12 Aug 2013

Glass work wins indigenous art prize

8:04 am on 12 August 2013

A blown-glass artwork has won this year's National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Award in Darwin.

Golden Brown Reeds Fish Trap by Jennie Kemarre Martiniello of Canberra beat 76 other finalists to win the $A40,000 prize.

The ABC reports the piece is made from hot blown glass and was inspired by traditional weaving.

Martiniello said she had had a tough year marred by illness: "This is an affirmation from the universe and the ancestors that, hey, keep doing this, you are doing the right thing," she said.

One of the judges, Destiny Deacon, said it is an unconventional piece for the prestigious major award.

"I feel like we're a bit naughty picking glass because everyone expects a painting to win," she said.

Other prize winners include Teho Ropeyarn, 24, who was recognised for his work telling the story of four Cape York clans, and Mavis Ngallametta of Queensland who won the Painting Award.

Other award winners were Malaluba Gumana for a bark painting and Rhonda Sharpe for her alien spirit sculptures.

The ABC reports the award is one of the richest and longest running Indigenous art prizes in the country.