The Tom Malone Prize 2011


The Art Gallery of Western Australia is delighted to announce that the winner of the 2011 Tom Malone Prize for contemporary glass artists is Clare Belfrage.

The Tom Malone Prize, now in its nineth year, is an acquisitive prize for contemporary Australian glass artists, with the winning work entering the State Art Collection. This year’s Prize was judged by benefactor of the Art Gallery of Western Australia Foundation, Elizabeth Malone; AGWA’s Curator of Modern and Contemporary Photography and Design, Robert Cook; and AGWA’s Director, Stefano Carboni. Over five days, the judges visited thirteen artists in Western Australia, New South Wales, ACT, Victoria, and South Australia.

About the Prize

The Tom Malone Prize was initiated in 2003 by Benefactor of the Foundation of the Art Gallery, Elizabeth Malone. The prize promotes the creation, appreciation and enjoyment of glass made in Australia. It is judged on a rotating basis. In alternate years works are sent to the Gallery and judged by a panel. In intervening years the judges make a series of studio visits to short-listed entrants. This combination of judging methods enhances the Gallery’s connections with the Australian glass community, ensuring strong links are maintained with those making the best work in this fascinating medium.


Short-listed Artists

This year’s shortlist includes:

  • Kevin Gordon (WA)
  • David Hay (WA)
  • Denise Pepper (WA)
  • Cobi Cockburn (NSW)
  • Jason Sims (NSW)
  • Mel Douglas (ACT)
  • Clare Belfrage (ACT)
  • Jeremy Lepisto (ACT)
  • Bethany Wheeler (VIC)
  • Jasmine Targett (VIC)
  • Nick Wirdnam (VIC)
  • Lisa Cahill (VIC)
  • Tom Moore (SA)

Clare Belfrage
Untitled (#291210) 2010
blown glass with cane drawing
36 x 50 x 9 cm
© Clare Belfrage 2010
Photo: Rob Little


The Winner

In describing Clare Belfrage's winning work the judges’ said:

“The winner of the Tom Malone Prize 2011 is Clare Belfrage. Her blown vessel Untitled (#291210) is a truly superb work of art. Though deliberately subtle (as are all of Belfrage’s best works), it was instantly captivating as we encountered it for the first time in the foyer of the Canberra Glassworks. We were immediately impressed by its scale, ambition and resonant beauty. It was clearly a masterpiece within Belfrage’s practice so far and, accordingly, a masterpiece of Australian contemporary glass. It speaks of a sensitive and finely nuanced response to Australian aquatic fauna through a savvy contemporary design sensibility. Its clear glass base, sophisticated fluid form and colouration, internal glass ‘drawing’ work and overall perfection of finish provide a breathtakingly exquisite combination. Indeed, it is a combination of qualities only possible from an artist at the very top of her form. We are so happy the Tom Malone Prize has the opportunity to reward such an achievement. It is a shimmering lively piece that will be a treasured work in the AGWA Collection for generations to come. Thank you Clare”.

Elizabeth Malone, Stefano Carboni, Robert Cook



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Last Reviewed: 18 March 2011

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