Watermark Design is a unique Tasmanian arts practice that bridges studio craft, architecture and urban design.
Its two collaborators, Peter Battaglene and Fiona Tabart are based in Hobart and have over 30 years experience working as visual artists; Peter a potter and Fiona a printmaker/jeweler.
Invited to design the 2015 RACT Insurance Tasmanian Portraiture Prize, Watermark Design set out to design and create a prize that would reflect the dual nature of their practice, and would charm and connect with the major winner.
Casting a concrete cube as the foundation form gave us six faces to embellish. We have used sand-blasting and gold leaf gilding to play with a rhythmic pattern which flows around and across each face to create a piece that may be viewed and displayed in a number of ways.
We wanted to create a prize that was hand crafted, substantial (and no kidding, its really heavy!), and beautiful.
Forging a sense of worth.
Richard Martin is a man of metal. Whether it’s covered in rust or shiny and new, Richard has always felt most comfortable around a material that challenges him mentally and physically.
When asked to design a sculptural piece as the 2013 Tasmanian Portraiture Prize, it immediately felt appropriate to be creating a piece of art as an art prize.
The finished product says as much about its creator as it does about the prize.
Richard’s first priority was to produce something unique – a one-off that cannot be reproduced. He also wanted to create a sculptural portrait that invited interpretation from the beholder.
“There’s no head, no face,“ said Richard. “It’s up to the viewer to fill in the blanks.”
Lastly, he wanted the winning artist to grasp something that felt worthwhile.
“Energy goes into the creation of a portrait, as well as anticipation and hope. I wanted the winner to take away something substantial – with enough weight and strength to give a real sense of achievement.”