Celebrating sculpture at the Wintergarden – photo extravaganza

I have great admiration for sculptors, the way they can wrestle with their materials to create an object in space that then assumes a life of its own. Traditionally sculptural materials are weighty and solid yet through the artistic process the materials become infused with meaning and transcend their physicality.

Walking around art@wintergarden earlier this week, I pondered the nature of sculpture in the Inaugural Sculpture exhibition which features three dimensional works created from a wide range of materials – metal, glass, ceramics, stone, barbed wire, wood and found objects.

This is an exhibition of object-based works by fifteen local and interstate artists. The artists bring their own particular interests and concerns to their chosen materials, however recurring motifs appear here and there if you look for them. I responded to the movement and fluidity in many of the pieces as well as to a sense of the theatrical. For me, dance imagery and the festive spirit of the carnival came to mind: from the swirling glass forms of Philip Stokes to the twisting metal work of Mark Cowie – from the sandstone acrobats of Jacinta Leitch and bronze circus performers of Phillip Doggett Williams to the theatrical ‘bodiware’ of Victoria Edgar – even the decorative pattern on one of Gregor Wallace’s wooden bowls suggested contorting figures. (Once we become conscious of something, we see it everywhere!) I was interested to learn that the performing arts have informed the works of several artists in the exhibition including Philip Stokes, Jacinta Leitch and Phillip Doggett Williams.

It is not often we have a sculpture exhibition in Geelong, at least in the commercial galleries. From a business perspective it is a brave move by art@wintergarden and one to be applauded – congratulations to everyone involved!

Please see images below of some of the work in the exhibition along with selected quotes from a few of the artists’ statements. Of course my photographic attempts don’t do justice to the works – full appreciation can only come from seeing them in real space, being near enough to walk around them, maybe even touch them if you can, and consider them in their entirety.

The exhibition is only on for one more week, until 28 August, so if you haven’t seen it yet, pop into art@wintergarden and experience the beauty of these sculptural forms.

Artists participating in the exhibition include: Patsy Bush, Mark Cowie, David Dickson, Phillip Doggett Williams, Donal Molloy Drum, Cas Duff, Victoria Edgar, Ana Maria Hernandez Jensen, Brian Keyte, Jacinta Leitch, Nadia Mercuri, Steve Singline, Philip Stokes, Deb Taylor and Gregor Wallace.

Inaugural Sculpture Exhibition
Until 28 August
art@wintergarden
51 McKillop St, Geelong. Open daily 10–4 pm
www.artwintergarden.com.au

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Phillip Dogget Williams 1
Phillip Doggett Williams, All Things Equal.

In this sculpture I draw on early influences of work I produced in the late 1970s when circus metaphors were dominant in my imagery. The themes of vulnerability and strength are the underlying narratives of ‘All Things Equal’. The message the work carries today is that we can build a sustainable future for our children if we are committed to working with each other, in balance with nature, not against it. Phillip Doggett Williams.

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Mark Cowie Dance of Life sm
Mark Cowie, Dance of Life.
Mark Cowie Currents
Mark Cowie, Currents.

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Philip Stokes 1
Philip Stokes, Ivory lustre streaming pair.
Philip Stokes 2
Philip Stokes, Adventurine amorphous bubble. [what personality this has!]

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Patsy Bush Face up
Patsy Bush, Face up.

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Jacinta Leitch 6
Jacinta Leitch, Life’s a balancing act – acrobatic series.

Inspiration for my sculptures comes from any facets of my life and surroundings particularly my years of dance experience which influences the femininity and fluidity of my designs. Jacinta Leitch

Victoria Edgar Jacinta Leitch 2
Jacinta Leitch, The offering.

Inspired by the four elements – earth, wind, fire and water, this sculpture evolved into something quite different. The crystal represents a gift from the earth, rising from the depths it now takes on a life of its own. Jacinta Leitch

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Victoria Edgar 1
Victoria Edgar, Pearl headpiece & neckpiece (left), Pearl Bodipiece (centre) Lothelo headpiece and neckpiece (right).
Victoria Edgar 5
Victoria Edgar, Merangel.
Victoria Edgar 6 Insta
Victoria Edgar, Merangel (detail).

The Bodiware Collection represents a culmination of 30 years of jewellery and sculptural investigation. I have created the largest piece of wearable art/jewellery that I can create without moving off the body and to me the relationship between jewellery and the wearer is a sacred one. Victoria Edgar

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Greg Wallace 1
Gregor Wallace, Bowl 1.
Greg Wallace 3Gregor Wallace, Bowl 2 (detail).

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Brian Keyte Entity
Brian Keyte, Entity.

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Nadia Mercuri
Nadia Mercuri, Astrospor series.

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Steven Singline 3
Steve Singline, On the wind.
Steven Singline 5
Steve Singline, Ripple.
Steven Singline 7
Steve Singline, Path unwinding.

My work as a sculptor is frequently expressed through relief carving, where the form is carved into a primary surface of the stone. In this sense, there is often a clear front surface that viewers approach my work from. I am interested in Talc as a natural medium to work with, as it is soft and can be polished, much like marble. In starting the carving, I will usually shape and smooth out the rough stone to hold the carved image I am seeking to create.

Retaining some of the natural textured elements of the rough stone is also something I will often do as I undertake the carving process. I am interested in the elements of nature particularly wind and water and their effect on the environment and on us. Relief carving is a sympathetic technique to exploring the effect that the elements have on the environment and therefore the medium; where it is the exposed or ‘front surface’ that gets shaped by the forces that impact on it.

The subject matter is often symbolic, in a recent work ‘path unwinding’ I have created a representation of a shell and also tied the spiral symbol to the work as a universal symbol for the journey of life. On the back of the sculpture a more literal representation of the path is conveyed. Creating works that speak to people on a deeper symbolic level is important to me and I hope you find a point of resonance with it. Steve Singline

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Caz Duff 2
Cas Duff, Heart full of hope (left) and Domestic goddess (right).

These works have evolved as a response to having cared for many people experiencing treatment for cancer. The courage, hope and grace they have in their hearts and souls is humbling and beautiful. I find myself drawn to many medium and techniques. Nothing gives me more pleasure than to combine them into something three-dimensional. The incorporation of found objects expresses something that words cannot, evoking the memories of our childhoods and other times. Cas Duff.

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David Dickson 1a
David Dickson, Coiled over (detail).
David Dickson 2
David Dickson, Coiled over (front) and Elongated (back).
David Dickson 3David Dickson, Canoe (detail).

I aim to construct pleasing and interesting sculptures recycling rusty barbwire. When barbwire is taken from an old fence it is difficult to dispose of and inevitably is tossed in a heap in the back paddock to rust away. It is very rewarding to take this discarded material and give it a new life as a sculpture.

I find that working to create my sculpture is quite therapeutic. I hope that my sculptures give as much pleasure to others as they do to me as I coil and clip wires together. David Dickson.

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Deb Taylor 1
Ceramics by Deb Taylor.
Deb Taylor 2
Ceramics by Deb Taylor.

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Hernandez Y Jensen Form ii
Ana Maria Hernandez Y Jensen, Form (ii).

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Donal-Malloy-DrumDonal Molloy Drum, Little Blue Boat.
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