A pink hummingbird(1) battled with a weather-beaten(2) shed Monday for the Turner prize, one of the world's most contentious(3) art awards, but they face stiff competition from a pair of pallid(4) buttocks(5).
The quirky(6) nature of the Turner prize entries invariably draws scorn(7) from the critics, but up to 100,000 people flock to the Tate Britain museum every year to judge for themselves.
Simon Starling pitched for(8) the 25,000 pound prize this year with an electric bicycle he rode across a Spanish desert and "Shedboatshed" -- a shed he turned into a boat, floated down the Rhine(9) and then rebuilt as a shed again.
For those seeking enlightenment(10) as to what it all means, he explained that his works were "the physical manifestation(11) of my thought process."
Jim Lambie takes the shortlist(12) prize for the most lurid(13) exhibit -- garishly(14) painted bird ornaments(15) he found in a junk shop and laid out in a technicolor(16) room that looks like a psychedelic(17) trip from the Sixties.
The Turner offers Britain's scandal-hungry(18) tabloids(19) an annual opportunity to mock(20).
This year offers plenty of grist to the mill, but Tate Britain director Stephen Deuchar insisted British modern art was "in roaringly(21) good health.
"I think in the last five to six years people have become much less scared of contemporary art. This is one of the most engaging and accessible of Turner shortlists," he told Reuters.
"This is one of the few contemporary art shows that touches the public," he added, and few would dispute the Turner's ability to stir up(22) controversy.
In 1998, Chris Ofili won the Turner with a Virgin Mary figure made of elephant dung(23). In 1995 Damien Hirst won with a pickled(24) sheep.