We cooperate as an association to advance the practice of sculpture and the reputation and appreciation of sculpture and sculptors in the community. This is regardless of whether or not we make a living from sculpture and regardless of our preferred style or medium. To this end we support artists’ moral rights, we advocate a professional attitude to the production and presentation of work and encourage the artistic and intellectual stimulation of interaction amongst artists of all persuasions.

Mark Cowie wins Mount Buller Prize

Congratulations to Mark Cowie, on winning the sculpture section of the Mount Buller Art Prize 2008. From among some strong entries Mark’s piece Alpine Whispering Moon was selected by the eminent panel of judges, Patrick McCaughey, former head of the National Gallery Victoria; Robert Nelson, Chief Art Critic for The Age and Associate Professor Design and Art Theory at Monash University; and Peter Rancie, a local private benefactor and collector, as the Best in the Show. The late withdrawal from the judging panel of Andrew Rogers was not explained. By now Mark will have regained his composure and we look forward to seeing more of his work in ASV exhibitions and in other events around the country. The Assocation was well represented in the show with five members exhibiting. Perhaps Mark’s win will encourage more of our members to enter next year. Well done Mark, a well-deserved win; may there be many more.
John Wooller

Sculptor, Mark Cowie, received first prize for sculpture at the prestigious Easter Mt Buller Art Prize. The prize money of $15,000 was awarded to Mark for his sculpture ‘Alpine Whispering Moon’, an abstract steel piece. The piece depicts the character of the surrounding mountains and endeavours to portray the essence of the moon-bathed night scapes to which the alpine highlands
bears witness, and which countless people have been privileged to experience.
“The sculpture was created with a sense of intuitively ‘capturing’ the spirit of the alpine region. I was thrilled and stunned to have been awarded the prize at such a prestigious sculpture event, particularly as there were a number of pieces entered by some very highly regarded sculptors, several of whom have been inspirations for me.”
Mark, formerly a criminologist for 20 years, decided to leave working ‘on the dark side’, as he refers to it, and pursue his passion for sculpting in steel. “At the start of last year I decided to follow my dreams and become a full-time sculptor and metal worker. I didn’t want to live out my life working in the prison system wondering what might have been regarding my sculpting. So I jumped in at the deep end and held my breath. There have been many difficult times over the last year or so, but I have always retained my belief in and passion for creating stimulating work that engages the viewer. To receive such an award so early in my new career is both a great honour and a significant boost for my future endeavours as a sculptor”.

“All artists will appreciate that making a living from one’s art is a difficult and challenging journey, which is littered with emotional, financial and artistic highs and lows. At the moment I am thrilled and still coming to terms with what this award means.”

“Apart from assisting me financially I will be able to use the prize money to buy some much needed equipment. More importantly, I hope that winning such a competition will assist me in my career endeavours”.

The award was judged by well-known and respected art commentator Patrick McCaughey - formerly director of the National Gallery of Victoria – Robert Nelson – chief art critic for The Age and Professor of Design and Art Theory at Monash University - and Peter Mancie.
The winning sculpture will now be on permanent public display at the Mt Buller village.

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