FIRST PRIZE 2020
Song Cycle 2020 By Catherine Clover (VIC)
Artist Statement: These seemingly nonsense texts incorporate phonetic words used by naturalists to approximate a bird’s call or song. The Red Wattlebird’s scratchy raucous song is rendered for the horizontal billboard using the rhythm and metre of an early morning exchange. The complex song of the Common Starling includes a long dropping melodic note, ideal for the vertical billboard. Hopefully, viewers will find it irresistible to sound out the calls as they pass by. Both birds are common to Melbourne. The Woiwurrung word Yan-Guk (Red Wattlebird) is a translation by Wurundjeri Elder Aunty Gail Smith.
Bio: Catherine Clover’s multidisciplinary practice addresses communication through voice, language and the interplay between hearing/listening, seeing/reading. Her artworks take several forms including texts/scores, installations, sound walks, and performance, and have been regularly presented within Australia and internationally. Originally from London, Catherine teaches at Swinburne University, and holds a PhD (Fine Art) through RMIT University. Read More
FIRST PRIZE 2020
Peak Frequency 2020 By Daniel Kotsimbos (VIC)
Artist Statement: Peak Frequency is a data visualisation of sonic patterns recorded at Melbourne Square Crossing. Made from a site-specific audio recording, the artwork is essentially a spectrogram of the billboards’ location. The spectrogram on the ‘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 billboard. Peak Frequency is a hypnotic representation of a public space, encouraging critical awareness of the systematic and routine foundations of our public lives.
Bio: 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 widely, including White Night Melbourne. He has been awarded the Fiona Myer Graduate Prize 2019, and New School Art Prize (Next Wave) 2018.
City of the Future 2020 By Kent Morris (VIC)
Artist Statement: I envisage that Australian cities of the future will incorporate Indigenous knowledge, histories and ancestral stories in an immersion of time periods, past, present and future. A cultural utopia where interconnection provides diversity, safety and prosperity. Indigenous creation stories tell of magpies industriously and ingeniously working together for the betterment of all and singing to mark their achievement. Magpies (Australia’s favourite bird) and other native birds, are interwoven into Melbourne daily life. They are our ancestors, protectors and messengers. A city of the future awaits.
Bio: Kent Morris is an artist of Barkindji and Irish heritage living on Yaluk-ut Weelam Country. He holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Monash University and is a post-graduate of Victorian College of the Arts. His artworks have been widely exhibited and collected by major institutions. By reconstructing the built environment through a First Nations lens, Kent reveals the continuing presence of Aboriginal history, culture and knowledge in contemporary Australia, despite ongoing colonial interventions in the physical and political environments. Read More
Evolutionary Exuberance 2020 By Deborah Kelly (NSW)
Artist Statement: Evolutionary Exuberance is a pair of works in thrall to the gleaming treasure of life itself. A new composition with elements created over three years of research and accumulation, Exuberance seeks to enchant the viewer with a shimmering array of complex inter-species entanglement. As history narrows and the world warms, this artwork is a balm and a herald of recovery and resilience. Presenting a hybrid imaginary of teeming, dynamic life in the city and beyond, the assembled figures, their powers and possibilities hope to suggest glorious adventure, the natural world’s promise, resolute harmony, justice, diversity and dynamism.
Bio: Deborah Kelly is a Melbourne-born, Sydney-based artist whose works have been shown around Australia, and in the Biennales of Singapore, Sydney, Thessaloniki, TarraWarra and Venice. Her projects across media are concerned with lineages of representation, politics and history in public exchange, and practices of collectivity on small and large scale. Read More
Move In All Directions 2020 By Phi Do (VIC)
Artist Statement: The location of the billboards at the corner of Flinders and Elizabeth streets is the only diagonal crossing in Melbourne. I am captivated by the fluid movement of people as they break from the perpendicular lines of a city grid. The Escher-inspired, topsy-turvy world shows the limitless freedom of taking the unconventional path. Like a powerful queen on a chessboard or a weightless astronaut in space, I invite us all to move in all directions.
Bio: Phi Do is a multidisciplinary designer and illustrator. A graduate from Monash University (Bachelor of Design and Mechanical Engineering), he blends analytical thinking with art and creativity. A professional user experience (UX) designer, Phi also freelances for start-ups and nonprofits and creatively supports community festivals, including the 2018 Melbourne Queer Film Festival, and artist-in-residence, 2020 Pint of Science Australia Festival. He is passionate about crafting compositions that inspire joy and optimism. Read More
Hello Sign / Hey Sign 2020 By Magdalene Carmen (VIC)
Artist Statement: These works from my street sign series, inspired by the simplicity, power and universality of city street and construction signs (particularly those amber ones). Mobility, a plethora of visual media and micro messages mark the 21st century, its zeitgeist perhaps best summarised in the graspable beauty of the mobile phone with its apps, containing our whole lives. The series articulates that zeitgeist and celebrates the urban, and what is universally app-arent and accessible (& often taken for granted).
Bio: Magdalene Carmen is a designer-photographer / poet-performer. The urban in general, and Melbourne in particular, is a primary subject of interest. She likes finding the extraordinary in the everyday ‘ordinary’. Then there is the English language, her first love: words everywhere – in poetry, in music, in advertising. And pictures, sound and theatre imparting messages that inspire, provoke, cheer on, make sense of lives, and change them too.