MADA’s Daniel von Sturmer wins prominent Melbourne Prize for Urban Sculpture

Photo: Daniel von Sturmer, Electric Light (facts/figures/federation square), 2017. Customised moving head profile light, custom programming.

MADA Senior Lecturer, Daniel von Sturmer, is this year’s winner of the coveted Melbourne Prize for Urban Sculpture, including the $60,000 prize which he collected at a gala event at Federation Square on 15 November.

Daniel’s work, Electric Light (facts/figures/federation square), uses light as a material to activate unnoticed features of the Federation Square 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.

His win marks the third time a MADA academic’s work has been celebrated with the Melbourne Prize. MADA Senior Lecturer Terri Bird, as part of the Open Spatial Workshop (OSW) collective, won the Prize in 2005, and MADA Senior Lecturer Tom Nicholson was a finalist in 2008.

Melbourne Lord Mayor Robert Doyle AC said the City of Melbourne took pride in its creative and inspiring artistic community.

“We are proud to support the annual Melbourne Prize which has made a significant contribution to our city’s rich cultural life through the recognition of artistic excellence,” the Lord Mayor said.

“In particular, I congratulate the winner and finalists for their entries in urban sculpture, a new category focussed on public art design concepts which are more relevant today than ever in the world’s most liveable city,” he said.

The Melbourne Prize for Urban Sculpture was judged by a panel of experts in the field of contemporary Australian art: Max Delany (Australian Centre for Contemporary Art), Pip Wallis (National Gallery of Victoria), Victoria Lynn (TarraWarra Museum of Art), Callum Morton (Monash University), Marie Sierra (UNSW Sydney), and Simone Slee (University of Melbourne).

The prize itself is generously supported by The Vera Moore Foundation, The Tallis Foundation and the Melbourne Prize Trust. An additional $4,000 artist fee awarded to each of the six finalists is generously supported by C H (Roger) Brookes.

The Melbourne Prize for Urban Sculpture 2017 has been awarded every three years since 2005, and focuses on the urban environment and the importance of sculpture, in all its forms, to inform public spaces and enrich public life. It is unique in that it enables entrants to submit either a completed artwork, or a proposal for an artwork.

Work from all of the Melbourne Prize finalists – including Daniel’s winning submission – can be viewed at Federation Square, Melbourne, 13—27 November 2017 and is illuminated nightly from 8.30pm.

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