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Curtin Art Graduate Flying High Over Award

Media release

C153/08

Curtin University of Technology Art graduate Tom Mùller has been given a passport to greater success by being the WA winner of the inaugural Qantas Foundation Encouragement of Australian Contemporary Art Awards.

The Awards, which were open to young contemporary artists around Australia and were given to one winner from each state and territory, considers an artist’s entire body of work rather than a single piece.

The judges thought Tom Mùller’s portfolio, which included his World Passport and Liquid Empires was one of the most exciting submissions received.

WA Judge Alan Dodge, former Director of the Art Gallery of Western Australia, said it was very difficult to select a single winner from Western Australia as the standard was extremely high.

“Mr Mùller had an intelligent body of work and we were also impressed by how he proposed to use the prize money if he won,” Mr Dodge said,.

Winners each receive $20,000 cash and $10,000 worth of Qantas air travel and Mr Mùller plans to use his money to fund a documentary on airstrips – a passion he has for visual incisions in the land.

“I just love landscape, aerial perspective and the big picture,” Mr Mùller said.

“The prize money is fantastic because it will enable me to travel, something that is very important because much of my work is concerned with globalisation.

“In Airstrip, a site specific wall painting I created for Primavera, an exhibition at the NSW Museum of Contemporary Art, I plotted the international airport runways on a map of the world and criss-crossed them to represent a world unhindered by global boarders,” Mr Mùller said.

Curtin University’s Dean of Art Ted Snell said the Award was richly deserved.

“Mr Mùller‘s work is visually engaging and thought provoking. He challenges us to see the world from a different point of view, ” said Professor Snell.

Mr Mùller graduated from Curtin in 2000 with honours in visual arts and, as promising young contemporary artist, received a scholarship from the Galerie Düsseldorf.

He had his first show with Galerie Düsseldorf in 2002 and is still represented by them.He has exhibited in solo and group exhibitions in a number of top galleries around Australia, including the John Curtin Gallery, Museum of Contemporary Art in Sydney and, most recently, the Art Gallery of South Australia as part of the Adelaide Biennale of Australian Art 2008.

He has gained international recognition following exhibitions in Switzerland and Italy and has been the recipient of numerous awards and scholarships.

Mr Mùller work can viewed on www.tom-muller.com or www.galleriedusseldorf.com.au.

Modified: 22 May 2008