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 May 2008

Full Circle

Sculpture today has left behind the single object as the only legitimate means of three-dimensional, aesthetic expression, has passed through, in the last fifty years or so, a period of change commonly referred to as ‘post-modernism’, and come out the other side embracing almost anything that has a visual component, without changing its name. Almost anything that can be, or could be, ‘engaged with’ is sculpture.

Besides the single object we are invited to embrace, video sculpture, sound sculpture, light sculpture and any manner of ‘installations’. These ‘modern’ ideas are, in fact, not new and what we think of as revolutionary in sculpture and art in general have been with us a long time. In fact I think I can trace the origins to our ancestors who lived in caves. Judged by today’s understanding, sculpture was most definitely the first art form.

When a woman came home to her cave carrying a child on her back, another on one arm and a basket of berries on the other she made a conscious decision where to put all these things. After she had dumped this little lot down on the cave floor, whipped up the embers into a crackling fire and put the Neolithic kettle on, she would have tidied up. Finding places for the few belongings not only had a practical purpose, keeping the wood dry, the berries clean and the baby from away from the rats, but, in an idle moment, an aesthetic one too. Here we see the origins of the ‘installation’; single objects consciously arranged with sound, light and heat thrown in. Women invented sculpture; long before they painted the walls.

Then, of course, he came in; his muddy mammoth-skin boots and his bear skin coat dripping water, ice and snow into the stew and blood from the freshly slaughtered deer all over the baby. ‘Not there’ she yelled, ‘put it over there. Can’t you wipe your feet when you come in. You’ve just set sculpture back a million years. Men’!

Later on, of course, she got a bit sick of trudging across the plain herding goats and sheep, carrying several children as well as wood for the next fire while he was off playing bows and arrows. One day at breaking point she sat down, defiantly. ‘I’m not taking another step’, she said, ‘you can put a fence around that little lot and build me a hut. I’m staying here. And when you’ve finished that I want a spinning wheel and a quern. There’ll be no nookie till you do’. Well, he had no choice did he. There’s a bit of Lysistrata in them all. What she actually thought was ‘I want several, aesthetic, single objects that I can arrange and engage with’ but the brute wouldn’t have understood that. You see, women invented civilisation too.

And so it went on. From these small beginnings of ephemeral installations and hand made little objects sculpture passed through phases of so called refinement; historic, classic, baroque, rococo, romantic to modern, gradually discarding everything unnecessary to get to its essence as expressed in the single object. And now the wheel has turned full circle. Post-modernism, far from being avant-garde, has returned us to the primitive, the ephemeral, the installation of light and sound, the first sculpture.

Next time you place a book among others on a shelf, arrange your keyboard and mouse next to your computer on your desk or leave your car in the carpark at the shopping centre think of the aesthetics of the act, and spare a thought for those first sculptors who ordered their world, gave it meaning and understanding.

John Wooller President

Sunday in the Hills – the May Meeting

It is always a privilege to visit a sculptor's studio – and when the sculptor turns on the hospitality in a beautiful place you know you've met real generosity. So it was with the May meeting to the home and studio of Jan and John Wooller.

Here is Gillian's report on the day:

None of us could complain about the much needed rain as we drove to the home of Jan and John nestled in the dripping bushland at Ferny Creek. But we did complain about the cold until we were greeted by a roaring log fire and warm

hospitality. Examples of John’s sculptures in wood and steel adorned the house, and were viewed with great respect. Members and partners enjoyed a beautiful relaxing lunch and chat as well as a walk down the garden to John’s studio where he demonstrated how he produces his beautiful work.

Thanks to all the members who came and for their contributions to lunch and special thanks to Jan and John for treating us so royally.

ASV Diary Dates

11th June...To be held in the meeting room. Apologies for this change as Richard Granville- Smith was not available to present a talk about his work. John Wooller has a CD of all the works in the Wangaratta Sculpture Festival held at Easter this year. The exhibition was quite controversial and invited much discussion. John has agreed to present the CD and too discuss and talk about the works.

30th June Membership renewals due

9th July .. A life drawing class To be held at "Art Encounters"http://www.artencounters.com.au/

843 Glenhuntly Rd. Running from 7.30 to 930pm. The cost per member will be $10 for the model and tutor. Easels, Bulky news print and charcoal will be supplied. This will be a formal tutored class where we will draw but also learn something about the human form. It should prove to be a good evening. It is essential that members wishing to attend contact Gillian on 95791221 or 0412122884

15th July entries for annual exhibition due.

For the following two meetings, two of our members, Rodford Belcher and Marija Patterson will present their work and talk about their creative journey

Tesselaar Tulip Festival and Sculpture Exhibition

Thanks to negotiations by Mark Cowie and John Wooller there will be an exhibition with an acquisitive prize in conjunction with the Tulip Festival 11th September to 8th October 2008. Stand by for more details.

NAVA News and Opportunities

NAVA issues lots of news – and also has a newsfeed from its website where you can tackle the latest controversial issues. Today's (26th May) naturally enough is a discussion on the photographic exhibition by Bill Henson. Well, all forms of art – including the written word, are subject to misinterpretation. Read the articles and see if they provide food for thought.


One of the really exciting initiatives NAVA is involved with through a partnership with the Australia Business Arts Foundation is a new website portal www.artistcareer.com.au. It is still being populated with content but is worth having a look to get the flavour of what will become a rich source of professional practice training and resource information over the next few months. It aims to be a connection point for art practitioners to easily find what is offered by the many different providers around Australia.

Artists Resale Royalty

This is a landmark moment for Australian arts development and artists' rights.

The recent federal budget had some very good news in it for NAVA members and for Australian artists generally. The allocation of $1.5 million over three years for the establishment of a resale royalty scheme for Australian visual artists, was warmly welcomed by NAVA. This is a strong indicator that the government is keen to make good its election promise and it is likely that the scheme will become a reality in 2009. After 20 years of lobbying for this right to be legislated, NAVA is celebrating a huge success. Arts Law, Viscopy, the Australian Copyright Council and NAVA are in agreement about how the scheme should work and further advice currently is being given to the federal arts department. For Australia's Indigenous artists in particular, the benefits should become quickly evident.

Services and Supplies Directory

Most of us regard that booklet with affection, some of us have marked it up with updates to our favourite suppliers but very few use the online version because sculpture studios and computers don't really mix. Fay Gerber and, more recently, Helen Clancy have done a great job checking the entries in the hard copy. But, in order to produce the next edition of our little book we need to update the online version of the directory. Please, please pick a material or service and check the online directory to see if the entries are accurate and adequate. If everyone picks a material with the same initial as their name we should just about cover the whole range of entries. Just enter the updates on the web site and we'll go from there with exporting and publishing the data. To see the online directory, link from the Resources section of the ASV website.

Annual Exhibition 2008

Entry forms and the conditions of entry will also be posted to you. But you can beat the rush and download those forms from the ASV web site if you so choose.
They are now available from


I have a fantastic range of beautiful imported carving stone available (of varying hardness & sizes) which is excess to my current needs - with a new shipment on the way, I have to make some space!

Stones include Marble, Chlorite, Pyrophyllite & Soapstone; colours include blacks, greens, pinks, purples, lavender, browns and whites, with lots of variety.

Prices begin from $5.00 per kilo inc. GST. If required, delivery charges may apply.

Please check out my website www.jennywhiteside.com for more details, or contact Jenny Whiteside on 0418 303 508, jenny@jennywhiteside.com

Membership Renewals 2008 to 2009

Membership renewal forms will be in the post to you shortly. There will also be the annual records check to run through so please - even if you are a life member or have won the Tina Wentcher prize in 2007 - check the records that we hold for you. Members with Internet access can see their sculptor profiles on our web site at http://www.sculptorsvictoria.asn.au/sculptor_listing.php – now is a good time to correct anything that may not fully represent you and your work.

The committee has been agonising over whether or not to give a rebate to members – most of us now – who receive the newsletter electronically. This year we are not in a position to do so – we are not 100% certain of how much we are saving or what additional costs we are to incur with the maintenance and changes to the website and continued work on our exhibition program. However rest assured that we are working on the idea, and feel free to let any member of the committee know where you stand on budget matters for the ASV as a whole.

Now as regards paying your fees – please be prompt! The committee members are all volunteers and the time and expense of chasing people for their dollar is draining not only of the volunteers' time but also it's quite a strain asking our fellow sculptors for money – please pay on the first notice, or if you plan to resign let us know early – that way every one knows where they stand and the committee members don't have to brace themselves to pursue you.

Members' Exhibitions

Rodford Belcher's Solo Exhibition “Spirit Guides”

Rod will be showing at the Famous When Dead Gallery 207 Victoria Street, West Melbourne from the 12 to 29 June. The gallery is open Tuesday to Sunday inclusive.

  • Hours 10am to 6pm weekdays

  • Friday til 7pm

  • weekends 11 to 3

Opening night is Thursday 12 June from 6 to 9

Studio visit to new member Daniele La Marche Sarvia

Private Viewing at my studio on Sunday June 15, 2008 from 1 to 5 pm at 7/369 Esplanade, Altona , there is ample parking at the front
RSVP 93984417 or daniele@lamarche-sarvia.com

discover Altona: there are two restaurants, 3 cafes on Pier st , enjoy a walk on the beach Altona is about 13 K from the city centre

Helen Clancy will be showing her work, Goddesses, in the exhibition Reflection at Chapel on Station Gallery corner Station Street and Ellingworth Parade Box Hill from 5th to the 18th June. the Gallery is open Tuesday to Friday 11:30 to 3pm, Saturday 1pm to 4pm and Sunday 4:30 to 7pm.

Exhibition and Other Opportunities

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

Entries have now closed for the Melbourne Prize for Urban sculpture. Only 10 finalists will be chosen for the exhibition - so selection is a bit like winning the prize itself. In the next newsletter we'll announce the finalists and generally keep you informed of progress.

Entries opened 17 March 2008 Entries closed 9 May 2008

Announcement of finalists 10 June 2008
Public exhibition of finalists 10―24 November 2008

Announcement of winner 12 November 2008
Announcement of Civic Choice Award 28 November 2008

Recipient announcements will be made at www.melbourneprizetrust.org

Bulleen Art and Garden are still offering workshops

in carving and mosaics and their exhibition space is always worth a look. Visit their website at www.baag.com.au.

New Members

This month we welcome Andrew Kasper, Pauline Meade, Leonie Ryan and Jenny Steiner. New members please feel welcome and come to the meetings to tell us about your work and your aspirations.

ASV membership officer

Ronit Freedman