The German artist Ernst Gamperl has won the Loewe Craft Prize 2017.
His work “Tree of Life 2, 2016” was chosen the winner from among the 26 shortlisted works by a judging panel comprised of notable figures from the world of design, architecture, journalism and exhibition curatorship.
Extracted from a huge 300-year-old oak tree uprooted in a storm, this vast wooden container takes its design lines from the shapes, fissures and fractures of the original tree. While the painstaking engraving of the parallel filigree cracks evince the artist’s intervention on the surface, the treatment of the clay, soil and dust are combined with the wood’s natural tannins to give the objects a perfect organic finish. Riddled with natural imperfections, it pays eternal tribute to the history of the fallen tree.
The jury also awarded two special mentions: to the Japanese artist Yoshiaki Kojiro for “Structural Blue”, a glass bowl in an intense blue that transits the robustness of a ceramic piece produced in delicate glass; and to Artesanías Panikua of Mexico for “Tata Curiata”, a Purépecha representation of the Sun God made from interwoven wheat fibre strands. The piece, decorated with double motifs of stars and hummingbirds, also illustrates the connection between the crafts and the ancient farming techniques.