Tom Malone Prize 2020
Tom Malone Prize 2020
Glass is one of the most exciting and dynamic art forms in this country. It is a uniquely captivating medium, capable of almost endless transformation.
Glass provides a perfect vehicle for the exploration of a range of themes, from the personal to the observational, and Australian makers are some of the world leaders in the medium.
The Tom Malone Prize is a highly respected national event within the Australian glass arts community and it has played an integral role in the Gallery's acquisition of works by Australia's most inspiring, innovative and accomplished artists working in this art form.
The 2020 Prize features the work of Kate Baker (NSW), Clare Belfrage (SA), Peter Bowles (TAS), Lisa Cahill (ACT), Mel Douglas (ACT), Ben Edols and Kathy Elliott (NSW), Hannah Gason (ACT), David Hay (WA), Marc Leib (WA), Jeremy Lepisto (NSW), Jessica Loughlin (SA), Nick Mount (SA), Kirstie Rea (NSW), Jason Sims (SA) and Jarred Wright (QLD).
These fifteen shortlisted works demonstrate how our nation’s glass artists continue to invent and reinvent, to challenge themselves technically, and to find new frameworks to distil human experience in accessible and enlivening ways.
Mel Douglas for her work Tonal Value 2019.
As an acquisitive prize, each year’s winning entrant is awarded $15,000 and their work becomes a part of the State Art Collection where it joins works by previous winners.
Tonal Value was selected as the winning piece from a competitive short list of fifteen works by Australian artists including Kate Baker (NSW), Clare Belfrage (SA), Peter Bowles (TAS), Lisa Cahill (ACT), Mel Douglas (ACT), Ben Edols and Kathy Elliott (NSW), Hannah Gason (ACT), David Hay (WA), Marc Leib (WA), Jeremy Lepisto (NSW), Jessica Loughlin (SA), Nick Mount (SA), Kirstie Rea (NSW), Jason Sims (SA) and Jarred Wright (QLD).
This year’s judges were Warren Langley (Sydney-based artist who’s worked with glass and light for 35 years, has exhibited globally and has works held by museums and galleries locally and internationally, was recently awarded “Lifetime Achievement Award, Australian Society of Glass Artists”), Elizabeth Malone (Tom Malone Prize inaugurator and AGWA Foundation Governor) and Robert Cook (AGWA’s Curator of 20th Century Art).
About Mel Douglas’ winning piece, the Judges stated: “While acknowledging a truly stunning short list, we were unanimous in our decision to award the Prize to Mel Douglas for her five-part wall work, Tonal Value. A study in colour, form and transition, balance and counter-balance, it is both subtle and strangely energetic and animated. While a quiet work, it has an undeniable, even commanding, presence as each of the unit’s two overlapping forms modulate over the work’s length; moving from light to dark the work seems to shift into presence from absence, or from light to shadow. Tracing the dependencies and interactions of line and volume, it builds on Mel’s previous work in three-dimensional form, most especially her near pitch-black objects that seem to carve out sections from their surrounding space. Composed from a type of printing and kiln fusing with glass powder, Tonal Value also evidences her commitment to creative experimentation and evolution with the always challenging medium of glass."
About The Tom Malone Prize
An acquisitive prize, each year’s winning entrant is awarded $15,000 and their work becomes a part of the State Art Collection where it joins works by previous winners: Clare Belfrage, Gabriella Bisetto, Charles Butcher, Cobi Cockburn, Brian Corr, Mel Douglas, Mark Eliott, Deirdre Feeney, Kevin Gordon, Marc Leib, Jessica Loughlin, Tom Moore, Nick Mount and Benjamin Sewell.
Now in its 18th year, the Tom Malone Prize continues with the generous support of Ms Sheryl Grimwood, AGWA Foundation Benefactor.
Kate Baker is an Australian artist whose practice merges photo, print and digital media technologies with studio glass.
Before graduating from the Glass Workshop at the Australian National University School of Art in Canberra in 1999, Baker studied photography, printmaking and sculpture. Today, her practice seamlessly integrates these mediums, erasing the traditional divisions between them.
Baker locks ghostly, elusive and suggestive images into layers of glass, mirror, and also metal. Her themes are of a complex human environment layered with physical, psychological and emotional strata, inviting the viewer to consider the relationship between the self and one’s experience.
In 2017 Baker returned to the Australian National University as a full-time PhD Candidate to further develop her studio research in a critiqued setting. She was recently awarded the 2018 Hindmarsh Prize, which recognises excellence in the field of Contemporary Art made primarily from glass.
Baker’s work has been widely exhibited both nationally and internationally including at the Corning Museum of Glass, New York, the Toyama Museum of Glass, Japan, the Palm Springs Art Museum, California, the New Mexico Museum of Art, Santa Fe and the Glass Biennale, Venice, Italy. Both a finalist and winner of national and international art prizes, scholarships and grants, her artworks are featured in collections globally.
(Photo by Brenton McGeachie).
Inspired by experiences in the natural world for many years now, Clare Belfrage has forged an international reputation for her distinguished work with detailed and complex glass drawing on blown glass forms.
She has maintained a vibrant practice for thirty years. She has been an active part of artists’ communities particularly in Adelaide and Canberra, including the glass based studio blue pony, of which she is a founding member, the JamFactory Glass Studio in Adelaide and, Canberra Glassworks where she played the pivotal role of Creative Director from 2009 to 2013.
Clare has had a long involvement in education and has lectured in the glass programs at the University of South Australia, SA, and Ohio State University, USA and Curtin University, WA. She is currently an Adjunct Professor at the University of South Australia. She has also taught numerous workshops throughout Australia, New Zealand, Japan and the United States.
In addition to Australia, Clare regularly exhibits in North America, Europe, Hong Kong and New Zealand. Her work has been recognized for its innovation and originality and in 2005 and, 2011, she was awarded the Tom Malone Glass Prize by the Art Gallery of Western Australia. In 2016 she was awarded the inaugural FUSE Glass Prize for Australian and New Zealand glass. In 2018 Clare was the South Australian Living Artist Festival feature artist and subject of the festival’s annual monograph, Rhythms of Necessity, written by Kay Lawrence and Sera Waters.
Clare’s work is represented in major public collections including: National Gallery of Australia, Canberra, Corning Museum of Glass, USA, Museo do Vidro, Marinha Grande, Portugal, Tacoma Museum of Glass, USA, National Art Glass Collection, Wagga Wagga, ArtBank, NSW, Art Gallery of South Australia, Art Gallery of Western Australia, Museum and Art Gallery of Tasmania and Northern Territory Museum.
(Photo by Pippy Mount).
Peter Bowles received an MA from Curtin University and has lectured and taught at numerous institutions throughout the world including the Alberta College of Art and Design, Canada, The China Academy of Art, Hangzhou, China and BGC Glass Studio, Bangkok, Thailand.
He is a quiet maker and a passionate teacher whose work spans studio production, exhibition work, public art and a somewhat more private sculptural practice. He has garnered an international reputation for his technical mastery and inventive approach to the craft of object-making.
He has been a finalist in all the major Australian glass prizes including the Tom Malone Prize (this being the forth time), Ranamok Glass Prize, Juta Cuny Franz Award and the City of Hobart Art Prize for glass. He has served on numerous boards and peer review panels including the Dept of Cultural affairs, (WA), Ausglass, Arts Tasmania and has been a member of the Australia Council Visual Arts Board.
When not engaged overseas, he works from his studio Glass Manifesto with his partner Anne Clifton in Northern Tasmania.
(Photo by Peter Whyte Photography).
Lisa Cahill is known internationally for her kiln formed glass sculptures and installations including numerous public art commissions. After graduating from Monash University, Victoria in 2000 she has been an independent studio artist for 20 years having established glass studios in Melbourne, Sydney and now Canberra. Cahill has been awarded numerous grants, international residencies and was the Creative Glass Fellow for 2018-2019 at the Canberra Glassworks. She has been a regular finalist in the Ranamok, Tom Malone and Hindmarsh Glass Prizes and exhibits widely nationally and internationally. Her work can be found in Public Collections in Australia, the USA, Denmark and France. Most recently Cahill was commissioned to make new artworks for the Tiffany & Co Flagship stores in Sydney, Hong Kong and Shanghai and a Rising Sun cast glass sculpture for the Sir John Monash Centre, Australian National Memorial, Villers-Bretonneux, France.
Cahill’s glass installations create a discourse about the Australian landscape and her affinity with it, often entwined with her Danish heritage. Inspired by both the natural world and the transitory nature of the urban experience, Cahill’s dreamlike images invite viewers to draw associations with their own remembered landscapes, resulting in a meditative and emotional response. Having spent many years living and travelling the world, much of this time spent in Denmark, her mother’s homeland, Cahill’s kiln formed glass connects structures of urban architecture, the associations and memories they invoke, and her innate respect for the natural landscape. Rather than a direct reproduction they are more her own interpretation of light and landscape and become a place for quiet contemplation.
Douglas has worked as an independent studio artist since graduating from the Canberra School of Art, Australian National University in 2000. Since 2008 she has been a sessional lecturer and is currently a PhD Candidate in the Glass Workshop at the ANU. Both public institutions and private collections around the world including the Ebeltoft Museum of Glass, Denmark, National Gallery of Australia, Australia and the Corning Museum of Glass, New York, have collected Douglas’s work. She has received several major awards including the Ranamok Glass Prize in 2002, the International Young Glass Award in 2007 from Ebeltolft, the Tom Malone Prize 2014 and in 2019 her work was first targeted acquisition for the NGA’s Robert and Eugenie Bell Decorative Arts and Design Fund.
Originally from Victoria, Hannah Gason moved to Canberra to work as a cartographer. After an introduction to glass through a number of workshops, Hannah enrolled at the ANU School of Art and in 2015 graduated with a Bachelor of Visual Arts with Honours and was awarded a University Medal. Reflecting her interest in mapping, Hannah’s glass works explore depth, light and perspective. Through the use of kiln forming processes, Hannah creates works that explore the illusion of depth through the careful placement of glass tiles with their shifting tones. Her works play with repetition and fluidity to suggest rhythm and a constantly moving, changing surface.
Hannah has travelled widely as an artist and has been an artist in residence, teaching assistant and visiting artist at the Bullseye Glass Company, Berlin Glas, Corning Museum of Glass and North Lands Creative Glass in Scotland. Working from her studio at the Canberra Glassworks, Hannah has exhibited nationally and internationally, with work housed in the Australian Parliament House Art Collection, the Australian National Art Glass Collection and the ANU Art Collection.
(Photo by Sam Coopeer).
David Hay trained as a civil engineer having attended the University of Western Australia. He developed a love of travelling when he completed his degree and ended up taking residence in the UK. Whilst living in England he developed a love of antique glass and started to collect 18th C wine glasses. His fascinations lead him to learning more about the techniques of glass blowing with him completing a glass blowing diploma at Dudley College. He then spent several years working with one of the UK’s most experienced and talented glassblowers, Neil Wilkin. Having returned to Australia in 1998 David set upon exploring glass and the expression of the Australian landscape. He uses the Graal technique of overlaying many layers of colours, giving him a canvas to engrave and capture the essence of the unique Australian landscape. David is currently, and has been, a lecturer in glass design for 10 years at Edith Cowan University in Western Australia.
Marc Leib was born in South Africa in 1966. He developed an interest in glass as a hobby while working as a pharmacist, but glass soon became his passion and Art Glass Studio was born. Marc emigrated to Australia in 2002, settled in Perth and opened up another Art Glass Studio here. Although he enjoys teaching people how to work with glass, his Studio also attracts glass artists from around the world to run workshops and Master classes for local glass artists. Marc has been nominated for 6 Tom Malone Prizes, and won the Tom Malone Prize in 2017, and the CBS Dichroic Award in 2007. His work has been shown in numerous exhibitions and is currently exhibited in selected art galleries throughout Australia. Marc has completed many public and private commissions and has collaborated with other artists in completing several public works art projects.
Lepisto received his Bachelor of Fine Arts from Alfred University (in Alfred, New York USA) in 1997. He majored in Glass and Metals (with minors in Art History and Art Education).
After graduating, Lepisto made his way to Portland (Oregon, USA) and was hired to be the Production Manager Apprentice at the Bullseye Glass Company. This role allowed him to work in every facet of the Bullseye Factory’s glass production areas as well as with any visiting artists who came to work at the factory. In addition, he was also engaged to teach classes and research new glass chemistries and processes. This experience formed the basis of his glass kilnforming knowledge. In 2001 he left Bullseye and co-founded an independent studio.
The studio (Studio Ramp LLC) was a custom glass kilnforming fabrication studio that translated artists and architects designs into glass from concept to completion. The studio typically worked on 8-12 client projects at a time over its eight-year history. Beyond being a place where other artists' work was made it served as a stable platform from which Jeremy could engage with the wider creative community. For Lepisto this included exhibiting his work and lecturing internationally as well as serving on the Board of Directors for the Glass Art Society for over 7 years (with one year as Vice President and two years as their President).
After re-locating to Canberra, Lepisto established an independent glass studio in Queanbeyan (Jeremy Lepisto Projects). With this facility, Lepisto continues to construct works for other individuals as well as create his own work.
(Photo by Adam-McGrath).
Jessica Loughlin is known for her quiet understated approach to kiln formed glass. Her artworks prompt a mediative reverie influenced by her fascination with the beauty of emptiness. Loughlin has been practicing for over 20 years during which she has exhibited in numerous international and national exhibitions. Her work has been awarded the Fuse Glass Prize 2018, Tom Malone Art Prize in both 2004 and 2007 and the Ranamok prize in Australia Her work is part of major public collections around the world including National Gallery of Australia, Queensland Art Gallery, Corning Museum of Glass NY USA, Mobile Museum of Art AL, USA, MUDAC Lausanne, Switzerland and Victorian and Albert Museum, London UK.
(Photo by Rachel Harris).
Nick Mount is one of Australia’s most accomplished and celebrated studio glass artists. Approaching his fifth decade working in the field, he has been at the forefront of innovation and achievement since the early 1970s.
Mount’s earliest and most enduring influences include the US west coast glass scene and the traditions of the Venetians. Informed but not confined by tradition, Mount is known for his production, commission and exhibition work. Since the late 1990s the latter has comprised of an evolving series of sculptural assemblages. Ranging in scale and character, they describe an aesthetic that is both provocative and playful, intimate and spectacular.
Mount’s work is represented in major public and private collections and his reputation as a generous teacher, demonstrator and mentor sees him teaching regularly at glass centres around the world.
Kirstie Rea is a Canberra based artist with a studio practice embedded in contemporary glass. She established her studio after graduating from the Canberra School of Art in 1986 and has continued to develop her practice to become internationally recognised for her works in glass. She has exhibited nationally and internationally and her work is included in collections including the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, National Gallery of Australia, Wagga Wagga National Glass Art Collection and Alexander Tutsek-Stiftung Foundation in Munich, Germany.
Kirstie lectured in the Glass Workshop, Australian National University between 1987 -2003 and was the inaugural Creative Director at the Canberra Glassworks. She continues to teach workshops around the world. Her practice has been recognised by the Ausglass Honorary Life Membership Award (2009), the CAPO Fellow Award (2014) and the Canberra Glassworks Fellowship (2016).
At the core of her practice lies the desire to seek an understanding of our often tenuous connections to place. Walking in places beyond urban environments, seeking solitude and distance from the everyday, Rea uses her photography and writing to inform her making.
Jason Sims is a contemporary Australian artist who works in the realm of perceptual art. Utilising the properties of light and reflection, he creates simple illusions of space in the form of contemporary sculpture, large-scale installation and public art.
Since graduating with a Bachelor of Visual Arts (Honours) from the University of South Australia in 2006, Sims has exhibited across Australia and internationally in Hong Kong, the Netherlands, the UK and the USA. His work is held in public and private collections, including Artbank, the Art Gallery of Western Australia and Gippsland Art Gallery, and he is represented by commercial galleries in Melbourne, London, Amsterdam and San Diego.
In 2018, Sims had his first solo show in the US, and produced a large-scale installation for a major survey of Australian art at the Art Gallery of Ballarat. In 2019, he exhibited work at art fairs in Amsterdam, San Francisco and Sydney, and most recently Sims completed his second major public artwork in Adelaide.
Jarred Wright has been producing object art for over 25 years around the world and is currently working as a scientific glass blower in the chemistry, nano-technology and microbiology industry based In Brisbane, Australia.
He is influenced by the organic forms that arise in the imperceptible microcosm of nature and how the amorphous solid/fluid that is molten glass can accurately portray it.
Breathing life into the glass, pushing and pulling with subtle movements - creates shapes and forms that mimics microscopic organisms in a process that blurs creation and evolution, liquification and crystallization, animated movement of molten glass cooling to be frozen in time culminating in an amoebic small scale sculpture.
His work is an artistic and contemporary reinterpretation of the medium of glass, staying true to the material while exploring its ability to form three dimensional replications of the visceral design found in microbiology, science and nature.