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Dec 14, 2020

Fivex Art Prize announces 2020 Winners

Australia’s first award dedicated to billboard art announces winners and launches inaugural exhibition taking over two large-scale billboards in the heart of Melbourne’s CBD

Melbourne, Australia: The Fivex Art Prize: Billboard Art Reimagined, Australia’s first award dedicated to digital billboard art, today announced Melbourne-based artists Catherine Clover and Daniel Kotsimbos as joint winners of the inaugural $30,000 Prize. The winners were announced by Melbourne’s Lord Mayor Sally Capp at a launch event for the Prize’s outdoor exhibition displaying all six finalist works on two prominent billboards opposite Flinders St Railway Station until 31 January 2021.

The 2020 Fivex Art Prize attracted over 520 entries from photographers, graphic designers, street artists, illustrators and architects from across Australia, each for two large-scale LED QMS Media billboards – a horizontal corner ‘wrap’ and a vertical ‘podium’ – prominently located at the corner of Flinders and Elizabeth Streets in Melbourne’s CBD. The winning and finalist works will be on view at intervals throughout the day, interspersed with, and surrounded by, commercial advertising content, surprising city-goers to re-engage and experience their built environment differently.

The Prize offers a Grand Prize of AU$30,000 as well as $1,000 for each of the shortlisted artists. The winners were chosen from a group of six emerging and established artists by a panel of judges from across the fields of art, media and advertising including:  Jane Devery, Curator, Contemporary Art, National Gallery of Victoria, Liss Fenwick, Public Art Project Lead, Melbourne City Council; Gary Deirmendjian, Artist; Charmaine Moldrich, CEO, Outdoor Media Association, and Alessio Cavallaro, Creative Producer, Fivex Art Prize, and media art curator.

2020 Prize Judge and Fivex Art Prize producer Alessio Cavallaro commented on the winning works: “Catherine Clover and Daniel Kotsimbos have created conceptually rigorous yet contrasting works. Both ambiguous and ironic, their works present striking visualisations of Melbourne’s sonic environment. While Song Cycle humorously transposes bird songs into human phonetic speech-text patterns, Peak Frequency digitally renders the increasingly opaque multi-layers of our complex acoustic urban space into a dense visual tableau.“

Catherine Clover’s Song Cycle is centred on the phonetic words used by bird field guides to approximate the bird songs of the Indigenous Red Wattlebird and the introduced Common Starling, both local to Melbourne’s CBD. The Red Wattlebird’s scratchy raucous song is rendered for the horizontal ‘wrap’ billboard using the rhythm and metre of an early morning exchange, which includes two slightly varied groups of three notes, repeated. The complex song of the Common Starling, which includes a long dropping melodic note fills the vertical ‘podium’ billboard.

Daniel KotsimbosPeak Frequency presents a visualisation of the sonic patterns recorded at Melbourne Square Crossing to reflect on the public space and routine foundations of our public lives. Made from a site-specific audio recording, the artwork is a spectrogram of the billboards’ location. The spectrogram on the horizontal ‘wrap’ billboard shows time represented horizontally on the x-axis, and sonic frequency on the vertical y-axis. A colour key indicating decibel intensity is shown on the vertical ‘podium’ billboard.

“The Fivex Art Prize: Billboard Art Reimagined is an innovative addition to our city’s rich creative heritage,” the Lord Mayor Sally Capp said. “Showcasing the best digital art from across the country on a prominent CBD billboard is another reason to come into the city to enjoy what’s on offer. I’m very proud that two Melburnians, Catherine Clover and Daniel Kotsimbos, have jointly won the inaugural prize.”

The Fivex Art Prize, sponsored by Australia’s leading premium digital billboard company, QMS Media, has been established for creative individuals of all disciplines to reimagine the dynamic relationship between art and visually mediated street culture. QMS Media Group CEO Barclay Nettlefold, added: “The FIvex Prize is unique is a significant new art award that promotes new forms of bold, memorable street art for today’s digital age. Both of the winning works push the boundaries of what we expect from street art and billboards alike and QMS is proud to showcase their work on such a powerful digital canvas, right in the heart of Melbourne.”

All of the finalists’ works will be individually exhibited daily, interspersed among commercial advertising content, until 31 January 2021. The works will also be presented collectively, in one-hour group screenings without advertising, at 12pm–1pm on Saturday 19 and Sunday 20 December (and similar weekend schedule thereafter until the end of the exhibition).

Presented in conjunction with the finalist exhibition is The Fivex Foundation’s first major art commission, a new artwork by acclaimed Australian artist Gary Deirmendjian. Titled pulse, the work is a rhythmically beating colour field of light emanating from the Digital Facade in Melbourne’s iconic Federation Square for several hours most evenings until 31 January 2021. The work offers a tangible expression of the city’s strengthening heartbeat after prolonged COVID lockdown, filling the public space with gentle pulsing light that spills out through the perforated facades and reflects on passers by and the surrounding buildings.

For more information please see: https://www.fivexartprize.com.au/

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Key dates & details:

  • First prize AU$30,000; awarded AU$15,000 each to joint-winners Catherine Clover and Daniel Kotsimbos
  • Other finalists awarded AU$1,000 each
  • Artworks presented on the QMS Media digital billboards from 14 December 2020 – 31 January 2021

MEDIA CONTACT: To request interviews, artist statements, imagery and information in relation to the Prize, please contact Articulate: Megan Bentley, megan@articulatepr.com.au, 0452 214 611 or Sasha Haughan, sasha@articulatepr.com.au, 0405 006 035

IMAGES: Download Here

Top image (L to R): Installation view Catherine Clover, Song Cycle. Courtesy QMS Media; and Installation view Daniel Kotsimbos, Peak Frequency. Courtesy QMS Media.

ABOUT THE FIVEX FOUNDATION

The Fivex Foundation is a philanthropic enterprise dedicated to initiating and supporting a range of community and cultural programs..

ABOUT CATHERINE CLOVER

Catherine Clover’s multidisciplinary practice addresses communication through voice, language and the interplay between hearing/listening, seeing/reading. Using field recording, digital imaging and the spoken/written word she explores an expanded approach to language within and across species through a framework of everyday experience. With listening as a key focus and the complexity of the urban as a shared sonic space, the artworks prompt transmission and reception through the fluidity, instability and mobility of voicing and languaging. The artworks are social in nature and frequently involve collaboration and participation with other artists and with audiences. They take several forms including texts/scores, sound, installations, sound walks, performance, readings, external public artworks. Brought up in London, UK, Catherine studied at Wimbledon School of Art and East London University, and arrived in Melbourne as visiting artist through Gertrude Contemporary in the 1990s. Her work has been exhibited and performed regularly within Australia and internationally since the 1990s. She teaches at Swinburne University, Melbourne (MA Writing), and holds a practice led PhD (Fine Art) through RMIT University, Melbourne.

ABOUT DANIEL KOTSIMBOS

Daniel Kotsimbos’ work distils and recasts information using new media technologies, open-source materials and found artefacts. His practice explores a transitory media culture, investigating an existence within, between and across an ever-expanding digital terrain. Daniel has exhibited at Sutton Gallery, No Vacancy Gallery, Margaret Lawrence Gallery, Melbourne’s Living Museum of the West, and White Night Melbourne. He has been awarded the Fiona Myer Graduate Prize 2019, New School Art Prize (Next Wave) 2018, and was shortlisted for the Majlis Prize 2018.

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