hands-on industry experience as part of the team working on the prestigious  exhibition at Coventry’s Herbert Art Gallery and Museum.

The second year Fine Art BA Hons student  secured a placement at the Herbert to help experienced art technicians and audio-visual experts install work by  2021 Turner Prize winners Array Collective and nominees Black Obsidian Sound System, Cooking Sections, Gentle/Radical, and Project Art Works.

Using the skills she had learned on her course and at the university’s School of Art and Design’s Art Technician Boot Camp in the summer  Evelynn built sets, painted walls, cleaned, and liaised with artists to ensure their work was audience ready.

Evelynn, from Rugby, says that exposure to working with different materials, environments, mediums, and people has inspired her to think about how she could display her creations in the future and pursue a career in art.

Evelynn said: “One of the main reasons I joined the university was to get these opportunities, get my foot in the door and reach places I never thought I’d be able to reach.

“Working as an art technician on this has really helped to inform my practice, filled in some of the gaps in my knowledge and helped me to look at the way the audience perceives the work and how it is viewed in the space. I’m now thinking about what kind of pieces I would make that could be installed in a gallery. It all gives back and feeds off each other. I’ve discovered a lot of artists started out as art technicians so you can see that this can be a stepping stone.

‘It has helped me understand where I want to be when I leave university.’

Organised by Tate Gallery, the Turner Prize is one of the best-known prizes for visual arts in the world and  previous winners include Damien Hirst, Gillian Wearing and Chris Ofili.

Array Collective’s pub installation was praised by judges for addressing social and political issues in Northern Ireland and they received the award at Coventry Cathedral as part of the 2021 City of Culture celebrations earlier this month.

The Turner Prize exhibition continues until January 12, 2022 at the Herbert Art Gallery and Museum.

Francis Nielsen, Cultural and Creative Director of Culture Coventry who operate the Herbert Art Gallery and Museum, said “We are delighted that we were able to work with Coventry University to involve students in the build of the renowned Turner Prize exhibition.

“It is incredibly important to provide  opportunities such as these to showcase the crucial role of Art Technicians in delivering an exhibition and hope it may have inspired some of the participants to consider a career in the specialism in the future. Of course, it was also fantastic to welcome passionate and dedicated individuals to join us as part of the project team.”

If you are interested in a career in art, you can find out how to follow in Evelynn’s footsteps here.

You can find more information about the exhibition here.