Irish-born artist Duncan Campbell has won this year’s Turner Prize for his series of films called It For Others and hinted he might follow in the footsteps of another winner – Steve McQueen.
McQueen won the Turner in 1999 and went on to Oscar success with 12 Years A Slave star – and the film’s star Chiwetel Ejiofor presented Campbell with the £25,000 prize at a ceremony at Tate Britain in central London.
The judges said his films, which take in African art and iconic images from the Troubles in Northern Ireland, were “topical and compelling”.
Accepting his award, Campbell said: “This money will make a huge difference to me, beyond that even being nominated for the prize has given me great heart.
“The opinions of the people on the jury matter a great deal to me.”
Speaking afterwards, he said the money would go on “normal” things and help pay the rent on his studio.
Asked if he wanted to follow in the footsteps of McQueen, he said: “It’s something I’ve being exploring with the distributor that I work with”.
He said: “I wouldn’t rule it in, but I wouldn’t rule it out. We’ll see what happens”.
The Dubliner was firm favourite to win as soon as the shortlist was announced, with The Guardian’s Laura Cumming calling him “the only obvious winner” and the Daily Telegraph’s Richard Dorment saying he was “the real thing as an artist”.
His win cements the domination of The Glasgow School of Art over the UK’s contemporary arts scene and will be a further boost to its reputation in a year when it was rocked by a fire that tore through its historic Mackintosh building.
The blaze engulfed the Grade A-listed building, leading to the loss of about a tenth of the structure and 30% of its contents, causing shock around the city and the arts world.
He is the fourth graduate from the school Master of Fine Art Programme to win the prize in the last 10 years.
The school’s director Professor Tom Inns said: “The Glasgow School of Art warmly congratulates Duncan Campbell on winning the Turner Prize.
“This is a great accolade both for Duncan and for The Glasgow School of Art. Duncan becomes our fifth winner of this prestigious award since 1996 and the fourth graduate of our Master of Fine Art programme since 2005.”
“Duncan and all the previous GSA winners and shortlisted artists are a great inspiration to the current generation of students and the wider visual art community here in Glasgow.”
The Turner Prize has a reputation for controversy. Previous winners have included Martin Creed’s installation featuring a light going on and off and Grayson Perry’s pots tackling subjects like death and child abuse.