Mount was unable to collect the $20,000 prize in person as he was attending the opening of his own exhibition, Hard + Soft Geometry, in Sydney.
“It was very overwhelming,” he says of the prize.
“I got a text message from my daughter saying I’d won. Luckily she was able to accept in on my behalf.”
Mount says the blown-glass sculpture, titled Wakefield and East: A Still Life, was inspired by his favourite part of Adelaide’s parklands.
“I love that corner,” he says. “It’s a fantasyland.
“The olive trees are old; their trunks look old. It’s a very eerie area and it’s even more beautiful at night.”
To Mount, the olive trees are also a daily reminder of South Australia’s heritage as a multicultural settlement.
“The olives are part of the cultural make-up of Adelaide – the trees are a physical reminder of the people that planted and harvested them,” he explains.
Mount began working with glass in the 1970s.
“Glass was intriguing, magical and mystical. It was really difficult to approach and be friendly with,” he says.
Prize money of $1000 was awarded to 10 Adelaide Park Lands Art Prize runners-up: Jennifer Ahrens, Peter Barnes, Alice Blanch, Sum Chow, John Foubister, Laima Guscia, John Lacey, Helen Sherrif, Laura Wills and Dan Withey.
This is the second in the biennial series of the prize and its associated exhibition, an initiative of the Adelaide Park Lands Preservation Association. It aims to encourage public awareness, support and interest in the Adelaide parklands.
All artwork at the exhibition is for sale and nine pieces have already been sold.
The exhibition is will run until May 28 at Artspace Gallery, Adelaide Festival Centre. The gallery is open Wednesday to Sunday, 11am to 4pm. You can view some of the finalists’ work here.
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