Now the Turner Prize jury goes for a song

Susan Philipsz becomes first sound artist to receive prestigious award

An art school reject who once sang over the public address system at a branch of Tesco has won this year's Turner Prize.

Glasgow-born Susan Philipsz, 44, was awarded the £25,000 prize at London's Tate Britain last night. The artist won for Lowlands, a series of recordings of a Scottish lament played beneath three River Clyde bridges, and "Long Gone", based on the Syd Barrett song of the same name. Her previous work includes 1998's Filter, in which she sang songs by Radiohead and Nirvana in a crowded bus station and a Tesco supermarket to unsuspecting customers.

The jury, which included Tate Britain director Penelope Curtis and novelist Philip Hensher, said it "admired the way in which her work provokes both intellectual and instinctive responses". The panel "applauded the imaginative worlds of all the artists". Philipsz is the first sound artist to be nominated for the prize.

She was born in 1965 in Maryhill, Glasgow where as a child she joined the local Catholic church with her two sisters. "I just thought it was so magical when all those voices would rise up and come together," she said in an interview last month.

At 23 she was rejected by Glasgow School of Art and studied at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art in Dundee and then the University of Ulster in Belfast, where she met her future husband, photographer Eoghan McTigue. They live and work in Berlin.

"I hate my voice," she said. "I particularly hate my speaking voice: I think I mumble a lot and it's way too quiet."

Critics are more positive. "Having heard Philipsz's Lowlands in situ and in Glasgow, I can say that the soundwork's mournful power is surprisingly undiminished by its trip south," wrote The Independent's Charles Darwent in his October review. "Under a Clyde bridge, the piece – the artist singing a 16th-century lament, a cappella, on a three-part loop – seemed to raise specific Scottish ghosts."

In recent years the prize has become more muted than in the 1990s. In 1993 Damien Hirst's famous pickled shark, Mother and Child, Divided, picked up the award. In 2001, Martin Creed won for flashing lights in an empty gallery, called The Lights Going On and Off.

In May, Curtis said this year's shortlist "is not about emerging talent, it's about people who've proved themselves". All of this year's nominees are artists in their 40s. She said that in the 1990s the prize had become a media circus surrounding Britain's Young British Artists because "it was what the press wanted and what the artists wanted."

The Glasgow International Festival, which ran for two weeks from 16 April, commissioned the winning work. Philipsz was favourite to win before the event with bookmakers Paddy Power offering odds of 4-11. The prize was awarded to an artist under 50 who was born, living or working in Britain for an outstanding exhibition or presentation in the 12 months before 27 April, 2010.

Other shortlisted artists were painter Dexter Dalwood, 49, for a solo exhibition at Tate St Ives featuring portraits of empty rooms belonging to famous figures from popular culture, to mark recent, seminal political events.

Spanish-born Angela de la Cruz, 45 made the shortlist for a series of crumpled canvases at Camden Art Centre, North London. The Otolith Group, a London-based art collective founded in 2002 was also shortlisted. It is named after a part of the inner ear that senses gravity and orientation. The group was honoured for a video art project recutting the work of influential French artist Chris Marker.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Elizabeth McGovern as Cora, Countess of Grantham and Richard E Grant as Simon Bricker

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Art
Arts and Entertainment
Diana Beard, nicknamed by the press as 'Dirty Diana'

Bake Off
Arts and Entertainment
The X Factor 2014 judges: Simon Cowell, Cheryl Cole, Mel B and Louis Walsh

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Gregg Wallace was caught by a camera van driving 32mph over the speed limit

TV
Arts and Entertainment
books
Arts and Entertainment
The Doctor and the Dalek meet
tvReview: Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering
Arts and Entertainment
Star turns: Montacute House
tv
Arts and Entertainment
Iain reacts to his GBBO disaster

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Outlaw Pete is based on an eight-minute ballad from Springsteen’s 2009 Working on a Dream album

books
Arts and Entertainment
Cara Delevingne made her acting debut in Anna Karenina in 2012

film
Arts and Entertainment
Simon Cowell is less than impressed with the Strictly/X Factor scheduling clash

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Gothic revival: artist Dave McKean’s poster for Terror and Wonder: The Gothic Imagination
Exhibition
Arts and Entertainment
Diana Beard has left the Great British Bake Off 2014

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Lisa Kudrow, Courtney Cox and Jennifer Anniston reunite for a mini Friends sketch on Jimmy Kimmel Live

TV
Arts and Entertainment
TVDessert week was full of the usual dramas as 'bingate' ensued
Arts and Entertainment
Clara and the twelfth Doctor embark on their first adventure together
TVThe regulator received six complaints on Saturday night
Arts and Entertainment
Vinyl demand: a factory making the old-style discs
musicManufacturers are struggling to keep up with the resurgence in vinyl
Arts and Entertainment
David Baddiel concedes his show takes its inspiration from the hit US series 'Modern Family'
comedyNew comedy festival out to show that there’s more to Jewish humour than rabbi jokes
Arts and Entertainment
Puff Daddy: One Direction may actually be able to use the outrage to boost their credibility

music
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    'I’ll tell you what I would not serve - lamb and potatoes': US ambassador hits out at stodgy British food served at diplomatic dinners

    'I’ll tell you what I would not serve - lamb and potatoes'

    US ambassador hits out at stodgy British food
    Radio Times female powerlist: A 'revolution' in TV gender roles

    A 'revolution' in TV gender roles

    Inside the Radio Times female powerlist
    Endgame: James Frey's literary treasure hunt

    James Frey's literary treasure hunt

    Riddling trilogy could net you $3m
    Fitbit: Because the tingle feels so good

    Fitbit: Because the tingle feels so good

    What David Sedaris learnt about the world from his fitness tracker
    Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb

    Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb

    Second-holiest site in Islam attracts millions of pilgrims each year
    Alexander Fury: The designer names to look for at fashion week this season

    The big names to look for this fashion week

    This week, designers begin to show their spring 2015 collections in New York
    Will Self: 'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

    'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

    Will Self takes aim at Orwell's rules for writing plain English
    Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

    Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

    Toy guns proving a popular diversion in a country flooded with the real thing
    Al Pacino wows Venice

    Al Pacino wows Venice

    Ham among the brilliance as actor premieres two films at festival
    Neil Lawson Baker interview: ‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.

    Neil Lawson Baker interview

    ‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.
    The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

    The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

    Wife of President Robert Mugabe appears to have her sights set on succeeding her husband
    The model of a gadget launch: Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed

    The model for a gadget launch

    Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed
    Alice Roberts: She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

    She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

    Alice Roberts talks about her new book on evolution - and why her early TV work drew flak from (mostly male) colleagues
    Get well soon, Joan Rivers - an inspiration, whether she likes it or not

    Get well soon, Joan Rivers

    She is awful. But she's also wonderful, not in spite of but because of the fact she's forever saying appalling things, argues Ellen E Jones
    Doctor Who Into the Dalek review: A classic sci-fi adventure with all the spectacle of a blockbuster

    A fresh take on an old foe

    Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering