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Last Updated: Wednesday, 8 October, 2003, 19:18 GMT 20:18 UK
Video art beats Lego to prize
Paul Rooney's Lights Go On
Winner Paul Rooney has used a karaoke-style duet in his work
A video installation inspired by "ordinary" jobs has eclipsed a Lego version of modern art to win the 10,000 "North's Turner Prize".

Judges of the Comme Ca Arts Prize 2003 presented the award to Liverpool artist Paul Rooney on Wednesday evening.

Manchester-based duo Cake and Neave had been tipped to win with their Little Artists installation, which parodies modern art and artists with the Lego people.

Mr Rooney's winning work was a three-minute DVD film entitled Flat 23: "Living Room, Main Bedroom and Second Bedroom", featuring three people talking simultaneously about each room, its decor and their lifestyles.

Mr Rooney, 36, from Walton, was unable to collect his prize as he is currently artist in residence at an art centre in Havana, Cuba.

In a video link he said: "I am really chuffed to get the award and would like to thank the people I have worked with or collaborated with over the years. Thank you."

Set up by Manchester's Comme Ca Gallery, the prize is to promote art in the north of England.

Comme Ca Arts Prize 2003
The Little Artists and Salvador Dali
The Little Artists (pictured) - Manchester duo Cake and Neave, who use Lego bricks to create scenes based on the modern art world were tipped to win
Also shortlisted were Matthew Houlding and David Mackintosh and Richard Talbot.

Jury chairman Stephen Snoddy said "the depth of quality and diverse nature" of artists in the north had been represented.

Comme Ca's director Claire Turner told BBC News Online the prize was set up as a way of boosting the profile of art in the north.

"It is harder for us to get coverage because we are not in London", she said.

"But there is a really strong arts scene, not just in the north-west, but in other cities as well.

"We just felt there was a lot of talented artists who were working or exhibiting in the north, and they weren't receiving the recognition they deserved."

The prize is open to all UK artists - the only condition being they must have exhibited in the north in the past three years.

The BBC's David Sillito
"Paul Rooney's work is based on the sights and sounds of everyday life"

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