AO Breaking – News Summary – London: Susan Philipsz Wins the 2010 Turner Prizer for Sound Installation

December 7th, 2010

Susan Philipsz , via BBC

Glasgow-born artist Susan Philipsz has won the £25,000 Turner Prize last night at a ceremony at Tate Britain for her work in sound installation. The artist beat other Turner Prize nominees Dexter Dalwood, Angela de la Cruz, and The Otolith Group for the prestigious prize. Philipsz, 45, was the fourth woman ever to win prize and the first artist to win the modern art prize for sound installation. The artist said she was “very honored” as she received the award from fashion designer/arts patron Miuccia Prada.

Susan Philipsz Sound Installation Lowlands (2010), via The Guardian

More text and images after the jump…



Susan Philipsz, via The Guardian

Philipsz’ work consists of recordings of her voice singing 16th century Scottish laments over public address systems and in unusual locations including a series of bridges over the Clyde in Glasgow. The artist’s room in this year’s Turner Prize exhibition consists of her recorded voice singing the 16th century traditional Scottish folk song, Lowlands Away. The work for which she won the British art prize was made for the art festival at Glasgow International this past May. During the event her voice could be heard beneath three bridges in the City Center – the Georges V Bridge, the Caledonian Railway Bridge, and Glasgow Bridge in which a recorder was installed of her singing the same song heard in the Turner exhibition in slightly different variations. The song is about a drowned lover who returns to haunt his sweetheart.

A 2008 installation of Susan Philipsz work via Artnet

The judges of the Turner Prize said of Philipsz’ work that it “provokes both intellectual and instinctive responses and reflects a series of decisions about the relationship between sound and sight” which in turn “provides powerful sculptural experiences.”

The announcement of the Turner Prize was surprisingly rendered almost inaudible last night by cries from art student protesters occupying the entrance hall of the Tate Britain.  Around 60 to 200 students from London’s art schools including Central Saint Martins and Chelsea College of Art and Design chanted against the coalition government’s cuts to the arts and humanities programs for higher education. Philipsz, herself a political activist before art school, supported the students by saying, “My heart goes out to them. I really support them” noted a recent article in The Guardian.  Her feelings were joined by other art world figures including Tate director Nicolas Serota who agreed that the students had a right to be enraged.

The Turner Prize was established in 1984 for a British artist under the age of 50 who promotes public discussion of new developments in British art.  A unique and commemorative evening, this year’s Turner Prize eventful nature proved to be a thought- provoking moment for the state of the arts in Great Britain.

Related Links:
Susan Philipsz Wins Turner Prize for Sound Installation [The Telegraph]
Turner Prize: Susan Philipsz wins with Lowlands Away [BBC]
Turner Prize won by Susan Philipsz for a sound installation [The Guardian]
Video: Turner Prize 2010- Susan Philipsz, sound art and student protests [The Guardian]
Turner Prize Winner Susan Philipsz: an expert view [The Guardian]
Sound Artist Susan Philipsz wins the Turner Prize and says ‘her heart’ is with the protesting students [Daily Mail]
Turner Prize winner Susan Philipsz ‘a good friend to Dundee’ [The Courier]
Scottish Artist wins Turner Prize for a Recording [NY Times ]

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