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Art Gallery of Western Australia announces winner of the Tom Malone Prize 2014
Mel Douglas, Camber 2013. Kiln formed, cold-worked and engraved, 34 x 63 x 5 cm. On loan for Tom Malone Exhibition, 2014.

PERTH.- The Art Gallery of Western Australia announced that the winner of the 2014 Tom Malone Prize for contemporary glass artists is Mel Douglas for the work Camber.

Now in its twelfth 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 and Tom Moore into the State Art Collection.

The Tom Malone Prize 2014 brings together many of Australia's best glass artists. Featuring the ten 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 Governor of the Art Gallery of Western Australia Foundation, Elizabeth Malone; Glass artist, David Hay; AGWA’s Director, Stefano Carboni; and AGWA’s Curator of Modern and Contemporary Photography and Design, Robert Cook.

This year’s short-list comprises ten artists from around the country: Andrew Baldwin (Canberra), Clare Belfrage (Adelaide), Mel Douglas (Canberra), Tim Edwards (Adelaide), Kevin Gordon (Perth), Jeremy Lepisto (Canberra), Nick Mount (Adelaide), Jasmine Targett (Melbourne), Tevita Havea (Sydney) and Jamie Worsley (Perth).

Mel Douglas comments about her winning work, “The simplicity of my work suggests stillness and silence, a meditation on the elements and concepts of light, space and time. I am interested in the space that surrounds an object, the space that holds and suspends. I am interested in how objects balance and sit in space, holding on to that last moment of silence and stillness before they spill over. I use the engraved lines of light to add to this tension, tilting the object off-centre. This sense of anticipation generates tension between the object and the surrounding space. I aim to concentrate the viewer’s attention on the proportion and linear relationships of the work. Each line is a unique mark defining a physical shape; it is a contour, a stroke and an outline.”

The judges’ commented, “We were truly blown away by Mel’s rich and deeply serious work. The attention to detail - surface etching, polishing and the overall shape - was stunning, with all elements coming together in a profoundly satisfying way. It appears to be the culmination of a very important trajectory for Douglas and is the perfect work to start her representation in the Collection.”

The Tom Malone Prize 2014 shortlisted works, including Camber, will be on display at AGWA until Monday 21 April 2014.

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