SHOCKED: Agnes Water artist Tobias De Maine who was
SHOCKED: Agnes Water artist Tobias De Maine who was "blown away” when he won the Bayton Award for his winning piece Death and Devotion: urn with bowl. Rockhampton Art Gallery

Science meets nature in artworks by award winner

NATURAL products hand-picked by the artist and then scientifically calculated to work together led to the Bayton Award winning piece.

Agnes Water artist Tobias De Maine digs up his own clay for his ceramic work and collects other materials from the natural environment.

Then he uses science to work out how best to use the materials together to create artworks.

His award winning piece, Death and Devotion: urn with bowl, used materials he collected from across Central Queensland.

Tobias at work.
Tobias at work. Facebook

It was his technique of using natural materials, traditional methods to create the piece (a kiln that took three days to com- pletely fire the piece) and its aesthetic appeal is what led the judges to unanimously agree it was the best of the 34 finalist pieces, according to Rockhampton Art Gallery Philanthropy Board chair Dr Leonie Gray.

"The assessment was taken on the aesthetic qualities and resolution of the work. On the supporting written documentation submitted. And on the practice underpinning what the artist used to perform the work,” she said.

"The winning work is conceptually quite interesting in that it possesses a beautifully quiet aesthetic countered by an equally robust strength.

"There is an intriguing process in the way the piece has been made with its traditional and contemporary applications of knowledge and skill.”

She said the finalists works have been grouped into like works with notions of narrative, landscape, portraiture, naturalism and conceptual art.

”Our curator Alexandra Nitschke has done this to provide an additional layer of interpretation to which the works can be read beyond their just purely aesthetic value,” Dr Gray said.

Tobias was shocked when it was announced that he had won.

”Yeah, I'm a bit blown away by that,” he told the audience at the gallery.

He said he is a second generation potter and over the last 24 months since his father died, he had focused more on his art practice.

Tobias said the piece was about his father, death, and how humans perceive life and death and how different cultures react to the death of individuals.

Keep an eye on The Morning Bulletin for a full profile story on Tobias later in the week.



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