Derry joy at Turner win

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The close links between Derry and the Glaswegian artist who this week scooped the UK’s most prestigious art prize have been celebrated in the city.

Theo Sims, Director of the Context Gallery, says everyone connected to the gallery is delighted to see Susan Philipsz awarded this year’s Turner Prize.

Philipsz, who specialises in sound installations, first exhibited in Derry’s Context Gallery in 1995.

She was named this year’s Turner Prize winner for her work Lowlands Away, a sound installation that features her singing three versions of a Scottish lament.

The Derry gallery’s director says winning the Turner Prize, which will be hosted in Derry in the City of Culture year of 2013, is the “ international recognition” Philipsz deserves.

“We are delighted for Susan who has worked at a high level consistently for many years – the Context has supported her work for over a decade and a half and it is great to see someone who we have worked with get the international recognition they deserve.”

The Context’s 1995 exhibition featured an installation by Philipsz in the former Glass Works on Great James Street.

The Scottish artist also presented her first solo exhibition in 2000 called Company, an exhibition curated by James Kerr, now Director of the Derry’s Verbal Arts Centre.

Susan was also part of an international exhibition in Washington programmed by the Context Gallery called Small Steps also curated by Mr Kerr.

Mr Kerr says Philipsz potential was evident even as a young artist.

“It was a pleasure to work with Susan even then it was clear she had the potential to become an artist of international standing.

“In the same month that the city has been given the opportunity to showcase the Turner Prize in 2013 it reminds us all of the quality of work that is going on around us everyday.”

Philipsz was presented with this year’s Turner Prize at a ceremony in London earlier this week.

The Scot was the favourite to win the Turner, which was set up in 1984 to promote British art and carries a £25,000 prize

Previous winners of the Turner Prize include Damien Hirst. Rachel Whiteread. Douglas Gordon.

Philipsz winning work consists of a recording of the artist singing a 16th-century folk song, Lowlands Away, that mourns the death of a sailor at sea