Tree Flower is a 4 metre high sculpture positioned at the front of the buildings at Brooks High School in Launceston.
The sculpture by Matt Calvert is made using his unique technique of broken toughened glass, arranged and grouted into position within an aluminium shape. When Brooks High School was based at the original Newnham site, a feature of the grounds was a large blue gum tree where staff and students would hold outdoor assemblies. It was a natural meeting spot. The gum nut and leaf is also featured in the school badge. Matt has used the gumnut to create his tree form sculpture.
“The form was created and has evolved from the inverted gumnut of the tree and used in various repeated ways to make up the flower-like top. The central section is a mirroring inwards of the outside shape as in the concentric growth rings in the tree itself…”
Matt Calvert is a widely collected Australian-based sculptor who works primarily with toughened glass, aluminium and corten steel. He graduated from the University of Tasmania with a Bachelor of Fine Art (first class honours) in 1993. He was awarded a Samstag Scholarship to Goldsmiths College, University of London, where he completed a Master of Art degree in 1994.
After residencies in Paris, Malaysia and Japan earlier in his career, Matt’s practice now focuses on small and large-scale public and private commissions that feature recycled, toughened glass, sometimes in conjunction with corten steel and aluminium.
Matt sources his glass from waste material, smashes it up in his studio in aptly-named Glaziers Bay in southern Tasmania, and reconfigures it using a cold fusion, flat mould lamination technique into playful, quirky forms of children and an iconic range of farmyard and exotic animals. When creating his work he often references illustrations from old picture books and ‘cookie cutter’ figures.
A regular finalist in major Australian sculpture awards over the past 15 years, he won the Montalto Sculpture Prize in 2015 for the work Pointing Girl. His work is held in public and private collections in Australia, Japan, Malaysia and the United States.