Vipoo Srivilasa in his Cheltenham studio. Photographer Andrew Barcham

Vipoo Srivilasa in his Cheltenham studio.
Photographer Andrew Barcham

From the Melbourne Cup and the Brownlow Medal, to participation ribbons handed out at weekend athletics carnivals – Australia has a rich history of sporting awards.

The meaning behind trophies, and the feelings that they inspire, will form the basis of works created by the 2018 National Sports Museum Basil Sellers Creative Arts Fellowship recipient, Vipoo Srivilasa.

Fittingly entitled Trophy, Srivilasa’s fellowship project will engage with the National Sports Museum and Melbourne Cricket Club’s extensive collection of sporting trophies and awards, as well as promote public discussion and input through a series of interactive workshops held at the iconic Melbourne Cricket Ground.

Launched in 2009, the Creative Arts Fellowship program is designed to increase public appreciation and understanding of Australia’s sporting heritage through the arts. 

Fellows are selected from the shortlisted candidates for the Basil Sellers Art Prize, and are encouraged to create new artwork that responds to the rich fabric of Australia’s sporting culture.

Working predominately with ceramics, Thai-born, Melbourne-based Srivilasa’s emphasis on audience engagement and creating work that would encourage people to think differently about sport greatly impressed the Fellowship judges.

“We are excited that Vipoo’s project aims to spark a conversation with our visitors, and provide another viewpoint on how we might think about sport’s greatest prize: the trophy,” said National Sports Museum Curator, Jackie Fraser.

Through public workshops as well as online discussion, Srivilasa will encourage people to imagine a trophy that they would like to give their sporting fans or heroes. The stories and insights that emerge will inspire the creation of a unique collection of sculpture pieces.

Srivilasa is the fifth and final recipient of the fellowship, which is supported by philanthropist and sports fan Basil Sellers AM, through a financial contribution of $50,000.


Trophy Logo

 Trophy Logo designed by  Kelwin Wong

Trophy Logo designed by Kelwin Wong

The concept of the logo is derived from the action of giving someone an object as a physical representation of their appreciation for the things they do that make them feel loved. 

In ancient Greece, sporting events would present the winning athletes with prized Olive oil which they covered their bodies with. The oil was naturally held in a vessel such as a jug or cup. In later years, the design of the cup morphed into the chalice which we know today with two handles, but the idea has been for the handles to facilitate the easy passing of the object from one person to the other.

The designer, Kelwin Wong takes this idea further to consider the symbolism and qualities that we are familiar and associating with a trophy-- materials which are long lasting (such as metal), preciousness (gold/silver), a base which the trophy sits (the strong foundation), a sculptural element that carries meaning of achievement (a thump up) and a decoration element which represent the work of the 2018 National Sports Museum Basil Sellers Creative Arts Fellowship recipient, Vipoo Srivilasa.

Colours make their reference to the ideas of a trophy which is an award that comes from the heart and is a long-lasting and precious gesture. Gold, yellow and browns refer to the precious metal, pink makes reference to love and the cream ceramic colour makes reference to Vipoo who is a ceramics artist.