10. Martin Creed – Work No.227, 2000
Work No. 227: ‘The lights going on and off’ – in an empty gallery space – was Martin Creed’s controversial Turner Prize winning work that prompted typical outrage from the tabloids, and even some critics when it was first displayed at Tate Britain, with one artist even throwing eggs at the walls to register her disgust at the piece. Yet the Tate went on to buy the work, which consists of lights on a time switch flicking on and off every five seconds, for its permanent collection. Stating that the work was “arguably one of Martin Creed’s most famous works,” a spokeswoman for the Tate said. “It is widely considered to be his signature work, and is inseparably connected to Tate Britain.” It was bought with funds provided by Tate Members, the Art Fund and a private donor. At the time the Tate did not reveal how much the work had cost. But it had been valued as being worth about £110,000.