UWS Sculpture Award 2008
Mongrel Country (Nil Tenure)
Amanda Sturt (2007/2008), steel, found object, associated with farms (fencing, bones and scrap metal) and cast elements, textiles, bitumen, 80 cm x 150 cm x 30cm, comprised of 13 pieces. Awarded Highly Commended. Photographer Sally Tsoutas. Image reproduced courtesy of the artist.
Mathew Harding (2007), stainless steel, 220 cm x 220 cm x 220 cm. Photographer Sally Tsoutas. Image reproduced courtesy of the artist.
Brancusi's Nest (in water), Is It Our Turn Yet? and Three
Gary Deirmenjian (2008), treated timber, acrylic primer and paint, 284 cm x 132 cm x 132 cm. Is It Our Turn Yet?, Col Henry (2008), colcast and pure glass, 200 cm x 400 cm x 600 cm, Awarded 2008 People's Choice Award. Three, Akira Kamada (2008),timber, metail and paint, 70 cm x 250 cm x 280 cm. Photographer Sally Tsoutas. Images reproduced courtesy of artist.
Rick Clise (2006), welded and painted steel, 150 cm x 150 cm x 50cm. Photographer Sally Tsoutas. Reproduced courtesy of artist.
Nature's Balance and Transit of Venus
Nature's Balance, Ron Gomboc (left) (2007), marine grade 4mm aluminum anodised and two pack paint, 316 cm x 114 cm x 80 cm.Transit of Venus, Tim Wetherell (right) (2008), steel and brass, 185 cm x 70 cm x 80 cm. Photographer Sally Tsoutas. Images reproduced courtesy of artists.
Rae Bolotin (2007), stainless steel, baked enamel, 180 cm x 160 cm x 140 cm. Photographer Sally Tsoutas. Reproduced courtesy of artist.
Cassandra Hard Lawrie (2008), timber, MDF, epoxy resin, pigment and found objects, 150 cm x 65 cm x 50 cm. Photographer Sally Tsoutas. Image reproduced courtesy of artist.
The Bush Ranger
Campbell Robertson - Swann (2008), stainless steel, mild steel, 220 cm x 220 cm x 70 cm. Photographer Sally Tsoutas. Reproduced courtesy of artist.
Akira Kamada (2008), timber, metal and paint, 70 cm x 250 cm x 280 cm. Photographer Sally Tsoutas. Reproduced courtesy of artist.
Marcus Tatton (artist in photo) (2008), steel, welded and naturally weathered, 180 cm x 5000 cm x 5000 cm. Awarded Winner of the 2008 Landcom Acquisitive Sculpture Award. Photographer Sally Tsoutas. Reproduced courtesy of artist.
'Gertie' the Goanna
Des McKenna (2008), river red gum, Du Pont "Corian" and rubber. Photographer Sally Tsoutas. Image reproduced courtesy of artist.
Dynamic Supermarketism Animadversion Composition Number 2
Charlie Trivers (2008), painted steel, 250 cm x 180 cm x 180 cm. Photographer Sally Tsoutas. Image reproduced courtesy of artist.
A Congaline of Suckholes
Kerry Cannon (2006), bronze, steel and paint, 50 cm x 60 cm x 30 cm. Photographer Sally Tsoutas. Image reproduced courtesy of artist.
Michael Snape (2007), Painted Steel, 237 cm x 170 cm x 140 cm. Photographer Sally Tsoutas. Reproduced courtesy of artist.
Life Turning 1(One)
Nigel Harrison (2007), Stainless steel, timber and water, 160 cm x 240 cmx 240 cm. Photographer Sally Tsoutas. Image reproduced courtesy of artist.
Birds of a Feather
Jon Eiseman (2007), bronze and steel, 180 cm x 52 cm x 35 cm. Photographer Sally Tsoutas. Repoduced courtesy of the artist.
Michael Sibel (2008), bronze, timber, stainless steel and mild steel, 280 cm x 350 cm x 180 cm. Awarded 2008 UWS Acquisitive Sculpture Award. Photographer Sally Tsoutas. Reproduced courtesy of artist.
Coming to Water
Clara Hali (2008), bronze, 55 cm x 110 cm x 55 cm. Photographer Sally Tsoutas. Reproduced courtesy of the artist.
Think Outside the Square
Rudi Jass (2008), stainless steel and corten steel, 240 cm x 140 cm x 60 cm. Photographer Sally Tsoutas. Image reproduced courtesy of artist.
Louisa Dawson (2008), aluminium and garden hose, 180 cm x 180 cm x 180 cm, weight 80Kg. Photography by Sally Tsoutas and image reproduced courtesy of the artist.
- UWS Campbelltown Campus (View Map)
- 2 May - 1 Jun 2008
For an invitation to the exhibition, please see UWS Sculpture Award 2008 Invitation (PDF, 2.23 MB)
The prominent position of sculpture within the grounds of universities was established in the nineteenth century with traditional commemorative figure sculptures placed within halls, corridors and courtyards and decorative additions made to large buildings, but throughout the twentieth century, with the rise of campus type universities, architects, designers and university administrators have installed contemporary sculpture to decorate their foyers, walls and open spaces. The placement of contemporary sculpture on campus lawns is an idea originally from the US but which has been used to great effect throughout Australia.
The long term UWS project of exhibiting some twenty works around its Campbelltown campus, for a month every two years, and then selecting one to stay, is a visionary one. It enables large scale sculpture to be seen as it has always meant to be seen: as objects that one has to negotiate physically, as it shares the space with us and loses the preciousness and distance it can have in gallery environments. The increased reputation of the UWS prize has seen many artists plan singularly architectural or monumental works that can take their place alongside the previous winners, Michael Le Grand and Grant Calvin and enabled them to envisage their work’s life outside of the studio. All of the artists have an eye to create a permanent object which will age gracefully and add to the changing moods of the landscape and not have its impact diminish as the surrounding trees grow.
Three figurative works reflect the environments appropriate to their activities. Clara Hali’s restful crouching figure Coming to Water blends with the dominating lakes and evokes thoughts of thirst: the environmental message is subtle and effective. Col Henry’s Is it our turn yet? , a group of eleven colcast and glass figures playing cricket, suggests a group pastime for the grounds and its liveliness and familiarity engages viewers. It is the most immediately interactive work in the exhibition. Phyllis Koshland’s acrobatic troupe – Launch - is a playful and stylized take on group cooperation, with effort and support as necessary elements.
Evocative expressions of the human condition can be seen in Kerry Cannon’s A Congaline’s of Suckholes which manipulates figures into grotesque creatures for comic political purposes, reminding us of the previous local member’s colourful vocabulary, and in Jon Eiseman’s Birds of a Feather, a symbolic exploration of human vulnerability, with a large hand supporting two watchful birds and a bird/ human figure.
The animal works, Des McKenna’s “Gerties” the Goanna and Mongrel Country (Nil Tenure) by Amanda Stuart play with the forms and symbolism of Australian indigenous and feral animals. “Gertie” the Goanna intrigues because of its scale and colour; Stuart’s work explores hybrid type animals that are a result of human intervention in the environment. Both are at home roaming freely in this landscape, ironically near suburbia.
Works that use the lakes as an inspiration have referred to the theme of water in individual ways and created works that please aesthetically, as well as refer to our contemporary interests. These include Ron Gomboc ‘s Nature’s Balance III, a stylistic version of a whale tail, slick and seductive in its sweep and patina, its topicality imbuing it with an added disturbing sense and Janet Coyne’s Mindscape, an organic form that appears to float on the lake’s surface, emulating the illusionism created by the lake itself which is only one metre deep. Louise Dawson highlights the topical issue of water consumption in her tree like Water Sculpture, a conglomeration of garden hoses; and Cassandra Hard Lawrie refers to the mysteries of water life with her sea shells and mammals in Origins (5). Rae Bolotin’s Peeled World, stands alone as a monumental piece reworking an organic form. This clever red enamel and reflective stainless steel apple peel is at once dramatic and playful and gives permanence to an everyday perishable natural form.
Sculptures exploring architectural and monument forms proclaim themselves as man-made, designed forms, coexisting with the natural world and not attempting to imitate it. Three works are large scale representations of their artists’ feelings about mortality and relate to eternal questions of the meanings of life. Nano by Matthew Harding explores the influence on nano science of the growth patterns of living organisms and on our self perception with a stainless steel globe; Nigel Harrison’s Life Turning 1 (one) is an abstracted heart form of stainless steel, expressing his personal fear of mortality; and Michael Sibel has reworked the Medieval Wheel of Fortune with animals, with Carousel.
Tim Wetherell’s Transit of Venus places the models of the sun and Venus on a stylized stand. Its double reference is of course to the astronomical phenomenon and its importance to the founding of eastern Australia. Charlie Trivers places a snake, representing consumerism onto a “cardboard carton” plinth to comment upon the place of consumption in our society in Dynamic Supermarketism Animadversion Composition Number 2.
Marcus Tatton’s Digital Litter places the 0s and 1s of digital technology in a random pattern like ruins from an archaic building and Rusi Jass’ pun on Edward de Bono‘s maxim of Think outside the square , a combination of architectural and organic forms, relate to their locations within a University campus. These titles would be meaningless to previous generations and show artists utilizing traditional forms and media to speak to contemporary audiences. Rick Clise’s Moved On, a pun on a contemporary phrase about problematic relationships, cleverly removes a heart from a block and places it at a distance, thereby creating two works that play with the natural human emotional softness and hard edged shapes.
Gary Deirmendjian and Akira Kamada present constructions that aspire to higher values: Deirmendjian’s Brancusi’s nest to that artist’s monumental Endless Column; and Kamada’s to the physical bonds and interlocking necessary to build a cohesive society in Three.
Michael Snape’s Besides is a visual pun which plays with the notion of the usual usage of the word at the beginning of adverbial clauses to strengthen arguments, when Snape claims that it weakens them since it is an addition to bolster a defence. In this sense the curved steel slab is the argument, weighing down upon the defence.
Campbell Robertson-Swann’s The Bush Ranger extends arguably twentieth century Australian art’s most famous image, Ned Kelly’s black helmet, into a architectural form that seems to be peering over the landscape, rather like a would-be sniper. Its solidity is undercut by its curved form and the wit inherent in the pose.
Whether the artists have chosen figurative or abstracted forms, they have done so with clear and unique visions of the site in mind: that is, the physical landscape and the concept that this is a learning institution where people from all different backgrounds and interests gather and where ideas and conflicting philosophies are studied and debated. The combinations of seductive aesthetics and the sophisticated concepts and multi layered meanings give the works their strengths and ensure that they demand contemplation: surely a manifestation of their success.