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.

President's Message April 2008

Big Ideas
We are all familiar with the Angel of the North, Anthony Gormley’s twenty metre high, fifty-four metre wide figure standing on a hill near Gateshead in the north of England. Modelled on Gormley’s own body it is possibly the most notable achievement of immortality, a notion the sculptor would have had, if only sardonically, at the back of his mind. Its wings stretch out as if to embrace the surrounding country and its people, and welcome visitors to the area. They also expose his body thereby earning the more prosaic title of the Gateshead Flasher. Ten years after its installation the controversy has all but died away, its economic outlay of around a million pounds ($2.5M) being handsomely returned by way of the overseas tourist dollar and the more intangible international prestige.

Now we can look forward to the Angel of the South as it has become known. At a somewhat desolate area in north Kent that was all but abandoned after the mines closed, a train station known as Ebbsfleet has been built. This is part of a huge regeneration project. A large interchange for the continental trains, that is all there is at the moment, would not seem to warrant the erection of a sculpture forty to fifty metres high that can be seen for twenty miles, but that is what is planned; as well as a new town of 10 000 homes with all its infrastructure. This sculpture will be seen by 40 million people each year, by train, by car and on foot. The commissioning of this landmark sculpture, with a budget of $5million to get it started, has been underway for a couple of years, the finalists of Richard Deacon, Christopher Le Brun, Mark Wallinger, Rachel Whiteread and, the only non-Brit, Daniel Buren, were given three months to produce their proposals (Google them up). The winner may well be announced before this goes to print.

At the other end of the sculptural scale, and this too in England, a country not known historically for its extremes, is the work of Willard Wigan (another Google search). A gallery showing his work looks like a medical laboratory; the rows of microscopes on benches around the room giving it more the air of the school stinks lab. than a sanctum of art. Peering into the 3D lenses reveals a world in miniature. To answer the perhaps rhetorical question, How many angels can dance on the head of a pin?, Willard would reply, Well, quite a few really: And inside the eye of a needle? Henry the Eighth and his Six Wives!

These sculptures are invisible to the naked eye; and liable to loss by inhalation, as was Snow White. Although sometimes he starts with a fleck of gold or diamond he mostly carves them from tiny pieces of nylon and puts the finishing touch of paint with a hair from the head of a house fly.

A collection of 70 of his pieces that you would hardly notice in the palm of your hand was insured by Lloyds for nearly $30million which makes the Angel of the North look ridiculously cheap. Big ideas come in all shapes sizes; I look forward to seeing your big idea in our Annual Show in September.
John Wooller

ASV Diary Dates

v May Meeting - Lunch in the Hills v
Our next monthly meeting will be a social occasion on Sunday, the 18th of May in the Dandenong Ranges. John and Jan will welcome you to their modest cottage and studio in the hills at 37 Seabreeze Avenue, Ferny Creek (Melway 75 A1) for a lunch of soup, baguettes, cheese, fruit salad, tea and coffee. Any supplements to these plus drinks of your choice will be most acceptable. Seabreeze Avenue is a gravel country lane of minimum width; parking is restricted. We are two houses in from Alpine Road; park wherever you can close to this junction. Car pooling would be an advantage. Remember, this is a social occasion. You can sing and dance, and talk about anything you like except ASV business. We look forward to your company.

John Wooller
v ASV monthly meeting v
On Wednesday 11th June, Richard Granville Smith will talk about his development into graphite sculpture when we meet in the Hawthorn Community Arts Room, rear Hawthorn Town Hall, Burwood Road Hawthorn.

v Membership Renewals and Records Check v
During May the statement of owings (if any) and the records check form will be sent out. 30th June 2008.

v ASV monthly meeting v
On Wednesday 9th July Marija Patterson will talk about her work in papier maché, again in the Hawthorn Community Arts Room, rear Hawthorn Town Hall, Burwood Road Hawthorn.

v Entries close ASV Annual Exhibition v
Entry forms will be posted soon.
Entries close Tuesday 15th July.

Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show 2008

MIFGS 2008 was an excellent exhibition of 87 pieces. The judge Peter Blizzard, O.A.M., and the prize money, brought out a very high standard from everyone. The weather conspired against MIFGS but despite it or in spite of it we had a very crowded, very interested audience, and made a lot of sales. With many thanks to our sponsors we were able to provide these prizes: First Prize $4,000 (ASV) – Rudi Jass for “Seed 10”
Second Prize $1,000 (Outdoor Creations/MIFGS) – Matthew Shannon – “Rush”
Third Prize (Manyung Gallery Prize) - $250 plus an exhibition – Leon Frankcom – “Les Trois Soeurs”;
Without Pier Gallery Prize $1,000 to an emerging sculptor – Noel Muscat – “Parched Vessel”
Highly Commended – Morningstar Estate – John Wooller – “Arbor Familiae”;
Highly Commended – Dalchem Pty Ltd – Annie Glass –”Walkies”;
Highly Commended - Bulleen Art & Garden – Tanya Diamond – “To be named by the Owner”;
Peoples’ Choice Award - (MIFGS) $500 – Tanya Diamond – “To be named by the Owner”.
Winners of dinner for two at La Notte Restaurant, Carlton – Mr & Mrs Michael Shortal.
Our thanks go to Meredith & Bruce Plain off Bulleen Art and Gardens for supplying the limestone for the demonstrators, and to Kevin Free who organized the demonstrators and provided equipment for them.

Bronwyn Culshaw MIFGS Co-ordinator

Naturally enough the members and exhibitors want to thank and congratulate the MIFGS committee – in particular Bronwyn, for a Stirling effort – well rewarded with a successful show – in spite of the elements presenting a few little challenges.

Sam Jinks at Benalla

Benalla Art Gallery is featuring a collection of 6 works by Melbourne Sculptor Sam Jinks for the period 01 April to 11 May. One may emerge, shocked, at the contents of the large white room wholly devoted to Jinks at this specialist gallery.

On entering the room one is initially confronted with three large grey faces on a white wall. Eyes closed in repose or in death, the faces grow more arresting as one approaches them. Composed in resin, they emanate peace and mystery.

Rounding a wall in the centre of the room, one is not prepared for the three smaller than life size figures, each shown on a white wall. There is extraordinary attention to detail, maybe to a degree that will not be attained by any other sculptor this century. Pieta is a man sitting, cradling the naked and aged body of another – his father, or maybe hisfuture self. Soberly and peacefully the man contemplates the passing of life and the loss of the flesh. Source materials are mixed media, fiberglass, silicon and human hair. A second exhibit is another aged body, in stark and luminous nakedness, partly folded on bed linen. A third exhibit shows a half naked and aged standing female, heavily tattooed on her chest.

The gallery poses the question “How to mold a man in stone without petrifying him?” (Jean-Paul Satre), and Jinks provides one answer in his personal interpretation of reality.
Geoff Williams

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.

What's on at Bulleen Art and Garden?

Bulleen's electronic news sheet comes out fairly frequently – action packed with news of their gallery exhibitions, workshops – carving limestone, mosaics, clay work.. a fascinating place. You can visit them online at www.baag.com.au or “in the flesh” at 6 Manningham Rd W., Bulleen. 98505155.

Exhibiting at Hawthorn Town Hall

Have you been visiting the Town Hall Gallery and liking what you see but thought, "mmm... I'd like to show my work here?" Then now is the time to start seriously thinking about it!
Town Hall Gallery is calling for applications from artists, groups and curators to be part of the 2009 program. I know what you're thinking, that's ages away! It's not really when you have to plan an exhibition.
Application details and forms for 2009 can be downloaded from here The gallery looks for a diverse range of themes and media when selecting the exhibitions. Group shows are encouraged that have a strong concept for the entire exhibition. The curator is more than happy to discuss your ideas for your proposal before submitting it. Feel free to contact us for an appointment.
Phone: 03 9278 4626
e: mardi.nowak@boroondara.vic.gov.au
Deadline for applications is June 30 2008.

Wrapping up Herring Island Summer Arts Festival

It was a few months, and an exhibition ago that the ASV was on Herring Island – but the Festival has been rolling along and finished on 20th April with the Ceramics Victoria Sculpture Prize.
The news site for the Herring Island Summer Arts Festival is http://hisafnews.blogspot.com/


The National Association for the Visual Arts is wonderfully active: they send out two electronic newsletters each month – one for opportunities, one for their other news, they maintain several information pages on their website including a newsfeed to their latest news page http://www.visualarts.net.au/newsdesk. There's also the notice board for members, the “reading room”, “learning centre”, and discussion and blogs. Unfortunately the The Code of Practice for the Australian Visual Arts and Craft Sector is no longer available free online. But you will find a lot of other information on the NAVA website:
http://www.visualarts.net.au/ well worth a look.

Sculpture in Virtual Reality

From The Age 11 April 2008
Second Life has become second nature for three enterprising Australian artists, writes Clare Morgan.
Imagine an art gallery where you can not only touch the works on display, you can walk over them, sit on them, even fly through them. Such actions would doubtless send security staff into apoplexy, but in Second Life, the world is your oyster.

Today three Australian artists unveil their exhibition Babelswarm in the 3D virtual world of Second Life, an interactive sculpture based on the mythical Tower of Babel. For those who like the old-fashioned gallery experience, there is a "real" show at Lismore Regional Gallery. Christopher Dodds, a visual artist, Adam Nash, a musician and 3D real-time artist, and Justin Clemens, a writer, all
from Melbourne, were last year awarded a $20,000 artist-in-residence grant from the Australia Council to create a work for the online social networking world - believed to be the largest grant of its type. Their real-time 3D work Babelswarm combines swarm theory - the outcomes of collective behaviour - and the story
of humanity's effort to build a tower to the heavens, only to have it destroyed as punishment for such arrogance, along with man's unified language.

Residents of Second Life, represented by their computer-generated avatars, can speak or type messages into the installation; voice-recognition software converts their words into letters that fall from the sky to create a tower. Lismore Gallery visitors can take part by speaking into a microphone and watching their contribution to the installation on a wall-sized screen.

... and from there I went to their Blogsite: BabelSwarm ... the sky is full of words http://babelswarm.blogspot.com/
without getting a Second Life account I haven't seen the work – but somehow the images I've seen are computer generated two dimensional graphics... in a way I guess I've reassured myself – for sculpture there is nothing like being there.
Jenny Rickards

And from Qdos.....

Qdos Gallery, just outside Lorne on the Allenvale Road, is a great place for sculpture – indoor and outdoor. Here is the latest word – fresh from Graeme Wilkie's computer:
Paper Perspectives 08 Modern and contemporary Australian and International investment works on paper 26th April- 18th May
Qdos presents an exhibition of works by artists who have been major international influences. Ranging from pop art luminaries to contemporary art stars, this exhibition encompasses a broad range of renowned artists who have chosen to work with paper. Paper making and subsequent use, as not only a media on which to retain the written word, but also in packaging, manufacture, hygiene and art; is considered to be one of the Four Great Inventions of Ancient China. The first papermaking process was developed in China during the early 2nd century and it has only become a more diverse and refined product since. That a product could be used in so many applications, be they industrial as well as creative, is a testament to both the innovative mind and the media itself.

Over the centuries many artists have embraced the immediacy and transportable qualities of paper. Not only in books formats for plein-air sketches but also for use in printmaking, sculpture, paintings and large scale but light works. Without paper photography would never have developed the way it has. It’s portability and printability are accessible to the individual only
because of paper. The inherent dynamics of the media itself have been explored by Bill Henson
particularly in the way it holds such a dense and dark ink and can be torn and replaced in other arrangements. Vanessa Beecroft’s installations can often only be accessed by viewers unable to attend the installation, through her photographs and prints of the installations. Pop Art’s embrace of the printed and pop culture media is well documented. In this exhibition examples of printed works by renowned pop artists Alex Katz and Tom Wesselman can be seen.

This exhibition is about celebrating the artists who celebrate the media. American, Australian, Italian, British and Irish artists are unified in their international interest in paper.

Exhibiting artists :
Carol Anderson
Howard Arkley
Vanessa Beecroft
Bill Henson
Damien Hirst
Alex Katz
Tim Maguire
Michael Mulcahy
Peter Stephenson
Peter Tyndall
Jenny Watson
Tom Wesseelmen

Qdos Arts
Allenvale Road
5289 1989
Hours 9 – 5 pm daily
(closed Tuesdays & Wednesdays)

The 2020 Summit

The ASV did prepare a submission for the 2020 Summit. Geoff Williams received input and coordinated the submission and sent it. He has sent the text of the submission so you'll know what we sent to them:
Towards a creative Australia: the future of the arts, film and design
The Australia 2020 Summit will examine:
a. Future directions for Australia’s principal arts bodies
b. Future directions for the ABC, SBS, Australia Television and Radio Australia
c. How best to develop a globally innovative and competitive film industry
d. How to encourage participation in emerging global industries such as game design, the internet 2.0, graphics-rich applications and animation
e. How we build on the creative sector’s potential as a major Australian export industry.

ASV Contribution to 2020 Summit (on point a. above):
Smee (Weekend Australian April 5-6 2008, page 19, Visual Arts section) summarised the extraordinary interest in art today compared to 20-30 years ago. He observed “The greater problem is that art today is almost ungraspably eclectic. There are no recognisable movements. There is no credible centre. And there is no coherence in art practice at all. It’s truly a case of anything goes: any medium, any image, any philosophy”. We believe greater initiative is required by government, in acting as both an administrator of the education system and galleries, and a consumer of the arts in commissioning public works.: to act
culturally appropriately, and ethically, and to be seen to be doing so.

OBJECTIVE PLANNING: Planning needs to follow a balanced culturally appropriate and ethical approach. “Visual Arts” is often taken as painting. We need to broaden this interpretation. In Europe or Asia one may encounter striking three dimensional master-pieces on street corners and public parks. They stimulate ideas, encourage consideration of other points of view, and commemorate significant events. Without them, towns and cities can become boring corridors of steel, concrete, glass and advertising, without character, sympathy and direction. Sculpture is the most public and durable of the visual arts. It gives the best value for money in terms of accessibility, longevity and public exposure, 24 hours a day.
Compared to the performing arts, which are transitory and expensive, public sculpture may give a far better return on public investment.

OBJECTIVE COMMISSIONING: The surge in public interest in sculpture in exhibitions and competitions has not been reflected in the incidence of
public commissions. The position could be assisted by making public sculpture expenditure tax deductible on the basis that the individual or body involved is providing a public service. Legislative packages to encourage public sculptural activity need to refer to the guidelines developed by the Association of Sculptors of Victoria (ASV), and National Association of the Visual Arts (NAVA). The aim of
1% of building costs allocated to public art has, up to now, only applied to public buildings. A requirement of a scale for a percentage on art on significant nongovernment buildings, and major civil engineering projects such as bridges
and dams, in the public domain, could be considered. Experienced practising sculptors need to give practical expertise in the selection process. They are not
always involved, for example, in civil engineering projects. Small intimate works, such as a series of sculptures along a shopping centre strip, could also be encouraged. We need commissions which include a balance of projects:
those appropriate for the ordinary life of the ordinary Australian, as well as the symbols and stimulation from the superstars.

OBJECTIVE FOLLOW UP: Regular independent reports on the achievement of policies on visual arts, and commissioning and maintenance of public art works,
would cement a continuum of government taking responsibility and direction.
Association of Sculptors of Victoria, 9 April 2008.
(Authors in alphabetical order: Michael Meszaros, Jenny Rickards, Geoff Williams, John Wooller)

and the result? On the evening on the last day The Age released the TEN OF THE BIGGEST IDEAS

* Introduction of an Australian republic with a two-stage, beginning with a plebiscite on the issue, followed by a referendum.
* Creation of "community corps" to allow students to reduce their HECS through volunteer work.
* A national preventative health care agency funded by taxes on cigarettes, alcohol and junk food.
* Increasing the formal and legal recognition of Aborigines, with the possibility of a treaty.
* Contributing 1% of federal funding allocated to each government department to the arts.
* All new buildings to be carbon neutral.
* Bringing regulations for transport and agriculture across states into line.
* Establishment of a new federation commission to review the roles and responsibilities of federal, state and local government.
* A comprehensive reinvigoration of Asian language literacy and a recruitment drive of foreign language teachers.
* A charter of rights and a national action plan.

Exhibition Opportunity

My partner Paul and I are opening a commercial space in Stanley Street off Swan Street in Richmond. With nursery and floristry as the core business, we would also like to use this space to promote appreciation of art in our community. One of the key ideas around this intent is exhibition of sculpture. I’m hoping you would be able to assist us in getting in touch with artists, associations or similar who may be interested in arranging temporary exhibitions at our space.

The site is based in one of the busiest pockets of inner Melbourne; in addition we hope our passion and unique approach will drive people from other suburbs to visit us. We are also seeking to promote a number of other community based initiatives including educating people about botany and floristry.

The space itself is approximately 300m2, with a large outdoor area. The sculpture we would like to exhibit would be installed outdoors; we could fit up to three large pieces or more than three smaller pieces at any one time. We would be willing to work closely with artists to facilitate lighting and other requirements. We will also ensure the work has the right insurance cover while at site.

With the opening of our nursery site scheduled within the next two months, we are looking to host an inaugural sculpture exhibition. Artists are welcome to display their works at our premises for a time period we would mutually agree. we can sell work under a commission arrangement or charge a sales commission for work which is held on consignment. Our desire is to develop a long term relationship over time, with a significant level of service and representation we offer to the artist. The commission will be dependent on the level of service we provide and costs that have to be covered, and will generally range between 25 and 40%.

We welcome artists who are available for commissions. Procedures for referrals for commissioned art will follow best practice recommendations in the Code of Practice for the Australian Visual Arts and Craft Sector, published by NAVA.
Nada Glumicic 0407 333 195

Welcome to New Members

This month we welcome Daniele Lamarche-Sarvia, Paul J Cessford and Ashley Turner.

Exhibitions to Enter

Annual Exhibition 2008
This year’s Exhibition will again be in The Barn at Montsalvat 31st August through to October 5th
Entries close 15th July – so hope you are all thinking of what you are going to sculpt or enter.
Early days – we will advise you of the Prizes, the Judge etc. as soon as we can. Keep sculpting.
The Triumverate (Marija, Gillian and Bronwyn)

Melbourne Prize for Sculpture 2008
Entries close 9th May.

Yering Station Sculpture
Exhibition and Awards
Entries close on Wednesday 25th June for this exhibition which runs from 26th October to 7th
December. Information & application details: artgallery@yering.com
Savaad Felich
T (03) 9730 0100
M 0400 894 646
Amanda Ruck
T (03) 9730 0100
M 0418 389 964

and did you miss?
Sculpture by the Sea
Bondi: 16 Oct- 2 November 2008 Received 512 artist submissions for this year's Bondi exhibition, 60 of which are by international artists from over 20 different countries, with our first ever submissions from Argentina and The Phillipines. The total includes 178 artists who have not applied to exhibit with us before. Ron Roberstson-Swann OAM, Sculptor and Axel Arnott our Head Curator are in the middle of their third day going through the proposals with the final decision on the approximately 110 sculptures to be exhibited from 16 October - 2 November expected shortly.

The Ola Cohn Memorial Sculpture Award

The Ola Cohn Memorial Sculpture Award is a non-acquisitive sculpture prize and exhibition, with a cash prize of $5,000. The Award is conducted by the Centre for Adult Education (CAE) and is open to living, practicing artists, who are citizens of Australia, and have been a resident of Victoria for the previous twelve months. The winning sculpture will be required to be made available for display at the CAE Flinders Street and/or Ola Cohn Centre for the Arts Campuses for a three month period following the announcement of the Award winner.

12 May Entries Close
23 May Notification of preselection outcome (invitation to submit actual artwork for final selection)
6 Jun final date for delivery of finalists' artworks
22 Jun announcement of Award and exhibition launch

Download the entry form for more information