Sculpture

ANNE MARSH : DOING FEMINISM : WOMEN’S ART AND FEMINIST CRITICISM IN AUSTRALIA

Professor Anne Marsh

Beautifully presented, lavishly illustrated, this is a very large and heavy tome (3 kilos!) which is also strenuous intellectually. Anne Marsh has coordinated her massive amount of scholarly research (more than five year’s worth) into a most imposing book. I would perhaps suggest that the market for this would probably be university libraries and art galleries..It is divided into two sections , both arranged chronologically by decade from the 1960’s to now. It also includes acknowledgments and a list of abbreviations, a bibliography and index.

The second half of the book includes all the major articles and catalogue quotes etc as mentioned in the first half.

Marsh documents the female artist’s battle for recognition in the patriarchal art world and how their voice was often ignored (and still is in some countries eg Afghanistan with the Taliban). 370 colour illustrations, 220 artists and groups are featured with artist’s statements , critical responses and curatorial essays for assorted exhibitions. Marsh takes the reader though the interconnections of protest, exhibitions, critical and feminist theory and art practice over generations. Politics are important with the anti Vietnam war protests for example and Indigenous people’s struggle for acknowledgement and their great bond with Country.

We learn of the power of women’s art and how it has altered the way women’s art is viewed in the contemporary art world both here in Australia and internationally. Earlier during the 1970’s and 80’s there was the big discussion about ‘is craft art?’ and do textiles ‘count’ as art?. Nowadays there is postfeminism and posthumanism among other labels. Marsh also looks at how nowadays Indigenous art is recognised, and also the inclusion of artists who have emigrated to Australia. As well, the voice of LGBTI women is considered.

The book begins in 1968 which saw The Field exhibition and in the 1970’s with the first International Women’s Year there was also the major Lucy Lippard Power lecture. In 1977 we could visit The Women’s Show and another major exhibition in 1979 The Lovely Motherhood Show.

In particular Marsh looks at the challenging works by Vivienne Binns and Jenny Watson and quotes from horrified reactions of the public and assorted critics, balanced by gallery decisions. In 1967 Vivienne Binns’ first solo exhibition at the Watters Gallery in 1967 was extremely controversial, with critics, public and artists outraged. The reaction to her work took a terrible price on her personal life – Binns stopped painting after the exhibition and turned to work in enamelling, deciding to redefine herself as a craftswoman. Ten years after the exhibition, Vag Dens was bought by the National Gallery of Australia. In 1993 the NGA also purchased her Phallic Monument and Saggon.

Then there is the divisive work of Jenny Watson . In 1993, several years after her 1987 crucial intimately revealing work The Key Painting was publicly rubbished, the tables were turned and Watson represented Australia at the 45th Venice Biennale. Then in 2017 Melbourne’s Heide Museum of Modern Art and Sydney’s MCA both displayed major retrospectives of her work.

There is a lot about feminist theory and how it has changed over the years, the male gaze and exploring and representing the female body and the use of space. Marsh examines the networks of art practice, critical theory, exhibitions and strident protest. Marsh establishes in context the vicissitude and strength of women’s art and the ways in which it has shaped and transformed the art world both internationally and here in Australia. Depending on the decade Marsh is discussing some sculpture, textiles, video/film and performance art are considered interwoven with changes in technology and politics.

Marsh also looks at gender imbalance in artistic representation, for example – how many women have been chosen for the Venice Biennale or other major exhibitions?.How many women have won the Archibald Prize?  We learn that female artists were chosen for only three Venice Biennales during the 1980’s and 90’s (Rosalie Gascoigne in 1982; Jenny Watson in 1993; and a joint exhibition by Emily Kame Kngwarreye, Yvonne Koolmatrie and Judy Watson in 1997). However, since 2001, Australia has been represented by a female artist in eight of the 10 Venice Biennales.

With regards to the Sydney Biennale – for the first one in 1973 only one female artist was displayed and she wasn’t an Aussie!. By 2014 ,though ,women were represented in more than half the exhibition.

Marsh thinks far more needs to be done regarding female artist’s works in collections of the major Australian galleries and also retrospectives – she says that yes male artists have retrospectives but rarely any women.

At the time of writing this review there is a lot of brouhaha regarding Del Kathryn Barton’s The Heartland, a five panel piece that was divided .

DOING FEMINISM is a major comprehensive collection on women and the arts in Australia and will be required reading for years to come.

Part 2 of Know My Name, Australia’s largest exhibition of female artists, opened at the NGA June 2021 and runs until July 2022.

https://www.mup.com.au/books/doing-feminism-hardback

https://knowmyname.nga.gov.au/events/australian-women-artists-1900-now/

https://knowmyname.nga.gov.au/events/know-my-name-australian-women-artists-1900-now-part-two/

SWELL 2021 : SCULPTOR Christopher Trotter PREPARES HIS LATEST WORK

Christopher Trotter working on one of his sculptures. Photo Russell Shakespeare
Christopher Trotter working on one of his sculptures. Photo Russell Shakespeare
Christopher Trotter with his Townsville Acquisition Prize winning sculpture ‘Foreigner’

In 2021 SWELL will be celebrating its 19th year, the annual festival has evolved to be one of Australia’s most celebrated cultural events, attracting a huge number of visitors each year to the iconic shores of Currumbin Beach, Queensland, to enjoy the open-air art experience.

2021 SWELL is Queensland’s premier outdoor sculpture exhibition and presents Australian and international artists to captivate the hearts and minds of the large audience. Set between two iconic giant rock formations along the Gold Coast’s Currumbin Beach, the vast coastal landscape encourages thought-provoking and sculpturally impressive works. 

One of the main sculptors is award winning sculptor Christopher Trotter. Christopher has been creating art for the largest outdoor sculpture festival in Queensland since 2003. He has also gone on to take major art awards including the top spot in this year’s Ephemera Acquisition prize in Townsville, worth $90,000. Continue reading SWELL 2021 : SCULPTOR Christopher Trotter PREPARES HIS LATEST WORK

PETER ROZARIO : A METAL SCULPTOR REVEALS THE SECRETS OF HIS TRADE

Metal sculptor Peter Rozario
A student grapples with his creation.
Peter giving advice to a student

As an adjunct to the ABC Community Art exhibition held at the B’nai B’rith Centre in Kensington last Sunday, Peter Rozario, metal work sculptor and exhibiting artist, ran a Metal Sculpture workshop for community artists.

Participants were given materials and the opportunity to create their own sculptures. Peter introduced 3 different types of metal, describing the structure of the material and demonstrating ways it could be fashioned for sculptural purposes. Bending, hammering and drilling resulted in pleasing sculptures taken home by attendants. Continue reading PETER ROZARIO : A METAL SCULPTOR REVEALS THE SECRETS OF HIS TRADE

MARGEL HINDER : MODERN IN MOTION @ ART GALLERY OF NEW SOUTH WALES

Margel Hinder (1906-1995) was born in Brooklyn and emerged as an artist in her own right when she came to Sydney with her husband Frank Hinder, also a well regarded artist. In fact, they even had joint exhibitions.

For her part Margel Hinder is regarded as one of Australia’s most important sculptors of the twentieth century. She was deeply influenced by movements of modern sculpture and pioneered such artforms in Australia. 

Broadly, in the 1930’s Hinder worked on work carvings of simplified shapes, pairing them down to stress their inner energies.  Continue reading MARGEL HINDER : MODERN IN MOTION @ ART GALLERY OF NEW SOUTH WALES

SCULPTURES IN THE FORECOURT : PART OF ARCHIE PLUS @ ART GALLERY OF NEW SOUTH WALES

Marino Marini – Rider
Louise Bourgeois – Arched figure
Auguste Rodin – The Burghers of Calais

For ten weeks from March 2020 the AGNSW forecourt was silent and desolate due to the Gallery’s closure because of Covid 19. 

To celebrate the return of visitors to the forecourt the Gallery ‘peopled it’ with an extraordinary collection of sculptured bodies entitled ‘Passage’. Among the treasures are sculptures by Rodin and Giacometti. They represent the states of feeling and passages of human experience that were a hallmark of last year’s crises and challenges. Continue reading SCULPTURES IN THE FORECOURT : PART OF ARCHIE PLUS @ ART GALLERY OF NEW SOUTH WALES

WOOLLAHRA’S SMALL SCULPTURE PRIZE ANNOUNCES FINALISTS

Michael Harrell ‘Politics’
Christine Appleby ‘Weathered Cliff’
Stuart McLachlan ‘Cardinal Sins’

The Woollahra Small Sculpture Prize, presented by Woollahra Council, today announced 56 emerging and established artists as finalists for the 20th annual Prize and exhibition. The 2020 finalist works, by artists from Australia, New Zealand, United Kingdom and Italy, will be presented for the first time in the Woollahra Council’s new purpose-built gallery space, as its inaugural exhibition opening in early 2021.

The 56 finalist artist sculptures – each measuring up to 80cm in any dimension – were selected from a record 844 entries by a judging panel comprised of Director Curatorial and Digital, Museum of Contemporary Art Australia Dr Lara Strongman, Art Historian/Curator and Industrial Archaeologist Joanna Capon OAM and celebrated artist and fashion designer Jenny Kee AO.

Woollahra Mayor, Councillor Susan Wynne said: “We are thrilled to have received a record number of entries this year as we mark the 20th edition of this celebrated prize. To see such an enthusiastic response to the Prize, during such a difficult year only strengthens our commitment to cultural development and reinforces the decision we have made to open our first art gallery next year – Woollahra Gallery at Redleaf. The quality and diversity of the 2020 Finalist works are outstanding, and we cannot wait to welcome visitors into the new gallery with an exhibition that has something for everyone.” Continue reading WOOLLAHRA’S SMALL SCULPTURE PRIZE ANNOUNCES FINALISTS

SCULPTURE BY THE SEA INDEFINITELY POSTPONED

As the current restrictions on visitor numbers for events in Sydney will not be lifted in time, we have no option but to postpone this year’s Sculpture by the Sea, Bondi from it’s scheduled opening date of 22 October. We continue to work with the State government agencies and Waverley Council to see what might be possible and whether the exhibition may be able to go ahead later in Spring.

Over 100 Australian and international artists have collectively spent around $1.5-$1.8M to create and freight their sculptures from around the world, so it was important to wait and see if there was any chance we could proceed with this year’s exhibition as planned. Now, like everyone, we are waiting to see what might be possible, being mindful that everyone’s health comes first.

FRANCES KEEVIL GALLERY : SCULPTURES BY SALLY HOOK

‘I draw my work first, in most cases. It is a process of doodling with a free hand and allowing anything to arrive from my mind.  When I review the drawings, I make the ones that stand out for me. In this way, new works flow without a set of restrictions to filter them.

I have always worked this way, with a subject at the top of my mind as a starting point. In most cases, human character seems uppermost, the drawings emerging one by one, person by person. Where these ideas come from is a mystery to me, but I am delighted by the process of discovery and can only watch while the work unfolds.’

– SCULPTOR SALLY HOOK
Featured image : Finalist Naked and Nude Art Award Manning Regional Gallery

SCULPTURE BY THE SEA TO RETURN IN 2020

Sculpture by the Sea is due to return to 2020. The sculptural festival which features the Bondi Beach to Tamarama Coastal walk is the world’s largest free to the public culture exhibition.

The public is invited to see the coastal walk transformed into a 2 km long sculpture park over three weeks featuring 100o sculptures by Australia and across the world.

This year’s Sculpture By The Sea is due to take place between the 22nd October and the 8th November 2020.

Featured image- ‘Thru’ by Katja Grinling 2019. Pic by Clyde Yee

SCULPTURE @ SCENIC WORLD 2019

Experience art like never before at Sculpture at Scenic World 2019!

Set among the stunning Blue Mountains, Sculpture at Scenic World is Australia’s premier regional art exhibition which transforms the ancient rainforest into an outdoor gallery from April 12 – May 12.

Showcasing 25 thought provoking works along the Scenic Walkway that winds through the pristine Jamison Valley.

Sculpture at Scenic World provides a unique sensory experience with subtle artworks and interactive installations that appeal to families, couples and art lovers alike.

Once again Sculpture at Scenic World will feature an extensive free public program including daily guided tours, weekend workshops, heaps of activities for the kids and more.

This year’s exhibition extends to Sculpture Otherwise at the Blue Mountains Cultural Centre and TRACKS an outdoor exhibition of artworks at various locations throughout the upper mountains.

All Scenic World passes include unlimited travel on the Scenic Railway, Scenic Cableway and Scenic Skyway as well as entry into Sculpture at Scenic World and Sculpture Otherwise.

DATES FOR THE DIARY
April 12 – May 12, 9.00am – 5.00pm.at Scenic World Blue Mountains, 1 Violet Street, Katoomba.

For more about Sculpture at Scenic World 2019, visit https://www.sculptureatscenicworld.com.au/
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BIRDS AND ANIMALS IN BRONZE : A NEW EXHIBITION BY JANE DAWSON

Acclaimed Sculptor Jane Dawson with a glass of champagne leaning against her sculpture of the native bird, the Emu.

Australian sculptor, Jane Dawson brings birds, animals and human figures to life in her beautifully made and finely executed sculpture exhibition at Maunsell Wickes gallery in Paddington.

Over time, Jane has found the point of balance in her sculptures, capturing the `bush spirit’ and images of the various species that roam the globe in a well-defined array of bronze and copper art
pieces that impress.

Here is Dawson’s take on animals, man and nature, explicitly created as a compelling work of art with an integrity all its own. Continue reading BIRDS AND ANIMALS IN BRONZE : A NEW EXHIBITION BY JANE DAWSON

SCULPTURE BY THE SEA TURNS 22

The launch of this 22nd Sculpture By The Sea was unusual in that the Sculpture Prize announcement was delayed. This was due to the very wet first half of October which prevented some of the sculptures from being installed. The organisers felt that the sculpture award winner should be announced once all the sculptures have been erected.

David Handley announced that more than one hundred and thirty artists from twenty one countries have created this year’s one hundred and seven sculptures. Towards the end of his speech a tearful Handley dedicated this year’s exhibition to the life and career of the late Matthew Harding, a frequent exhibitor and supporter of Sculpture By The Sea. Continue reading SCULPTURE BY THE SEA TURNS 22