HE may be nominated for the art world’s biggest prize, but Tris Vonna-Michell has not forgotten his roots.

The former Deanes School pupil, who grew up above a shop on The Broadway, Leigh, said the Thames Estuary is still shaping his work.

Tris, 31, who studied at Glasgow School of Art, is known for his semi-improvised presentations, often using slide projections in front of audiences.

He has also used live poetry while his projections run.

Bookies are tipping him as second favourite to scoop the Turner Prize when the winner is announced in December.

Although he was nominated after a piece based on his mother’s childhood in Berlin, he says it is not really finished.

He said: “The work is a new piece, and a new direction for me.

“For example, the spoken word narration was created in a sound studio, and is more reflective as opposed to when I perform to a live audience.

“The piece I was nominated for is called Postscript II (Berlin), but since that show at the Jan Mot Gallery in Brussels I have continued to develop it. It’s still very much a work in progress.”

If he wins the prize, Tris will join Chelmsford artist Grayson Perry and a host of other distinguished names.

When asked what people can expect to see when the nominees are exhibited from September to January, he said: “I’ve not even seen the space yet. The space for me is very important in terms of determining the display and content, so much depends on the site visit.

“I think most likely I will create a new synchronized slide and sound installation, specific for the space.”

Tris, who is working in Canada at the moment, added he is proud of his roots and still fond of the Thames Estuary as a source of inspiration.

He said: “Yes, I am proud.

Several of my works evolve around c e r t a i n nuances and experiences of the estuary.

“The landscape was very important to me at different stages, but also in other more abstract and indirect ways.

“I still find the area compelling and am currently filming along the shoreline and working closely with collaborators in the area.”

Southend Standard: Inspiration - one of his estuary-inspired works