On Sunday 7th October along with several members of the association I attended a public forum at the Kingston Art Centre Moorabbin where three prominent figures discussed the place of public works in our history and in their lives.. Monuments, memorials and civic statues are commonly encountered forms of public art created to commemorate a person , an important event historical, architecture or cultural heritage
They were interesting talks beginning with Ken Scarlet OAM who is one of the countries foremost experts in Australian sculpture. Ken spoke about the lack of consideration of our history when public art works are moved, removed and even destroyed in the name of progress and development. He also spoke of our multicultural society and how in time our art will also take on Asian influences as well as European and as time goes on we will become less Eurocentric but it will all express our changing culture and history...
Peter Corlett OAM a practicing sculptor is renowned for his figurative sculptures. Having completed over 30 commissions over the past 40 years.. many of which represent national icons.; Phar Lap, Simpson and his Donkey outside the Australian War Memorial in Canberra and Cobbers for the Australian Memorial Park, near Fromelles in northern France. Other works include; Dame Nellie Melba and Graeme Kennedy at Melbourne Docklands, Edward “Weary” Dunlop in the Royal Botanic Gardens, Melbourne and a second “Weary” Dunlop at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra. The main essence of his talk was about the emotional connection he had with many pieces of his commemorative public works. Particularly Cobbers as his father was in Fromelle in Northern France. “My work is about being alive, about what makes me me and you you; about the individual and the universal, what connects us within the diversity of our modern worlds.” Peter Corlett – Sculptor
Dean Bowen spoke from a contemporary perspective. His bronze sculptures are represented in many public and private collections.. His idiosyncratic sculptures combine humour and gentle irony but these proficiently cast works have helped him explore the world around him. His talk was simple, straightforward and expressed the passion he has for sculpture. Dean talked about his journey in painting, printmaking and sculpture. He also talked about the controversy that can be experienced in public art but confidence and pride in an achievement can overcome this as there will always be criticism of public art. Dean has agreed to talk to us next year.
This forum while not too deep was very interesting and was followed by questions and answers and then refreshments. While there I met two old university friends and some other friends interested in the arts as well as members of the association. It was a good afternoon and interesting on many levels.