Recording of Scottish folk song scoops £25,000 Turner Prize

Susan Philipsz won the Turner Prize last night for her work Lowlands, a recording of her singing three separate versions of a traditional Scottish folk song.

It is the first time a sound installation has even been shortlisted for the the prestigious modern art prize.

Fashion designer Miuccia Prada presented the Glasgow-born artist with the 25,000 prize at ceremony at Tate Britain in central London.

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Philipsz was firm favourite to win the prize with bookmakers making her 4/11 to win.

She recorded three versions of the song Lowlands Away, which tells the tale of a man drowned at sea who returns to tell his lover of his death, for her installation which plays in an empty room in the gallery.

Curator Katherine Stout said it was a "very physical" work.

She said: "It plays upon the otherwise emptiness of the gallery."

Philipsz saw off competition from more traditional artists including Dexter Dalwood whose collection of politically-inspired paintings includes an imagining of the death of Dr David Kelly.

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Angela de la Cruz and The Otolith Group were the other artists in the running for the award. They will receive 5,000 each for being shortlisted.

The Turner Prize, which was set up in 1984, is awarded to a British artist under 50 and is "intended to promote public discussion of new developments in contemporary British art".

Susan Philipsz' work Lowlands will take pride of place in Tate Britain for now, but it was first performed beneath three bridges over the River Clyde in her native Glasgow.

The recording of a traditional Scottish lament features three separate versions of the song which are played over each other and echo off the walls of the gallery.

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It is the latest in a line of experiments with sound that have helped Philipsz, who now lives and works in Berlin, make a name for herself in the art world.

She is best known for recording herself singing versions of pop and folk songs which she has replayed in stairwells and supermarkets.

In Filter (1998), she played her own renditions of songs by Radiohead, Marianne Faithfull, Nirvana and the Velvet Underground through the public address system of a busy bus station, and in another work she sang through a PA system to unsuspecting shoppers at a branch of Tesco.

Themes of nostalgia, longing and escapism are recurring subjects in her work, which stimulate a heightened sense of spatial awareness, emotion and memory, the Tate says.