First winner of the Hepworth Prize is ...

Helen Marten's work. Picture by Danny Lawson/PA Wire
Helen Marten's work. Picture by Danny Lawson/PA Wire

The first ever winner of The Hepworth Prize for Sculpture has been revealed.

Helen Marten was presented with the £30,000 prize at a ceremony at The Hepworth gallery last night.

Helen Marten. Photo: Juergen Teller. Image courtesy: the artist and Sadie Coles HQ

Helen Marten. Photo: Juergen Teller. Image courtesy: the artist and Sadie Coles HQ

The Macclesfield-born artist, who has also been shortlisted for the 2016 Turner Prize, was handed the award, named after Wakefield-born sculptor Barbara Hepworth, by Burberry’s chief executive officer Christopher Bailey.

Simon Wallis, The Hepworth Wakefield director and chair of the judging panel said: “Helen Marten is one of the strongest and most singular voices working in British art today.

“Her refined craft and intellectual precision address our relationship to objects and materials in a digital age.

“We believe that Marten is a fitting winner of the inaugural Hepworth Prize for Sculpture, which celebrates the legacy of one of Britain’s finest sculptors.”

The biennial award recognises a British or UK-based artist of any age, at any stage in their career, who has made a significant contribution to the development of contemporary sculpture. It is the UK’s first prize for sculpture.

Phyllida Barlow, Steven Claydon and David Medalla were also shortlisted for the award, which was launched this year to mark The Hepworth’s fifth anniversary.

And the work of the four sculptors will continue to be exhibited at the gallery until February 19.

Wakefield MP Mary Creagh said: “It’s fantastic to see The Hepworth leading the way recognising talent through the new Hepworth Prize for Sculpture award, and I send my warmest congratulations to the winner Helen Marten.

“Under the inspirational leadership of Simon Wallis, the Hepworth, alongside the Yorkshire Sculpture Park, has carved out a reputation for excellence in the arts. Wakefield is proud to host these two world-class institutions.”