Grand Union is celebrating artist Jamie Crewe’s selection for a Turner Bursary, having been nominated for their sister exhibitions: Love & Solidarity and Solidarity & Love at Grand Union, Birmingham, and Humber Street Gallery, Hull. Earlier in the year Tate announced that it would award one-off bursaries of £10,000 to 10 artists in place of this year’s Turner Prize, as a way to support a large selection of artists through this precarious and uncertain time.
Showing work simultaneously across two venues, Jamie Crewe’s body of work comprises videos, sculptures, drawing and writing to explore ideas of identity, power, desire, community and history. The work takes inspiration from Radclyffe Hall’s 1928 novel The Well of Loneliness, and its lasting impressions on generations of LGBTQIA+ people. The exhibitions consider places, cultures, histories, communities, and individuals that are tied to each other, whether they like it or not. Tate remarked that the jury for the Turner Bursary “particularly praised Crewe’s dynamic and poetic retellings of mythology and literature while exploring contemporary notions of gender.”
This is the first collaboration of its kind between Grand Union and Humber Street Gallery, Hull’s dedicated contemporary visual art space. Bluntly split, this body of work survives in partial form, spread across two cities, two venues, and two exhibitions. This is in accordance with its themes; together, and apart, Love & Solidarity and Solidarity & Love test the possibility of living with a wound.
Love & Solidarity opened at Grand Union earlier this year, but the exhibition and gallery had to close due to the pandemic. Grand Union is planning to re-open the exhibition by appointment to provide an opportunity for audiences to see the work, adhering to social distancing guidelines.
Cheryl Jones, Director at Grand Union, said:
“We are so pleased for Jamie receiving this well-deserved accolade for such a thoughtful and inspiring exhibition, which now feels more relevant than ever. This, coupled with news that The British Art Show 9 will be opening in Wolverhampton next March, marks an exciting opportunity for the West Midlands. It is an important recognition of the incredible visual arts work that happens across this region.”
This news coincides with Grand Union celebrating its 10th anniversary in 2020. The milestone also comes as Grand Union has recently become a charity and is spearheading a £3.25m project to bring a Grade II listed building on Fazeley Street, Digbeth, Birmingham, back into use. Working with Homes England, they will transform the derelict Junction Works building (former Birmingham Canal Offices) into a new contemporary art gallery and artist studios.
The recipients of the Turner Bursary 2020 are Arika; Liz Johnson Artur; Oreet Ashery; Shawanda Corbeet; Jamie Crewe; Sean Edwards; Sidsel Meineche Hansen; Ima-Abasi Okon; Imran Perretta; Alberta Whittle.
Further details about the Birmingham exhibition and programme can be found at www.grand-union.org.uk.