Gomboc's design shines



THE gaze of the Australian film industry was firmly fixed on Ron Gomboc last month when his gold plated bronze sculpture was selected to become an icon for film industry excellence. The AACTA award will be bestowed by the newly launched Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts, which was created by the Australian Film Institute and will replace the AFl Awards. AACTA’s primary role is to recognise, encourage, award and celebrate screen excellence in Australia, in particular through the Academy’s annual awards.
 Always a contender to win the design bid, the unassuming, Mr Gomboc has been modestly carving out international acclaim and award- winning sculptures in his Middle Swan studio for over 40 years. But last month, he impressed a selection panel of judges and beat other acclaimed artists in a rigorous selection process to create the statuette that will be presented at the first awards ceremony in January 2012. Mr Gomboc’s creation uses tiger iron ore as the base, which ensures each award will be unique. He is collaborating with local Swan Valley stone artist Richard Williamson, who is cutting and polishing the semi-precious stone for the bases. AACTA chief executive officer Damian Trewhella said Mr Gomboc’s statuette tells a uniquely Australianstory through its carefully considered design, deliberately chosen materials, iconography and symbolism. “The statuette sits on a solid base of individually cut and polished tiger iron, which captures not just the strength, but the incredible colours and raw nature of the Australian land,” he said. “The body of the statuette, representing effort and excellence in human endeavour, silhouettes the triumphal human form and captures the timelessness of the Southern Cross, a constellation that has provided a guiding light and cultural significance to Australians for millennia.

 “The statuette, and the story it tells, is something we want all Australians to be proud of as it becomes the Australian Academy’s international symbol of screen arts excellence.” The design’s glowing reviews are an acknowledgement of Mr Gomboc’s hard work over the past three months which involved negotiating on the design and delivering the work to budget. The bid also involved a process of elimination and many important Australian artists fell by the wayside as the final selection day approached. Finally in June Mr Gomboc flew to Sydney and Melbourne to present his design proposal to the AFI board members. “The AFI and everyone was excited about my design which made me feel good about all the work I had put into it over the past three months,” Mr Gomboc said. “The most exciting part , once I got the job, was creating the two prototypes and then creating the whole sculpture. “So when it was actually unveiled and presented on stage by Geoffrey Rush I sort of kept on thinking to myself ‘I did that.’ “But have this lesson in my life that you don’t get excited about something until it actually happens and it really hit me when I stood there with Geoffrey Rush! Reflecting back on the whole process Mr Gomboc said it was exciting in some ways but there were times when he thought ‘this is all too hard’. “Because you have to deal with so many people but I’m pleased with myself that I persevered with it,” he said. 
“But then again with anything that is worth while there has to be a certain amount of perseverance.” Currently Mr Gomboc is working around the clock with a raft of other commissions. His works can be viewed at Gomboc Gallery in Middle Swan.

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