Elizabeth Price, who was appointed as University Lecturer in Fine Art at the Ruskin School of Drawing & Fine Art earlier this year and is also a Fellow of Lady Margaret Hall, received the prestigious Turner Prize for her solo exhibition at BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art in Gateshead.
The exhibition featured a new piece of work called THE WOOLWORTHS CHOIR OF 1979. This was devised while Ms Price held the Arts Council England Helen Chadwick Fellowship at the Ruskin School of Drawing & Fine Art, St John’s College, Oxford and the British School at Rome in 2010-11.
THE WOOLWORTHS CHOIR OF 1979 samples music, photographs, video footage and text to portray a fire in a Woolworth’s shop in Manchester in 1979, in which ten people died.
'When I started making the work, I didn't know it would end up being about that subject,’ Ms Price explained. 'I believe art should be dealing with these subjects and I think art is a way to remember them.'
She added: 'It was a real pleasure to be associated with the other Turner Prize nominees, both personally and professionally, and whilst from the outside it might look like we were competing with each other, the experience on the inside was one of respect and camaraderie and a sense of the absurd.'
Having completed a degree in Fine Art at the Ruskin School in 1985-88, Ms Price returned to Oxford University as a lecturer this year.
Jason Gaiger, Head of the Ruskin School, said: 'I am thrilled for Elizabeth, whose work demonstrates the vitality of contemporary art practice and its ability to address themes of enduring social significance.
'The seriousness and technical virtuosity of her film-making is exhilarating and I am delighted that her recent achievements have been recognised through the award of Britain’s most prestigious art prize.'
The Turner Prize committee's decision has been warmly received by critics and members of the public. Will Gompertz, arts editor at the BBC, said: 'It is a moving, haunting and disturbing installation that - in my opinion - is a worthy winner of this prestigious prize.’
Adrian Searle, Guardian art critic, said: ‘The focus and drive of Price’s work, the cutting and the atmosphere, mark her out ... She does a great deal in 20 minutes. Its complexity has stayed with me.'
Ms Price's installation will remain on display at the Tate until 6 January 2013, by which time Ruskin undergraduates will be returning to Oxford to attend lectures by a Turner Prize-winning artist.
Reproduced with kind permission from Oxford University’s Press Office