On Sunday 24th February 2019, the Mitchell family were joined by fellow judging panelists, artists and guests on a picture-perfect Red Hill day for the announcement of the 2019 Montalto Sculpture Prize: ‘Moonah' by Kylie Stillman.
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.
This year’s judges included John Mitchell (owner of Montalto), Peter Williams (architect behind Montalto’s iconic buildings, Williams Boag Architects), Phillip Doggett-Williams (artist and educator), Kelly Gelatly (Director of the Ian Potter Museum at the University of Melbourne) and Lisa Byrne (Director of McClelland Sculpture Park) who deliberated over a record number of entries from some spectacular Australian artists.
'Moonah' will join the previous prize winners as part of the Montalto permanent collection with the other 29 shortlisted sculptures staying on exhibition at Montalto for the next 6 months. While in situ, guests visiting Montalto can nominate their favourite sculpture for the People' Choice Award.
For more information about sculpture at Montalto website: https://montalto.com.au/sculpture