Born in Yorkshire and raised in Glasgow, Martin Creed came to prominence in 2001 when he won the Turner prize with Work 227: The lights going on and off’. This controversial work involved the lights in an empty gallery being switched on and off at intervals, and is typical of the playful and understated nature of Creed’s work. His practice has been described as ‘a series of exercises in awareness,’ using commonplace materials and minimal intervention to draw to our attention things that we might otherwise overlook. Using materials as diverse as paper, music, air, light and text, experience is often key to understanding Creed’s work. He asserts that his art is ‘50% about what I make and 50% about what other people make of it.’
Founded in 1984, the Turner Prize is awarded annually to the ‘most outstanding contribution’ to British art that took place in the last year.