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In describing his work Robert Hague said that the lump-hammer represented in his piece is a tool familiar to many sculptors. It was used to carve the marble of the Parthenon and then again to deface it. Often used as a symbol of honest labour, it is the quintessential tool.
The work references the modern day obsession with productivity, in that it has double the strikes of a regular hammer, yet is useless in practical terms. The delicate gold patterning refers to the practice of early settlers who decorated their most cherished tools as a mark of possession and identity, yet it also renders the hammer ineffectual for fear of damaging the patterns and the gilded detail.
The work was selected by a judging panel comprising Ken Scarlett OAM (curator and writer on Australian sculpture), Geoffrey Edwards (Geelong Gallery) and Leanne Willis (Deakin University).
In selecting Robert's work as the winner, the judges noted that it's clarity of construction and superb finish. The work fulfills its intended purpose of a humorous and ironic view of the familiar obsession with productivity, often gained at the expense of logic or practicality. It is well resolved as a small sculpture in its own right and adds something new to the current dialogue in contemporary sculpture.
The 2010 award was sponsored by Ticketmaster and organised by Deakin University's Art Collection and Galleries Unit.