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TOM MALONE PRIZE
What is it about the work of Australian glass artists that so
impresses the world? On the evidence presented in the ten years
of the Tom Malone Prize on show at the Art Gallery of Western
Australia, one of the key factors is clearly an innovative and
diverse approach to design and fabrication.
The acknowledged centres of excellence in Canberra,
Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth are run out of tertiary institutions
and arts organisations, and by individual practitioners who
support themselves in what is an excessively expensive and
technically difficult medium. They are all relatively small and in
many cases precariously poised on the brink of financial viability,
yet they are producing work the equal of the established centres
of Venice, Bohemia, Seattle and Scandinavia.
Perhaps it is our distance from those centres that breeds
independence and encourages experimentation. Certainly the
14 Malone finalists this year present a range of approaches that
spans a wide spectrum from traditional vessel forms to sculptural
works. Alexandra Chambers, Aseem Pereira, Ben Sewell, Brian
Corr, Christine Chlowea, Gerry King, Jason Sims, Jeremy Lepisto,
Jessica Loughlin, Kayo Yokoyama, Nick Mount, Tim Edwards,
Tom Moore and Tom Rowney reveal the materials inherent
qualities of light and strength.
Brian Corr was announced as the winner for his
extraordinarily beautiful and subtle work Ensō. Representing a
well-known facet of Australian glass, those objects formed in the
kiln and then sandblasted, his work traps light in a magical ways
and reveals itself with great subtlety and imminent drama.
In an extremely diverse and quixotic art market, glass is a
niche area where collectors can acquire works of great beauty by
internationally recognised Australian artists at reasonable prices.
It is an area worth considering when building a collection.
Ensõ, by Brian Corr.
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