Video artist Elizabeth Price has won the coveted Turner Prize for art. She was up against some seriously stiff competition this year, with Spartacus Chetwynd, Luke Fowler and Paul Noble also in the running. As the Guardian said "All the artists seemed to... deserve their place here: no clear winner, no obvious losers", so when Price, the least well known of the bunch won, undoubtedly she was surprised.
In her acceptance speech she used a little of that time to convey a politcal message, praising her education at a comprehensive school, which she attributes a lot of credit to, acknowledging that none of it would have been possible without funding, reports the BBC. The government has recently cut an enormous amount of funding to the arts, and many artists, filmmakers, actors, comedians and theatre directors have spoken out against this decision.
Price's nominated work was a 20 minute film based on the tragic Woolworth's fire that killed 10 people in Manchester in 1979. "Her use of footage from the fire itself never feels voyeuristic or meritricious." Adrian Searle writes in the Guardian, "She does a great deal in 20 minutes. Its complexity has stayed with me." In contrast, fellow nominee Luke Fowler doesn't hit the same high notes in his 90 minutes film. Paul Noble's career is already well in full swing and doesn't really need the award, and Spartacus Chetwynd's performance art doesn't really perform if she and her troupe aren't there to bring everything alive. All in all it seems Price was the worthy winner, which sees her receive £25,000, international notoriety and a lot of exposure.
'Smalls Change (Meditations Upon Ageing)' arrives in April.
The two awards have made for a great 72nd birthday present for the country music icon.