Belfast Telegraph

Friday 28 November 2014

French artist Laure Prouvost in tears at Turner Prize triumph

Laure Prouvost, the winner of this years Turner Prize, with her with her art work at the Venue in Londonderry Pic Paul Faith
Laure Prouvost, the winner of this years Turner Prize, with her with her art work at the Venue in Londonderry Pic Paul Faith
Laure Prouvost after she is announced as the winner of this years Turner Prize at the Venue in Londonderry
Irish actress Saoirse Ronan (right), with Laure Prouvost after announcing her as the winner of this years Turner Prize at the Venue in Londonderry
Irish actress Saoirse Ronan (left) carries Laure Prouvost's baby, Celeste, to the stage after announcing her as the winner of this years Turner Prize at the Venue in Londonderry

A French-born artist living in London, who combines digital imagery for the 'Instagram generation' with atmospheric installations is the surprise winner of this year's Turner Prize.

Laure Prouvost (35), was handed the UK's most prestigious award for contemporary art, as well as a £25,000 cheque, at the ceremony in this year's venue, Ebrington in Londonderry.

The mixed-media artist, who has lived in London since studying at Goldsmiths College and then Central St Martins more than a decade ago, was nominated for her Tate and Grizedale Arts commission Wantee and her installation for the Max Mara Art Prize for Women. Penelope Curtis of Tate Britain said of the winner: "The emotion that came through for the judges was they found it very moving; they were very touched."

Prouvost said as she accepted the award: "I did not expect this at all, thank you everyone."

Her two-month-old baby was brought on stage when she won the award but burst into tears. "She was crying with joy," the artist joked.

"Thank you for adopting me. I've been here so many years and I feel adopted by the UK," Prouvost added. "It was really this country that let me grow. You need opportunities to make that happen."

She said her work referenced the way the current generation consumes media. "I was not allowed to watch TV growing up so I became obsessed with it. I'm catching up."

Prouvost beat competition from David Shrigley, who displayed an outsized figure urinating into a bucket for the Turner Prize show; painter Lynette Yiadom-Boakye and performance artist Tino Sehgal, who received £5,000 each.

Ms Curtis said of Prouvost: "She offered a lot on many different levels. It was something that was both very intimate and also quite outward facing."

The organisers of the show, which has run at the former military barracks since October as part of UK City of Culture year, said Prouvost's work was among the most popular of the nominees, with long queues to see it.

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