Windrush sculptor Veronica Ryan awarded Turner Prize at ceremony in Liverpool

Video report by Anna Youssef

The winner of the Turner Prize 2022 has been announced as sculptor Veronica Ryan at a ceremony in Liverpool.

The Montserrat-born British artist, 66, was recognised for her work which honours the Windrush generation and explores the Covid pandemic.

Liverpool born Frankie Goes To Hollywood singer Holly Johnson presented the award at a ceremony at St George's Hall in the city centre on Wednesday.

Sculptor Veronica Ryan after being announced the winner of the Turner Prize by Holly Johnson at St George's Hall in Liverpool. Credit: PA

This year's Turner Prize collection is being held at Tate Liverpool to mark 15 years since the award was first held in the city.

Tate Liverpool was the first gallery outside London to host the prize in 2007 when it helped launch the city's year as European Capital of Culture.

Veronica Ryan has exhibited across the world and was made an OBE for services to art earlier this year.

She was praised by the judges for the "personal and poetic way she extends the language of sculpture" through found and usually forgotten objects and crafted materials.

Tate Gallery in Liverpool's Abert Dock

Helen Legg, the director of Tate Liverpool and co-chairman of the Turner Prize jury, told the PA news agency that the jury thought it was the right time to recognise Ryan's practice as they felt she was "making the strongest work" of her career.

She said: "The jury felt that they had an exceptionally strong shortlist but it came down to the fact that it felt as though now was a really vital time for Veronica's practice.

"The jury spoke about how you could feel in the exhibition that this was a practice in a constant state of development, that she was experimenting, that there was this compulsion to make that she has.

Veronica Ryan's 'Along a Spectrum'

"She's making constantly when she's travelling, when she's in the gallery, when she's at home, and that you could feel that vitality in the work."

Legg added that Ryan's work makes many references to the history of sculpture and spans a variety of themes which allows for personal interpretation.

She said: "She's interested in psychology and migration, loss, trauma, movement, nurture, there's a lot in there about mother-daughter relationships.

"And all of those threads seem to be interconnected in her practice so it's very difficult to say 'Veronica Ryan's work is about this' because it's about many things and it's about all of those things brought together."

Veronica Ryan's installation is on display at Tate Liverpool.

Ryan was recognised for two projects: a public marble and bronze work to honour the legacy and contributions of the Windrush generation and a new work, 'Along A Spectrum', which explores the psychological impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

One of the best-known prizes for the visual arts in the world, the Turner Prize aims to promote public debate around new developments in contemporary British art.

Ryan created the first permanent public sculpture in the UK in London to honour the legacy and contribution of the Windrush generation.

The shortlisted artists for 2022 were: Heather Phillipson, Ingrid Pollard, Veronica Ryan and Sin Wai Kin. 

The jury praised all four nominees for their "strong and varied presentations"

A free exhibition of the four shortlisted artists is being held at Tate Liverpool until March 19 2023.