"Amazing" Susan Philipsz work becomes first sound installation piece to win the Turner Prize

By Richard Moss | 06 December 2010
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a photo of a man sat in a gallery space with white walls
Susan Philipsz' sound installation at Tate Britain.© Courtesy the artist, Tanya Bonakdar Gallery, New York and Isabella Bortolozzi Galerie, Berlin. Photo: Sam Drake and Lucy Dawkins, Tate Photography
Scottish artist Susan Philipsz has struck a blow for the ever-expanding genre of sound art by scooping the 2010 Turner Prize. 

In a ceremony this evening at Tate Britain, she beat off competition from the painter Dexter Dalwood, artist-led collective The Otolith Group and the crumpled and mangled canvasses of Angela de la Cruz.

The fourth woman and the first aural artist to win the prize, Philipsz professed herself to be “very honoured to have won the award”.

She also thanked family and friends before singling out visual arts commissioning agency Artangel for their help with her current London based sound installation Surround Me, which is currently playing to the deserted weekend streets of the city.

Featuring her distinctive voice drifting across walkways, alleys and the banks of the Thames, it is similar to the work which brought her to the attention of the Turner Prize judges, Lowlands, which she arranged under three bridges beside the River Clyde in Glasgow.

The sound installation was described by Turner Prize Chair of Judges Penelope Curtis as a piece that “made you look at things differently by hearing things differently, which is really quite exceptional.”

Philipsz also found time to voice her support for Arts Against the Cuts. "Education is not a privilege but a right," she said. "I think it’s harder to have an education because of the cuts and I support what they are fighting for."

Katrina Brown, the Director of the Glasgow International Festival of Visual Art, said artists in the city were "completely thrilled" at the announcement.

"We are delighted to hear so many people talking about the amazing work - made here in and for Glasgow - for which she was nominated," she added.

"She is a truly significant artist who has had a tremendous year. We are very proud and pleased to have worked with her at this moment in her career. The recognition this work has achieved is testament to its reach far beyond the city."

Philipsz will receive £24,000 in prize money.
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