Turner Prize-winner unveils brand new artwork at University of Sussex
By: Alice Ingall
Last updated: Thursday, 23 November 2023
A brand new artwork by Turner Prize-winning artist, Helen Cammock has been unveiled at the University of Sussex, this week.
Cammock, who is a former University of Sussex student, has created a new text-based artwork on a wall at the University's Student Centre. It will be the first new permanent piece of public art on the University of Sussex campus in decades.
The text, which is painted in white using the font that appears across Cammock’s text-based work and set against a field of colour (bright teal) painted across the wall, reads:
whisper tones vibrate foundations
Cammock says of the commission:
“It was exciting to be asked to make an artwork for the new Student Centre at the University of Sussex. I attempted to create a work that somehow speaks of the intrinsic relationship between past and present; the cycles of knowledge and thought that both inform future ideas and can be replaced by them in sites of dialogue and learning.”
Cammock will collaborate with University of Sussex students in specially designed workshops, using her new campus art commission as a starting point. The workshops will explore the potential of poetic text to develop dialogues and evoke thought and ideas. The resulting artworks created by the students will be exhibited at the University during the 2023-2024 academic year.
Cammock, who was the joint recipient of the 2019 Turner Prize, is a Sociology graduate from the University of Sussex. Her practice spans film, photography, print, text, song and performance, examining mainstream historical and contemporary narratives about Blackness, womanhood, oppression and resistance, wealth and power, poverty and vulnerability. Her works often cut across time and geography, layering multiple voices as she investigates the cyclical nature of histories in her visual and aural assemblages.
Vice-Chancellor of the University of Sussex, Professor Sasha Roseneil says:
"The Helen Cammock art commission at our Student Centre represents a reactivation of a rich legacy of public art on the University of Sussex campus. Helen has consistently used her art to give voice to groups and individuals who have historically been ignored, misrepresented or silenced in society. It is an honour to host this extraordinary new piece of art from Helen, which we hope will inspire our students and visitors to campus for years to come.”
The artwork is being unveiled at a time when the Turner Prize 2023, one of the world’s leading prizes for contemporary art, is being exhibited in Sussex for the first time. The University of Sussex is the official Education Partner for the Turner Prize 2023, which is being hosted at Towner Eastbourne from 28 September 2023 to 14 April 2024.
The Turner education partnership sees the University play a key role in developing and running an arts education programme around the Turner Prize. This includes a programme to give all Year 9’s in Eastbourne a private view of the shortlist exhibition, facilitated by specially trained University of Sussex students. The partnership builds on a long-standing relationship between Sussex and Towner Eastbourne and includes events at the University’s celebrated Attenborough Centre for the Creative Arts, which will bring the prize alive for a wider audience.
Cammock was the second University of Sussex graduate to win the Turner Prize. Jeremy Deller, who holds an MA in British Art History and Critical Theory from Sussex, won the Turner Prize in 2004.