Friday 16 November 2018

Turner Prize winner Duncan Campbell is heir to €60m fortune

Winning: Duncan Campbell won the Turner Prize for his film 'It For Others'.
Winning: Duncan Campbell won the Turner Prize for his film 'It For Others'.
a still from the film It for Others 2013 by Duncan Campbell
Paddy Campbell
Artist Duncan Campbell
Niamh Horan

Niamh Horan

Artists are renowned for their struggle to make ends meet so when Turner Prize winner Duncan Campbell spoke of the difference the €25,000 prize money would make to his life, no one batted an eyelid.

Speaking after accepting the coveted award in a ceremony at Tate Britain, London, Campbell claimed he had modest ambitions to spend the life-changing prize money on "life stuff" like rent, food and studio space.

"This will make a big difference to me," he said.

"Even being nominated for the prize has given me great heart."

The artist joked: "A friend of mine was reminding me recently about the poet WB Yeats, who, when a journalist phoned him to tell him he was about to receive the Nobel Prize for Literature, the first question he asked was 'how much?'. I already know how much. This money will make a huge difference to me."

But few know Duncan is actually heir to a €60m fortune.

His father, Paddy Campbell, built a successful catering company that was eventually bought by Aramark for €64.5m.

Campbell Catering had been set up by Paddy Campbell and Duncan's mother Veronica in their own kitchen.

The company, which employed 5,000 people, was the saviour of another, Bewleys, which Paddy expanded from an ailing cafe into a multinational tea and coffee supplier.

His parents have featured on the Sunday Independent rich list for several years and his father, now in his 70s, is a successful artist in his own right.

The Dubliner became an extremely accomplished sculptor, producing the official bust of President Mary McAleese as well as other high-profile commissions. Campbell divides his time between studios in Italy and Ireland.

Meanwhile, Glasgow-based Duncan, who was the bookmakers' favourite to land the Turner Prize, was on the shortlist for the prestigious and provocative contemporary art prize along with James Richards, Ciara Phillips and Tris Vonna-Michell.

His video, 'It for Others', was inspired by a 1953 documentary video that reflects on African art and includes a dance sequence inspired by Karl Marx.

The jury described the winning work as "an ambitious and complex film which rewards repeated viewing".

Campbell described his 54-minute film as "episodic" and hoped people would watch it from beginning to end. "Ideally you might watch it twice," he said.

Established in 1984, the Turner Prize is awarded to a contemporary artist under 50, living, working or born in Britain, who is judged to have put on the best exhibition of the last 12 months.

Campbell is the fourth graduate from the Glasgow School of Art to have won the prize in the last 10 years.

Sunday Independent

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