Michael Prior is an artist from Melbourne working with sound and sculpture.

He explores the kinetic and acoustic properties of materials and builds compositional relationships between sounds and objects in time. His practice is focused on drawing these elements into playful installations that create a sense of place and access diverse audiences.
Michael has exhibited and performed his works internationally. His art practice includes teaching from primary to tertiary level and he designs programs based on his artistic investigations. He is also an accomplished sound designer working for Victorian cultural institutions.

The project

The Creator’s Fund grant will provide a focused period of research to expand methods from my installation practice into the creation of long-term works in public space. In consultation with a creative engineer and landscape architect, I will develop techniques to create kinetic artworks that harness natural energies. These works create community spaces and make an ongoing contribution to the ecology of the environments they inhabit.

What does being awarded a Creators Fund grant mean to you?

I feel honoured to receive this support. Like most artists I’m always juggling commitments and switching gears with little time for reflection. As such it becomes difficult to plan for the future and find the time for research that will advance my thinking and practical skills. This grant means I will be able to focus on ideas that have been forming for years, with space and resources to develop new areas of practice and new working relationships.

How important is 'time' to you, as an artist/creative professional?

Time is the most valuable resource. Time allows me to think more deeply, to go further into my imagination, to collaborate, to experiment, to fail and try again.

What are you most looking forward to over the months ahead?

I am looking forward to the feeling of discovery and excited by the possibilities of what I can make and where this might take me. I’m looking forward to playing with new materials and broadening my knowledge through collaboration.

Where would like to see yourself at the end of this process? How do you anticipate your career will develop as a result?

At the end of this process I hope to have more sophisticated and proven techniques for building large-scale kinetic sculptures in public space. This will allow me to put myself forward for commissions for outdoor works. Here, my artworks can be in conversation with their environments and the communities that inhabit them. I hope this will allow my ideas to connect with more people than I’m able to with pure gallery practice.


Image: Joanna Anderson