On the face of it they are wildly different: ecclesiastical architecture, a 1960s girl band performance and a terrible furniture store blaze that helped change UK fire laws. But Elizabeth Price's powerful fusion of the three elements to make a 20-minute film seemed to grip audiences and led to her being named winner of the 2012 Turner prize.
The Bradford-born artist was given the £25,000 award by the actor Jude Law at a champagne reception in London.
Although she had been shortlisted for a trio of films exhibited at the Baltic in Gateshead, it was one film, The Woolworths Choir of 1979, that was exhibited at this year's Turner show at Tate Britain and delighted most critics.
The Daily Telegraph's Richard Dorment called it a "visual tour-de-force" and "20 of the most exhilarating minutes I've ever spent in an art gallery".
Price was arguably the least well-known of the artists on the shortlist and, remarkably, only came to this type of immersive video work about four years ago.
She won in what was regarded by many critics as a particularly strong Turner prize year. While there was nothing to get your maiden aunt choking on her sherry – and even less to make you think "I could do that" – there was wackiness, not least in the shape of performance artist Spartacus Chetwynd, who lives in a nudist commune and whose followers have staged regular Jesus and Barabbas puppet shows.
Elsewhere, visitors did not need to look too closely at Paul Noble's painstakingly intricate pencil drawings to see a definite scatological motif. There were a lot of turds.
The fourth artist was Luke Fowler, who showed a 93-minute film about the Scottish psychiatrist RD Laing which was praised by Laing's son Adrian in a recent speech at London's ICA.
"It is an extraordinary insight into the development of my father's way of thinking," he said. "I think it's a great film."
Price's film dominated the Turner prize show in more ways than one because of its volume. Visitors can hear the clapping and singing from it throughout the galleries.
It takes as its theme the word choir and merges what is almost a PowerPoint presentation on ecclesiastical architecture with a wall-of-sound performance of Out in the Streets by the 1960s girl band, the Shangri-Las. It all builds up to a moving examination, using archive footage, of a fire which killed 10 people in 1979 and highlighted the huge dangers of foam fillings in furniture.
While the three elements seem wildly disparate, Price's merging of them has been much praised. The waving of a woman's hand from a Woolworths window resonates with the waving of the hands by the 60s performers. These in turn can be linked to the hand gestures of figures in the church.
The jury, chaired by Tate Britain director Penelope Curtis, said it "admired the seductive and immersive qualities" of Price's video trilogy, reflecting the ambition "that has characterised her work in recent years."
This year's prize has not been without its sadness. Michael Stanley, the highly regarded director of the public gallery Modern Art Oxford, was one of the judges who chose the shortlist but died aged 37 in September, apparently having taken his own life.
The remaining judges were Andrew Hunt, director of Focal Point Gallery in Southend; Heike Munder, director of Migros Museum für Gegenwartskunst (contemporary art) in Zurich; and Mark Sladen, director of Kunsthal Charlottenborg, Copenhagen.
The prize was announced at Tate Britain, the award's spiritual home, returning after its trip to the Baltic last year where it was attended by a record crowd – almost 150,000.
Next year, it travels once again to mark Derry's year as UK City of Culture, where it will be staged in a former military accommodation block in the Northern Ireland city.
The criteria for the prize are that it is awarded to a British artist – which encompasses artists working in the UK – aged under 50 for an outstanding exhibition or other presentation of their work in the preceding 12 months.
Former winners make up a who's who of British art: Gilbert & George, Anish Kapoor, Rachel Whiteread and Damien Hirst are among the biggest names to take the prize, while those who have been nominated but failed to win include Tracey Emin and the Chapman Brothers.
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