The $60,000 ‘Melbourne Prize for Urban Sculpture 2017’ has been awarded to Melbourne-based sculptor Daniel von Sturmer for his work Electric Light (facts/figures/Federation Square) (2017) – a light-based installation made in direct response to the architecture and landscaping of Federation Square and visible nightly from 8.30pm.
Electric Light uses light as a material to activate unnoticed features of the built environment that inform and direct our experience. Simple geometric figures are animated across the site, aligning themselves with hidden architectural structures, civic utilities and landscaped plantings. Usually unnoticed in the field of activity the square is known for, these forms suggest another mode of engagement with the city space, a mode of attending to what is there and why. Drawing attention to these ever present yet unremarkable elements of city life, the work renders the space as a stage and these humble characters the protagonists in an unfolding narrative. Humour, surprise, curiosity and interaction are key components of the work, instilling a sense of engagement and play with the passers-by-come-audience.
The judging panel praised this year’s finalists;
Other award recipients include Emma Anna, winner of the new $10,000 ‘Public Artwork Design Concept Award 2017 Crafting a City of Literature’ for her design concept The Elocwean Rainbow (2017), which draws inspiration from Melbourne’s history, and in line with the award, celebrates Melbourne’s designation as a UNESCO City of Literature. Finalists include Emma Anna, Catherine Clover, Sue Buchanan & Eli Giannini, Matthew Harding and Louise Lavarack.
Bridie Lunney was the recipient of ‘Professional Development Award 2017’ for her work Fold (2017). The award consisted of $10,000 cash supported by the Melbourne Prize Trust, a $2,500 Qantas voucher credit and a professional practice residency at the Norma Redpath Studio in Carlton. Muckleford-based sculptor, Fayen d’ Evie was the recipient of the $40,000 ‘Rural & Regional Development Award 2017’.
A $4,000 Civic Choice Award 2017, supported by the Melbourne Prize Trust, will be awarded to one finalist across all award categories with the most public votes for their featured work. The public can cast their votes online at www.melbourneprize.org