Elizabeth Price wins Turner prize
Published 04/12/2012 | 13:41
A musician-turned-artist who quit singing because she was too shy has found herself in the spotlight after winning the Turner Prize.
Elizabeth Price, 46, collected the £25,000 prize from actor Jude Law at Tate Britain in central London for her video installation show which included a film inspired by a fatal fire in a Woolworths store in Manchester.
The film, The Woolworths Choir Of 1979, features archive footage from the blaze that gutted the city centre store and left 10 people dead, mixed with architectural designs, film of a 1960s girl group and music.
She said she remembered seeing the fire on the news as a child and it had stayed with her.
She said: "I can't remember what I thought about it as a child other than it made a significant impression."
Price said being nominated had brought her work to a wider audience and the money would allow her to "carry on working and make new ambitious things".
Presenting the award, Law attacked the "cultural vandalism" of the Government over the introduction of the English Baccalaureate, which he said would take "arts, design and music" out of schools.
Price also criticised the Government and praised her education at a comprehensive school, Putteridge High School, in Luton.
She said: "It's incredibly depressing listening to the comments people made earlier that a young girl from Luton going to a comprehensive might not be able to imagine being an artist and might not have the opportunities I've had."
Price, who started out as a singer with 1980s indie pop band Talulah Gosh, said her career would be "unimaginable" without public support for the arts.
She said she wanted her art to recreate the excitement she felt going to gigs, but admitted: "I gave up doing pop music because I hated being on stage and was very shy."
Price was one of four artists shortlisted for the prestigious prize, including fellow film-maker Luke Fowler, performance artist Spartacus Chetwynd and Paul Noble, who produced a series of detailed drawings of fictional city Nobson Newtown.
The Turner Prize sees £25,000 go to the winner and £5,000 each for the other shortlisted artists.
She said she was currently working as an artist in residence at the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory in Didcot.
She told reporters her next work involved "looking particularly at thermal and photographic images of the sun" but admitted she did not know what she was going to do with them.