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Turner Prize winner works on new space project at Rutherford lab
Turner prize winner Elizabeth Price, left, is artist in residence at the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory in Harwell. She is pictured with Dr Hugh Mortimer and Dr Alice Sharp, director of Invisible Dust
THIS year’s Turner prize winner is working with space scientists in Harwell to create new art.
Video artist Elizabeth Price scooped the prestigious £25,000 prize earlier this week with a film inspired by a fire in a Woolworths store in Manchester.
Her next project has more ambitious subject matter though, as she is collaborating with scientists who study planets and stars.
Ms Price is the first artist in residence at Harwell’s Rutherford Appleton Laboratory.
Planetary researcher Dr Hugh Mortimer has been based at Rutherford Appleton for five years and is helping Ms Price with the new work.
Ms Price, 46, said: “What we are looking at at the moment are telescope and satellite images of the sun.
“I am in the process of gathering them but I don’t quite know where it will go.
“I was never very good at science at school but Hugh is incredibly good at explaining things so I understand it.”
Ms Price, who started her residency earlier this year, expects to complete the artwork in about a year’s time.
Dr Mortimer said: “It is hugely exciting. We didn’t know much about her when she started. As far as we are concerned this has all been down to luck on our part.
“I have introduced her to different aspects of the work that we do here such as studying the way the sun affects the Earth and solar weather.
“She is looking at the environmental aspects but she hasn’t come up with a definitive project as yet.”
Ms Price visited the laboratory on Thursday to speak about her residency at the Appleton Space Conference.
The event was also attended by the Duke of York during his visit to the county and scientists from NASA.
Born in Bradford, Ms Price received a bachelor’s degree in fine art from Oxford University in 1988 before attending the Royal College of Art.
She has now returned to the university as a lecturer at the Ruskin School of Drawing and Fine Art in High Street.
It was announced on Monday that she had unexpectedly won the Turner Prize from a shortlist of three other artists. Ms Price said: “It is very strange to have won the Turner Prize. I was not prepared for it and it is difficult to absorb.
“But I am very pleased.
“It was a very strong shortlist and I have a great respect for the other artists who were on it.”
Ms Price’s award-winning installation will remain on show at the Tate in London until Sunday, January 6.
Colleagues at Ruskin praised her success.
John 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.”
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