Creating a home for the Turner Prize

Sewell Facilities Management has played a major part in creating a home for the Turner Prize.

One of the world’s most renowned art prizes, the Turner Prize is awarded annually to an artist born, living or working in Britain, for their work anywhere in the world in the previous year.

It has been staged outside of London every other year since 2011 and it is Hull’s turn this year as it continues its 12 months in the spotlight as the UK City of Culture 2017.

Entries are currently displayed at Ferens Art Gallery in Hull city centre and Sewell Facilities Management created the gallery space for artist Rosalind Nashashibi to showcase her work.

Now, the business has been praised for its fast and efficient work to ensure the space was ready in a tight timeframe after artist Lubaina Himid was announced as the winner of the Turner Prize.

Sewell Facilities Management is part of the wider Sewell Group, which is a Major Partner in Hull UK City of Culture 2017.

George Vasey, Curator for the Turner Prize, said: “Sewell has done an incredible job. It’s been really fantastic to work with a whole broad range of partners and organisations who have helped make the Turner Prize happen.

“It was such an intense install and we had to put the show together very quickly.

“Curators and artists are only as good as the technicians and the engineers who help build the shows for us, and they’ve done an incredible job to make sure we had proper functioning cinema spaces in the gallery, which is quite anomalous. It contributes to the show in such a fantastic way.”

George said the space created for the Turner Prize entries was carefully thought out and Rosalind’s gallery had a unique atmosphere.

He said: “What’s fantastic about Rosalind Nashashibi’s space is it’s a completely different type of space to the other galleries, so we spent a lot of time working with artists, the architect and the technicians to shift the dynamic of each room.

“From the wall colour to the lighting, you come into Rosalind’s space and it’s all carpeted and insulated for the acoustics. It’s also a much calmer, slightly darker space, so people feel like they’re entering an old fashioned cinema space, which I think is really important and contributes to the ambiance and emotional quality of the work.”

More than 10,000 people have viewed the Turner Prize entries per week and the exhibition will remain in place until January.

Jim Prest, Facilities Operations Manager at Sewell Facilities Management, said: “We created two theatre areas in the gallery for Rosalind Nashashibi over a 10-day period and the whole project, from the first meeting to completion, ran for about three weeks.

“We also helped to create spaces for other artists, but the main theatres were timber-framed and included carpet to create a cinema and theatre-style environment with 25 seats in each.

“The seats came from an old theatre in Inverness. It was fantastic to be involved in such a high profile, interesting and special project.

“The feedback was great and the contractors on site were superb. The whole supply chain was so positive about it and it just shows what you can achieve when you work together.”