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21st November 2016

Helen Marten (2005, Fine Art) wins inaugural Hepworth Prize

Helen Marten (2005, Fine Art) has won the first Hepworth Prize for Sculpture and has pledged to share the £30,000 prize money with her fellow nominees.

The Hepworth Prize for Sculpture recognises a British or UK-based artist of any age, at any stage in their career, who has made a significant contribution to the development of contemporary sculpture. The prize was created to celebrate the fifth anniversary of the opening of the Hepworth Wakefield gallery, named after Barbara Hepworth, one of Britain’s greatest sculptors and arguably its most celebrated female artist.

Four sculptors were nominated for the Hepworth Prize: Miss Marten, Phyllida Barlow, Steven Claydon, and David Medalla. Miss Marten presented seven recent works that transform familiar images and objects from our everyday surroundings into intricately crafted installations.

After receiving the award Miss Marten said she felt “the hierarchical position of art prizes today is to a certain extent flawed” and that she “would be very happy if [the Hepworth Wakefield would] share the prize amongst the four of us.”

The organisers of the award said it was “entirely up to Helen” how she used the prize money and added “We support her decision to split it between the artists and think it a gracious and generous suggestion.”
Miss Marten is also nominated for the Turner Prize, the winner of which will be announced later this year.

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