Ultimate Winery Experiences Australia

Montalto Announces 2019 Sculpture Prize Winner

Congratulations to Kylie Stillman winner of the 2019 Montalto Sculpture Prize with her beautiful work 'Moonah'. The decision was made after much deliberation by Montalto's expert panel of judges, after reviewing a record number of entrants for this year’s prize. They had this to say about the winning work:

'Moonah by Kylie Stillman is an exemplary sculpture that conceptually explores the key formalist principles of object based sculpture whilst simultaneously referencing key contemporary themes of sustainability, materiality and location specificity.' - Lisa Byrne, Director of Mclelland Sculpture Park.

'In the sculpture of Kylie Stillman's ‘Moonah’ we are confronted with a significant symbol of contemporary times in both art and ‘real life’. Barely a day goes by without some reference in the internet ether and beyond to ‘walls’ as both hurdles to transcend or as barriers to keep someone or something out.' - Phillip Doggett-Williams.

'The winner offers 'soft monumentalism’ that fits well with other works in the collection in the monumental mode. I like the idea of a ‘relief sculpture’ set into a soft material as opposed to massive stone as it has been done for thousands of years in the history of art and architecture. In most cases the relief was not part of the message of the relief, rather a vehicle to support the message usually of honour, victory over enemies, aggrandisement of emperor or deity and so on.. This works shift this conventional and expected use of the form to reflection on the techniques of our built environment. In this case the material is part of the message.' - Peter Williams.

Moonah is a free-standing stack of hand-cut fence paling panels, an imposing work that continues Kylie’s use of working with everyday materials and follows her use of books and papers, to form the objects into which she carves.

These often enigmatic ‘blocks' have a presence in themselves, and in this case, the stack of panels form on one side a solid and impenetrable wall and on the other side reveal the negative form of a coastal moonah tree, a dramatic ‘tortured wind-formed’ silhouette familiar to the area.

In a style familiar to her practice, the form is removed from the block, and it is the resultant shadow lines and revealed textures that create the pretence of a tree, that is in fact, not there at all. This absence of the tree and the scale of the block of material is not accidental, it is a lyrical prompt for the viewer to reconsider the origins of the matter we use to assemble our constructed world.

'Moonah' will join the previous prize winners as part of the Montalto permanent collection, and the 29 other shortlisted sculptures will stay on exhibition at Montalto for the next 6 months. While they are here, guests may nominate their favourite sculpture for the People' Choice Award. Congratulations to all the hard-working sculptors who entered the prize, and to all who attended yesterday and made it a wonderful community celebration of sculpture.