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Glass Art Exhibition Reaching New Heights

Oliver Skelton, Reporter

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A Luminous Celebration: The Tom Malone Prize 2017 is currently celebrating its 15th year. The exhibition, which will showcase a range of of contemporary glass artists will be held at the Perth Art Exhibition.

Within the exhibition is the prestigious Tom Malone Prize, won this year by Marc Leib from Perth, for his work Inner core.

Past winners of the event have gone on to achieve further critical acclaim. 2014 winner Tom Moore, received recognition for his art piece Planktonic self, which has been described as a combination of “hybridity and mutation”. The piece has been on display in North Terrace, Adelaide for over two years now.

The nine other artists in this years exhibition are: Jamie Worsley, Kevin Gordon, Blanche Tilden, Lisa Cahill, Brenden Scott French, Richard Whiteley, Tom Moore, Silvana Ferrario and Jenni Kamarre Martiniello, with the exhibition also including works from past winners of the Prize.

Curator Robert Cook from Art Gallery WA told WA Museum Glass art is one of the most cherished art styles in Australia.

“Glass is one of the most exciting and dynamic art forms in this country,” said Mr Cook.

“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.”

Cook speaks of the art on display as being subtle yet powerful,

“There’s a real sense of quietness with many of the works here,” he said.

“The idea of glass work having to be flashy has shifted. As too, has the idea of craft versus art and whether something is a sculpture, painting or glass work.

“All these artists are challenging notions that there is a difference, where perhaps there isn’t.”

The art exhibit has inspired many young Australian artists to follow in the footsteps of those partaking in the event.

Tom Malone was a prominent English artist between the 50s and early 60s, with pieces today displayed at the Salford Museums and Art Gallery. Elizabeth Malone founded and continues to oversee the exhibition in recognition to her late husband’s work.

Montana Pearce, a high school graduate, recently had her art piece featured in the Year 12 Perspectives Art Exhibition. Her piece used a glass of the forefront matched with acrylic swirls.

“My piece focused on personal identity and the layers that make up one’s sense of self,” she said.

Montana told ECU Daily that she values glass art being recognised in Perth,

“It gives me a bit of confidence about pursuing art as a career,” she said.

“The fact that we have events like these that showcase exactly what I want to do is important.”

The exhibition is on at the Art Gallery of WA until 25 June.

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Glass Art Exhibition Reaching New Heights