Turner Prize Bursary for Wadham student

Date Published: 08.07.2020

Wadham DPhil student Shawanda Corbett (Fine Art, 2016) has been awarded a £10,000 Turner Prize Bursary, recognising her exceptional creative talent.

Neighbourhood Garden. Courtesy of The Artist and Corvi-Mora, London. Photo by Marcus Leith.

Shawanda's work combines ceramics, paintings and performance to question the idea of the ‘complete’ body. She joined Wadham in 2016 to do her Masters and is currently studying for a doctoral degree in Fine Art at the Ruskin School of Art and Wadham College. 

Each of her hand-thrown ceramic vessels is inspired by real people and they are frequently incorporated into politically charged performances in which Shawanda’s own body leaves traces on the pottery vessels and surfaces. 

The Turner Prize jury commended the power of her performance Blackbird Mississippi at the Serpentine Gallery in which the artist drew parallels between a slave’s voyages on the underground railroad to the artist’s own journey towards rehabilitation. The jury also noted the exhibition of jazz-inspired paintings and hand-thrown ceramics Neighbourhood Garden at Corvi-Mora, London.

Warden of Wadham College, Ken Macdonald QC commented: “This is a remarkable achievement and I know the whole College will join me in expressing pride in our association with Shawanda and her art and many congratulations to her on this success.” 

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the jury of the cancelled 2020 Turner Prize has selected ten artists to receive £10,000 bursaries. The artists were chosen for their significant contributions to new developments in British contemporary art.

The members of the 2020 jury were: Richard Birkett, Curator at Large at the Institute of Contemporary Arts; Sarah Munro, Director of BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art; Duro Olowu, designer and curator; and Fatoş Üstek, Director of Liverpool Biennial. The jury is chaired by Alex Farquharson, Director of Tate Britain.

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