Modern art is often derided as a load of rubbish, but yesterday a Scot turned the cliche on its head, winning the top prize for contemporary art in Britain for a series of installations that include a rubbish bin.
Martin Boyce, who lives in Glasgow, won the Turner Prize and with it a £25,000 cheque at a ceremony in the Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art in Gateshead. Mr Boyce, who was the favourite with the bookies, specialises in sculpture and installation and presented a selection of works at the Baltic. His steel works were described as a crowd pleaser, and Perforated and Porous (northern skies) 2011 – the bin – was among a series of installations.
The award's curators said he creates works that "reference familiar objects", adding: "His environments offer a sense of wandering through a long-abandoned garden, or evoke the feeling of crossing through an urban park at night." He is the third Scot in a row to pick up the prestigious award, and has previously represented the country at the Venice Biennale.
The judging panel, which included Baltic director Godfrey Worsdale, Penelope Curtis, director of Tate Britain and Katrina Brown, director of The Common Guild in Glasgow, said the show "confirmed the consistency of his work while opening up a new sense of poetry".
Charles Darwent, The Independent's art critic said when the exhibit was unveiled in October: "Boyce's installation is both in the room and of it," adding: "The look is theatrical, like the set for a brutalist production of The Cherry Orchard."
This was the second year the Turner Prize had been held outside London and the first held outside a Tate gallery. The other nominees were Karla Black, Hilary Lloyd and George Shaw.