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 June 2008

The other day I was clipping the hedge that runs down each side of our driveway. On one side the job consists of cutting back the new overhanging shoots of the dogwood trees that grow prolifically up here in the Dandenongs. On the other side of the driveway, apart from the odd bit of holly and an occasional bramble, (please don’t report me to the noxious weed police), the hedge is a high dense tangle of Japonica.

Clip went the shears and my mind began to wander. One nightmare would be the job of maintaining a hedge maze; miles of uniform clipping, straight up and down, no curves, only right angles. An apprentice maze clipper would need a girlfriend by the name of Ariadne to help out but after a while I suppose he would soon learn his way through it. Like life really; having to make choices, go back and do it again if you get it wrong. I’d be clapped out, or clipped out, at the first turn. But that’s sculpture.

For various reasons, practical or ornamental, people have always pruned or trimmed plants. Topiary, the sculpting of bushes and shrubs into parrots, pagodas and peacocks, has been common for centuries. These objects are all man-made, nature providing only the raw material, human consciousness the rest. They are artificial, an artifice or, in short, art.

Taken to an extreme is the art of bonsai; that ultimate domination of man over nature, perfected over the centuries in Japan. Not to everyone’s taste - I know someone who regards this tampering with nature as an obscenity like the stretch limo – it is popular all over the world. These tiny trees are living sculptures.

The nation that perfected the art of small living sculpture is also home to the world’s largest sculpture park; the Hakone Open Air Museum. Set on seven hectares of gentle slopes in a national park it also houses a large collection of paintings, ceramics and other indoor works of art. That an oriental nation like Japan can be host to one of the most significant Western art collections is astonishing and is one of the great benefits of globalisation. In particular the large sculpture collection includes Miro, Brancusi, Giacometti - the list goes on – and also the largest collection of Henry Moore anywhere in the world. Also represented at Hakone is Peter Blizzard, the only Australian to have had a one-man show there. You will remember he was our judge this year at the Flower and Garden Show where, incidentally, I saw quite a few bonsai and a number of hedges.

So you see, everything is connected, and better still it’s all connected to sculpture. If you don’t believe me just go out and clip your hedge.

John Wooller President

ASV Diary Dates

30th June
ASV subscriptions due

8th July to 19th July
Contemporary Art Society of Victoria Inc. Annual Exhibition 2008 celebrating 70 years. At fortyfivedownstairs, 45 Flinders Lane Melbourne, Tuesday to Friday 11am to 5pm, Saturday 12noon to 4pm

9th July...

Life drawing class at ART ENCOUNTERS 843 Glenhuntly Road Sth Caulfield. at 7.30 at cost of $10 per member to part pay for model and tutor. There are 2 places vacant so please be quick and contact Gillian on 95791221 or 0412122884 or gmps.govan@bigpond.com to get your place. Easels, rough paper, charcoal supplied. If you wish to use other materials feel free. We look forward to seeing you at a fun but instructive evening.

15th July

Close of entries for Annual Exhibition

18th July

Close of entries Sculpture Amongst the Tulips

13th August

William Echoltz will come to Boroondarra Culture centre to tell us about his work. The talk will commence at 7.30 and will be accompanied by a power point presentation.
William Eicholtz is a contemporary sculptor, taking figurative art from its traditional lineage then performing and placing it firmly in current artistic dialogue. Evoking classic themes, his sensual sculptures rejoice in the metaphor and the physical, with a particular focus on the male nude.
Eicholtz acknowledges, in both theme and technique, the figure’s place in the classical history of art, then appropriates and translates it into a language infused with a humour and theatricality that embraces modern art.
Exploring and working with new materials in innovative ways, Eicholtz’s many public and private commissions vary from small –scale pieces suited to indoor display, to large scale weather hardy works.
These exciting and beautiful sculptures take their place in art practice today. Studying sculpture throughout his life, William has acquired a first class honours degree in fine art and he has been teaching for many years at university level.
He exhibits his work throughout Australia and is featured in international collections. William primarily works from his Melbourne studio and is fortunate to have dual USA/ Australian Citizenship.

31st August

Set up annual exhibition.

1st September to 4th October

Annual Exhibition

10th September

Marija Patterson has kindly agreed to talk about her work.

Notes from Monthly Meeting of Wednesday 11th June 2008

President John Wooller (JW) opened the meeting at 7.30pm and welcomed 13 members and 1 guest, with 4 apologies. Before commencing the presentation, JW explained that the ASV lack of an electronic slide projector and compatible laptop computer had resulted in a manual presentation of photographs. JW stated a belief that an association of professional sculptors needed electronic projection facilities, and proposed thought be devoted to the ASV acquiring the equipment. Members agreed that the ASV also needed a volunteer to check, operate and maintain the said equipment, and ensure no compatibility problems. Gillian Govan has volunteered to initially set up a projection system.

Presentation on Wangaratta Sculpture Biennial, 2008.

JW briefly mentioned the Wangaratta Art Festival as an enjoyable festival spread over about two weeks, with an outdoor sculpture exhibition as the main feature. This year’s sculpture exhibition included 50 entries, with 3 from ASV members, divided into 2 categories:

  • Permanent outdoor exhibits with 24 entries; a City of Wangaratta first prize of $10,000;

  • Ephemeral exhibits (that will not last outdoors for any appreciable time) with 25 entries; a first prize of $2,500.

The judge was Geoffrey Bartlett, who was unfortunately not available at award time to comment on the general exhibits or the winning entries.

JW then asked the ASV meeting to assess from the photographs which exhibits fell into which of the two defined categories. The meeting generally agreed with the classification of exhibits actually made in the exhibition, with disagreements over some 2-3 pieces. JW supplemented discussion with reading from selected artists’ statements, many of which had an environmental theme. The meeting agreed there was a very wide variety in type and standard of exhibits. A vote by members on a few pieces indicated a belief by some (not unanimous) that some pieces should not have been admitted. Issues mentioned included artistic merit, intellectual art, and takeaway messages.

JW asked the members in the meeting to act as judges, and for each to assess which was in his or her view the best in each of the two categories of exhibits, and also which was the likely recipient of the people’s choice award. Voting on all three subjects at the meeting indicated a very wide distribution of votes, with nearly everyone voting differently on the Permanent category. He then informed the meeting of the 3 awards actually made in Wangaratta. It was noteworthy that not one ASV member had voted for the winning Permanent exhibit, the winning Ephemeral exhibit, or the winning People’s Choice exhibit.

Discussion was animated, if not heated. There was some agreement, namely that the outcome of exhibitions can be unpredictable, and very dependent on the curator and judge.

The meeting concluded with a vote of thanks to JW in overcoming obstacles to produce such a lively meeting.

Geoff Williams

Welcome to New Member

This month we welcome Jim Howson - and hope to see his work at exhibition soon.

Brighton Primary Art Show 2008

Friday 18th, Saturday 19th & Sunday 20th July

This is by way of introducing you and your members to our art show which is held later in July this year. To re-cap…..We are looking to ‘invite’ some sculptors to exhibit at our show to balance the eclectic mix of art styles that we try to achieve. In my mind I was thinking say 6 sculptor artists with say up to 5 pieces each, total up to 30 pieces1. The prices could range from $100 up to say $2000 for this buyers range, taking into account that as a fund raiser event, we would take 25% of the sale price.

The artwork delivery day is on the Friday morning before the show & artworks to be taken away after 5pm on the Sunday afternoon of that weekend… so its all very neat & compact time wise. There are some beautiful bay windows at the venue ‘Billilla’ with magnificent natural light that we could allocate space to exhibit some of these works.

Our website is www.brightonprimaryartshow.com.au.

For some more general information:

Most of the works are hanging artworks but we desire to mix this with sculptures too. We have a substantial base of artists already and as you read more from our website you will see that we draw from the school parents, their friends/relatives etc. and the local community along with invited artists to add balance to the quality of works we exhibit. It is intended to be a show displaying various standards and types of artworks with a focus on bringing our school and the community together for a fun weekend.

It’s the second year running and from the more renowned artists point of view, it is holding a high standard of reputation particularly with the chosen venue and the professional display & lighting systems that we use. We also group our artists into their own separate sections, not jumbled in amongst other artists styles etc., that in itself is a bit unique.

The website gives a great deal of information about the show for any interested artists. Once artists have registered their interest, with myself as curator, and usually by sending some images by email … we then forward what we call an Artist Pack which gives the entry form and all other information needed.

More importantly, entries for this show close soon on 13th June 2008 though in your advertisement we would be happy to extend this closing date to your members by one week till 20th June2 or until all places are filled.

Bye for now…

Tanya Robertson

Curator, Brighton Primary Art Show 2008

1A bit ambitious with the number of works per sculptor – we shall see how many are able to oblige. Editor's note.

2This date has also passed – however it may be worth contacting the curator if you live or work in the area and are really keen – Editor's note

Woollahra Small Sculpture Prize

Woollahra Small Sculpture Prize calling for entries.
Entries are to be in by 8th August.
Entry forms can be had from http://sculptureprize.woollahra.nsw.gov.au/ or by phoning Jo Jansyn on 02 93917135 or by email at sculpture@woollahra.nsw.gov.au
It is a $10,000 prize for works up to 80cm in any dimension

Announcement of Melbourne Prize for Urban Sculpture 2008 finalists

The Melbourne Prize Trust today announced 10 finalists in the $60,000 Melbourne Prize for Urban Sculpture 2008, one of the most valuable prizes of its kind in Australia. The Melbourne Prize Trust is an initiative of the Committee for Melbourne.

The Melbourne Prize for Urban Sculpture 2008 recognises and rewards Victoria’s abundant excellence and talent in sculpture. The Prize culminates in a free two-week public exhibition of finalists’ works at Federation Square between 10 and 24 November 2008.

Each of the 10 finalists will receive a $2000 artist fee, to assist with costs associated with displaying their entered work at Federation Square. Australian Art Resources and the Melbourne Prize Trust generously support the artist fee.

The 10 finalists in the Melbourne Prize for Urban Sculpture 2008 are:

Sue Buchanan & Eli Giannini

Pam Clements

Alexander Knox

Elaine Miles

Tom Nicholson

John Nixon

Louise Paramor

Spiros Pinigirakis

Kerrie Poliness

Jason Waterhouse

The finalists are in the running for the following prize and awards, including the:

§ Melbourne Prize for Urban Sculpture 2008: $60,000, comprising $30,000 cash and $30,000 cash for an International Travel Grant, generously supported by the Lord Mayor’s Charitable Fund and the City of Melbourne respectively.

§ Professional Development Award: $9,000 cash, plus a three month artist-in-residence at Sculpture & Spatial Practice, VCA Art, University of Melbourne, generously supported by the Faculty of the Victorian College of the Arts, Fundere Fine Art Foundry and the Professional Development Award Trust.

§ Civic Choice Award: $3000. Awarded by votes cast by visitors to the public exhibition at Federation Square, generously supported by J K Fasham Pty Ltd.

§ VicUrban Award: The VicUrban Award is an invitation to a selected finalist from 2008 Melbourne Prize to participate in a research project relating to a specific VicUrban development.

The Melbourne Prize for Urban Sculpture 2008 winner will be announced on 12 November 2008, along with the Professional Development Award and VicUrban Award recipients. The Civic Choice Award will be announced on 27 November 2008.

Melbourne Prize Trust Executive Director, Mr Simon Warrender, said the Melbourne Prize for Urban Sculpture 2008 marked the commencement of the second cycle of the annual Melbourne Prize.

We established the annual Melbourne Prize as one of the most valuable prizes of its kind in Australia back in 2005 when we launched the Melbourne Prize for Urban Sculpture. We have since recognised and rewarded Victoria’s literary and musical talent and now we ready to commence the second three-year cycle with urban sculpture,” said Mr Warrender.

The annual Melbourne Prize provides direct and significant opportunities for artists and supports Melbourne’s position as Australia’s arts and cultural capital.

The Prize has grown in prestige and reputation throughout the past three years and would not have been possible without the generous support of all our partners and patrons. This year’s finalists have been selected from a larger list of entrants than we had in 2005,” said Mr Warrender.

The finalists’ works will judged by a highly credentialed Awarding Committee, comprising:

§ Dr Gerard Vaughan, Director, National Gallery of Victoria.

§ Professor Andrea Hull AO, Director & Dean, Faculty of the Victorian College of the Arts, University of Melbourne.

§ Professor Rob Adams AM, Director Design & Urban Environment, City of Melbourne.

§ Robert Owen, Sculptor.

The Awarding Committee is supported by an Advisory Group.

Key dates for the Melbourne Prize for Urban Sculpture 2008:

§ Tuesday 10 June: Finalists announced.

§ Monday 10 - Monday 24 November: Free public exhibition of finalists’ works at Federation Square.

§ Wednesday 12 November: Prize and Award recipients announced.

§ Thursday 27 November: Civic Choice Award announced.

All prize announcements will be made at www.melbourneprizetrust.org

NAVA News and Opportunities

Each month NAVA puts out emails publicising news and opportunities for artists. You can check their website on www.visualarts.net.au This month the headings are:

1. Money for Visual Artists

2. Art Censorship Forum

3. Art Censorship Guide

4. Code checklist re artists working with children

5. Melbourne Art Fair

6. Grants closing dates

1. Prizes, Grants, Scholarships

1.1 Helen Lempriere Travelling Art Scholarship 2008

1.2 Australia Council for the Arts' Creative producer - community partnerships

1.3 Australia Council for the Arts' 2008 Community partnerships Program Grants

1.4 Australia Council for the Arts' 2008 Ros Bower Award

1.5 Australia Council for the Arts' 2008 Kirk Robson Award

1.6 M16 Drawing Prize

1.7 Major Production Fund - Call for Proposals

2. Residencies

2.1 Studio 18 Applications

3. Opportunities

3.1 Free listing in Art_a_base Travelling Exhibitions Handbook

3.2 CACSA call for proposals to Project Space 2009

3.3 Regional Arts Australia Creative Volunteering - No Limits workshops

4. Exhibitions and Events

4.1 2008 Biennale of Sydney

4.2 The Visual Arts Board of The Australia Council, Visual Arts - Public briefing

5. Resources

5.1 The Code of Practice for the Australian Visual Arts and Craft Sector 2nd ed.

5.2 Accessible Arts - Disability Awareness & Access Training Available

6. NAVA's media partners: Arts Hub, Art Monthly, Artlink and Art Almanac

Tulip Festival Sculpture Exhibition

As an addition to its well-established annual Tulip Festival, and in conjunction with the ASV, Tesselaar, in the Dandenong Ranges, is establishing a sculpture exhibition and competition with an Acquisitive Prize of $5,000 and a People’s Choice Award of $500.

The Tesselaar Tulip Festival is attended by approximately 40,000 people annually, and this year will take place between 11 September and 8 October.

Applications are invited for single object free-standing sculptures
that can be permanently displayed outdoors.

The exhibition will be curated by an independent professional curator who will select a number of sculptures to be judged by the eminent Australian sculptor, Ernst Fries.

Applications close on Friday, 18 July 2008.

The Terms and Conditions of the Prize and an Application Form can be downloaded at the following links:


Further enquiries can be directed to Mark Cowie by email:
forgedgarden@vic.chariot.net.au or by contacting him on 5348 5696 or 0429 336 639.

Please do not hesitate to contact either Mark or myself if you have any queries.

John Wooller,
Association of Sculptors of Victoria