Louis Pratt Wins $100,000 Mt Buller Sculpture Award

Louis Pratt Wins $100,000 Mt Buller Sculpture Award
Louis Pratt with his "Voyeur"
(Mt Bulla Sculpture Award)

Australian artist Louis Pratt’s beautiful sculpture “Voyeur” has been announced as the winner of the inaugural $100,000 acquisitive Mt Buller Sculpture Award.  Pratt’s sculpture will be permanently sited on the mountain, becoming the first piece in the Mt Buller Sculpture Park.

Chosen from 22 shortlisted works by distinguished art critic and curator Doug Hall AM, “Voyeur” is a steel and fibreglass sculpture of a ghostly male figure made using laser scan data, software, and 3D printing.

According to Award Judge Doug Hall AM, “Louis Pratt’s ‘Voyeur’ is subtle, elegant and far removed from being a monument. It sets the tone for what a sculpture park can be – innovative and arousing curiosity. The work is almost dream-like, an apparition made visible and permanent. It’s both understated and grand: and deceptive.

“As we encounter it, we realise that what first seems like a conventional three dimensional and vertical account of a figure is, in fact, a figure that has morphed into another state of physical being. It evokes a quiet mystery and, if sited, carefully will create a unique experience for visitors, establishing a vision for what is possible for a distinctive sculpture park,” said Mr. Hall

Speaking of his 2012 Wynne Prize entry “Whatever,” produced in the same manner as “Voyeur,” Pratt says “The work uses ‘organic data’. I use this term as opposed to ‘inorganic data’, which would be data produced solely inside software. ‘Organic data’ is taken from life and digitised by a scanning process. This process mirrors our contemporary practices of investing our living world into computer spaces such as Facebook.

“I manipulate the data with digital tools then prepare it for 3D thermal plastic printing. The many 3D pieces are assembled and hand finished,” Pratt explains.

Artistic advisor Jonah Jones, who developed the concept for the Award, said “The Mt Buller Sculpture Park was developed to attract more visitors to the winter ski resort in the summer months. The biennale acquisitive sculpture award will, over future years, populate the alpine landscape with large-scale and at times intriguing, at times monumental, sculptures from Australian and international artists.”

The newly established biennial $100,000 Mt Buller Sculpture Award is one of Australia’s top two most valuable arts prizes. The award is open to both Australian and International entries and over the next decade and beyond, will create Australia’s first mountain-top Sculpture Park, with the Award-winning sculptures exhibited in perpetuity in the spectacular surrounds of the Mt Buller alpine village. The survey exhibition of the 22 shortlisted works for the inaugural prize is on display on the mountain until 29 April. The $10,000 People’s Choice Award, sponsored by Foodworks will be announced on 24 April.