Barbara Walker works in a range of media and formats, from embossed works on paper to paintings on canvas and large scale charcoal wall drawings. Growing up in Birmingham, Walker’s experiences have shaped a practice concerned with issues of class and power, gender, race, representation and belonging.
Walker was nominated for her presentation entitled Burden of Proof at Sharjah Biennial 15. In this body of work, Walker brings careful attention and visibility to individuals and families affected by the Windrush scandal. The exhibition at Towner features large scale charcoal figures drawn directly onto the gallery wall and a series of works on paper. Monochromatic portraits of people impacted by the scandal are layered over hand-drawn reproductions of documents that evidence their right to remain in the UK. Walker invites the viewer to consider the true consequences of political decision-making, the complexities of diasporic identity and the struggle for legitimacy.
Alex Farquharson, Director of Tate Britain and Chair of the Turner Prize 2023 jury, said:
"I would like to warmly congratulate each of the four shortlisted artists on their outstanding presentations as part of the Turner Prize 2023 exhibition at Towner this year. Jesse Darling, Ghislaine Leung, Rory Pilgrim and Barbara Walker have remarkably varied approaches to creating art that actively responds to and reflects the world around us - engaging with the social, economic, cultural and political issues of our time. The Turner Prize offers a fascinating snapshot of contemporary British art now, and a key part of its popularity is its ability to spotlight the rich cultural offerings of our towns and cities on its travels to a new host venue every other year. Towner’s dynamic centenary programme makes this a truly unmissable moment in Turner Prize history, and I look forward to this year’s exhibition being enjoyed by East Sussex’s residents and visitors alike.”
Joe Hill, Director and CEO, Towner Eastbourne, said:
“We are delighted to welcome the Turner Prize 2023 to Eastbourne, as the centrepiece of Towner Eastbourne’s Centenary year. Founded as ‘an art gallery for the people’, the gallery has always championed living artists and has been at the forefront of showcasing and collecting contemporary art in the UK. What better way to celebrate this legacy than to bring one of the world’s best-known prizes for the visual arts to the region.
The Turner Prize exhibition offers a unique opportunity for our town to promote engagement with contemporary art, and alongside our associated programme Eastbourne ALIVE, it will give us the opportunity to inspire artists and creatives of the future through the most ambitious public art and youth engagement programme the gallery has ever undertaken. Together, this will create a catalyst moment to embed the creative arts at the heart of our town’s vision for a generation. Thank you to our sponsors King & McGaw and all our funders and partners, and of course the artists."
Find out more about the Turner Prize at Towner on our Turner Prize page, including associated events, access information, tips on how to get here and an option to book your preferred timeslot.