4 March - 6 April 2015

The Art Gallery of Western Australia is delighted to announce that the winner of the 2015 Tom Malone Prize for contemporary glass artists is Cobi Cockburn for the work Close to white.

Cobi Cockburn Close to white
Cobi Cockburn
Close to white 2014. Coldworked fused, cane glass, 130 x 130 x 8 cm. Collection of the artist. Photo credit: Greg Piper.

Now in its thirteenth year, the Tom Malone Prize is a highly respected and eagerly anticipated event for contemporary Australian glass artists. This is reflected in the high quality of the prize winners and the competitive shortlists.

The Tom Malone Prize was established in 2003 as an annual event for Australian glass artists. An acquisitive prize, each year’s winning entry becomes a part of the State Art Collection. Since its inception, it has facilitated the entry of significant glass works by winners Nick Mount, Jessica Loughlin, Clare Belfrage, Benjamin Sewell, Kevin Gordon, Charles Butcher, Cobi Cockburn, Deirdre Feeney, Brian Corr, Tom Moore and Mel Douglas into the State Art Collection.

The Tom Malone Prize 2015 brings together many of Australia's best glass artists. Featuring the twelve artists short-listed for the annual acquisitive award, it includes vessels and large scale sculpture. With a diverse group of work on show, it is clear that glass is a medium of almost endless possibility. It is the perfect vehicle for the short-listed artists’ exploration of a range of themes, from the personal to the observational.

This year’s prize was judged by AGWA Foundation Benefactor, Elizabeth Malone; Director, Cultural Precinct, University of Western Australia, Professor Ted Snell; AGWA’s Director, Stefano Carboni; and AGWA’s Curator of International Art, Robert Cook.

Judges Comments

“we were immediately and unanimously impressed by Cockburn’s quietly sublime work. It pulls you right in close, creating an exceptionally intimate experience. Indeed, it is possible to lose yourself in the sumptuous threads of white that modulate across its surface. Such a work evidences Cockburn’s incredible mastery of her materials. Yet, while flawlessly made, it actually transcends its medium. It is so much more than a work in glass: it is a work of art of the highest calibre. And on this level, it truly shines. It is sophisticated, resonant and generous and we are sure will be a much loved work in the State Art Collection for years to come."

Cobi Cockburn comments on her winning work

"Utilising tones of white, I explored the inherent questions of illumination and purity raised by colour, and placed emphasis on the ability of line and pattern to alter perception and depth, spurring human emotion without the inherent confrontations of reality. It was a personally and professionally challenging concept and, accordingly, I am extremely moved by the honour and the acquisition.”

This year’s short-list comprises twelve artists from around the country

Clare Belfrage (SA), Joanna Bone (QLD), Charles Butcher (NSW), Cobi Cockburn (NSW), Matthew Curtis (NSW), Estelle Dean (WA), Wendy Fairclough (SA), David Hay (WA), Nadia Mercuri (VIC), Jason Sims (SA), Blanche Tilden (VIC) and Bethany Wheeler (VIC).


Exhibition catalogue

Tom Malone prize 2015 catalogue cover








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