The finalists for the 2012 UWS Sculpture Award

Photo: Sally Tsoutas


Mark Booth

Commercially produced PVC pipes are joined together into a 130kg structure of repetitiously twisted and contorted shapes, coated with matt white acrylic paint. Mark Booth’s sculpture addresses issues of transience and non-presence and will make for a stark, minimalist addition to the landscape.

Mark Booth is a graduate of the University of West England and the National Art School in Sydney. He has had solo shows with the Sydney and Melbourne Dickerson Galleries, as well as Factory 49 and Firstdraft Gallery in Sydney. He has been awarded prizes in The Festival of Fisher’s Ghost Award in 2002, the Paddington Art Prize in 2008, and the Willoughby Sculpture Prize in 2011.



Photo: Sally Tsoutas

The Atomic Family
Gary Christian

Standing as a witness to desecrations past and present, Gary Christian’s sculptures reflect on the devastating impact that the human race can have upon the natural world and our own humanity. Five pieces of painted steel, each stretching more than two metres into the sky and with a combined weigh of more than 500kg; The Atomic Family is sure to have a profound physical and metaphysical impact.

Gary Christian has worked as a painter and sculptor for 20 years and has had 17 solo shows in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Canberra and Hobart. In 2009 he won the Santos Sculpture Awards. His recent commissions include a sculpture for the Corrimal Cokeworks Hundred Year Centenary and a 7 floors high sculptural facade for 33 Bligh Street, Sydney.



Photo: Sally Tsoutas

Memorial for the Unknown Armchair General
Will Coles

To a passer-by, Will Coles’ sculpture may be mistaken as a piece of old, discarded furniture – an arm chair, abandoned to the elements. On closer inspection, the resin, iron dust and fibre glass construction provides a deliberate, passionate commentary on the wasteful nature of war.

Will Coles was born in Warwickshire, England, and studied at the Ravensbourne, Wimbledon and Glasgow art colleges. He has lived and worked in Australia since 1996, installing statement pieces based on everyday objects on the streets of Sydney.


MM Campbelltown1

Photo: M+M, Campbelltown

Simon Alexander Cook

A branched vascular structure; an invitation to dance with swans and to explore attraction, repulsion, oil and water – Simon Alexander Cook’s sculpture of white pipes and solar lights takes the form of a floating menorah candlestick that rotates in the breeze and encourages water birds to use it as a habitat-friendly marina.

Simon Alexander Cook is a Parramatta-based artist and designer having studied at Sydney College of the Arts, received the Design School Academic Award and has also trained in Natural Area Restoration. His landscape installations take inspiration from the natural bushland and conservation. His sculpture ‘Falling Fowl’ was awarded the UWS-Landcom People’s Choice Award in 2010.


Louisa Dawson

Photo: Alice King

New Arrivals
Louisa Dawson

A large boulder sits perched at the end of a 1 metre high diving board, suspended in motion in the moment just before it is flung into the pond – this sculpture comments on the social inequalities of travel and mobility and creates “an absurd tension between the two objects and the landscape.” The 173cm high installation weighs 1.125 tonnes.

Louisa Dawson is a Sydney-based artist working in large-scale public sculpture. She completed a Masters of Fine Arts Research (MFA) at the College of Fine Arts, University of NSW, in 2007; was a finalist in the 2004, 2005 and 2007 Helen Lempriere National Sculpture Award; and was also a finalist in the 2008 UWS Acquisitive Sculpture Prize.



Photo: Sally Tsoutas

seed |sēd|
Gary Deirmendjian

‘Seed’ is defined as ‘a flowering plant’s unit of reproduction, capable of developing into another such plant.’ This sculpture provides a commentary on urban sprawl, trade commerce and wealth – arguably the dominant religions of today. The ‘seed’ is the reproductive unit of a high rise building, tall and clad with glass and so familiar in the CBD.

Gary Deirmendjian is a Sydney-based artist and a graduate of the National Art School. Throughout his career, Deirmendjian has demonstrated a commitment to art in shared space and is a regular finalist in the major national sculpture exhibitions including Sculpture by the Sea, Helen Lempiere, McClelland Survey, and the UWS Acquisitive Sculpture Prize.



Photo: Sally Tsoutas

...and on the fifth day
Itzick Fisher

According to the story of creation as told in the book of Genesis in the Old Testament, on the fifth day God created the great creatures of the sea and every winged bird. This triangular sculpture, constructed on Corten Steel and weighing 150kg, uses the seagull as the symbol for all creatures and demonstrates a belief that creation is eternal.

Itzick Fisher created his first artwork out of pieces of found metal objects as a 12-year-old child, growing up in a kibbutz in Israel. In 1979 he migrated to Australia and ran an Engineering business for 20 years before once again pursuing his passion for art. He studied at the Sydney Gallery School in 2006 and has participated in a range of group and solo exhibitions.



Photo: Sally Tsoutas

Matt Godden

From the first sluice gate in an irrigation ditch, to the vessels of our circulatory system, the purpose of a valve is to restrict or block that which passes through it. It is an adversity device, the challenge against which successes are measured. Comprised of a found object, left to corrode in the elements, this sculpture allows the viewer to look through the half-moon view created by the valve’s partially closed gate.

Matt Godden’s background is in design, teaching design, and writing and illustrating graphic novels. He enrolled at the National Art School and completed his sculpture major in 2011 and was the recipient of the School’s Second Year Art History and Theory Prize in 2009.



Photo: Kim Armstrong

Christopher Hodges

Echo is a wall sculpture that is designed to hang on an external building wall and to harness the natural power of light. By day the Alupanel sculpture works to create shifting forms through shadows cast by the passing sun, and by night the light will glow from behind the sculpture.

Christopher Hodges has been exhibiting as a sculptor and painter since the late 1970’s. His early work had a strong figurative element and in later years has become more minimal, abstract and evocative. He has recently completed a sculpture commission for the St Vincent’s Hospital in Sydney, titled ‘Flower for a Friend’.



Photo: Sally Tsoutas

Totem of Language
Pin Hsun Hsiang

This towering, monolithic sculpture is a tribute to the ancient Chinese languages. More than 100 characters from regional languages dating back 2000, 3000 and 5000 years have been etched on the Hebel blocks that stack to form this imposing, three metre high, 600kg cubic tower.

Pin Hsun Hsiang is a Chinese born Australian sculptor, based in Sydney's Eastern Suburbs. He works primarily with Australian timbers but has also incorporated a number of other elements into his works including bronze, wire and other metals. His work is regularly exhibited in Australia and overseas.



Photo: Alice King

In the bag: Are we sitting comfortably?
Sally Kidall

A sequence of chairs sitting on the water’s surface, each sprouting with grass and individually contained in a plastic bag – this sculpture provides a unique commentary on the complexities, equilibrium and fragility of the natural environment and the ways in which our man-made systems work within, or in opposition to, these systems.

Sally Kidall is an international environmental artist, in practice for more than 25 years. Her background is in sculpture and in recent years has focused on creating site-specific environmental installations. She completed her MA at Portsmouth University in 2006 and exhibits throughout the UK and Australia.



Photo: Alice King

Jan King

The combination of slate and steel in this 150kg sculpture is a correlation of materials and of ideas. Steel is an industrial product that is both strong and malleable; slate is a rock that is hard and rigid, but breaks into irregular shapes and edges. In creating this work, the nature of the materials must be accepted before the artist can find solutions that combine them in sculptural unity.

Jan King has practicing and regularly exhibited as a sculptor for more than 30 years. Born in Cunnamulla, Queensland, she now lives and works in Sydney. She initially studied art in Perugia, Italy, but returned to Sydney to study at the National Art School and the University of NSW.



Photo: Sally Tsoutas

Neil Douglas Laredo

Recycled railway sleepers with a combined weight of 6 tonnes are used in this sculpture, as a direct reference to the rural fence – the continuous kilometres of fence posts that border our landscape, both obstructing our path and providing ownership and identity. The timbers, set in their upright position, provide a sense of harmonious belonging to the landscape, while their size and positioning reminds us of how we perceive ownership of the land.

Neil Douglas Laredo was born in Melbourne. At the age of 17 he left home to join the Royal Australian Air Force, and spent many years travelling the world before settling in Glenbrook, NSW, and pursuing his interests in painting and sculpture. He is a graduate of the University of Western Sydney.



Photo: Alice King

Antipodean Vision
Chris Leaver

A small garden ornament of a rabbit has been enlarged to 1.5m in height in this sculpture; laid out before him is a hole that contains a reflected vision of heaven. The piece is an exploration of how we view our environment – it starts with our love of the backyard, our home and the garden, and ends with our preconceived notions of heaven which poses questions about belonging.

Chris Leaver has been making art for 20 years. His sculptural works have been included in the 2010 UWS Acquisitive Sculpture Prize, 2009 Sculpture by the Sea, and the 2008 Woollahra Small Sculpture Prize, as well as various other group shows and solo exhibitions. He is currently undertaking a Masters in Studio Art at the Sydney College of the Arts.



Photo: Sally Tsoutas

Pocketfuls of gold... Bucketfuls of Sorrow
Ingrid Morley

It took the artist 500 hours to unearth and restore these 2.4 tonne distressed and corroded industrial hopper bins, abandoned after the closure of a copper mine in the Central Tablelands of NSW in 1956. The addition of the ‘handle’ suggests the more menacing aspect of the mining process – a big corporation taking from the earth and leaving behind a scarred landscape and toxic chemical waste. The intention is to provoke questions about what we destroy in order to produce.

Ingrid Morley's work grows out of her South African childhood, the study of veterinary science in London, and her love of the Australian landscape. In recent years she has been exploring ever new ways of making sculpture by assembling found objects. Her monumental bronze ‘Stations of the Cross' is a permanent fixture of Rookwood Cemetery.



Photo: M+M, Campbelltown

Two by Two
Ro Murray

These boats, cradled as if floating by steel ribs, are reminiscent of Noah’s Ark and ancient strength. The ten pairs of steel and cast iron cups were once compression vessels from trains. In a metaphorical sense they represent the idea of survival – a sanctuary not only from floods and tsunamis, but also from a toxic environment.

Ro Murray’s professional background is in architecture. She is a recent graduate of the National Art School and in 2011 was announced as the winner of the Women of Boards Art Prize, as well as the highly commended Muswellbrook Art Prize. She was also a finalist in the Marrickville Contemporary Art Prize; Sculptures in the Goal (Trial Bay); In Situ Festival of Mosman; and the Willoughby Sculpture Prize.



Photo: Sally Tsoutas

Spiral Knot Vine
Denese Oates

This work is part of a series of fractal shape sculptures that interpret the growth patterns of nature. The linear aspect recalls rope or vines, and becomes a whimsical drawing in space. The use of corten steel with its rusty surface serves to blend the work with the landscape, almost as though it has sprung spontaneously from the earth.

Denese Oates has been a practicing artist based in Sydney for thirty years. She has held twenty six solo exhibitions and participated in numerous group shows in Australia, Japan and New Zealand. Her work is represented in the collections of Parliament House, Artbank, and Regional galleries throughout Australia.



Photo: Sally Tsoutas

Gates of Reason
Geoff Overheu

Barriers take away any necessity for us to make decisions. Their function iis to guide, direct, prevent or divide the flow of humanity. No decision is required by us once we are confronted by a barrier, we simply follow the silent instruction that it gives without any recourse to thinking. We assume it is simply doing its job for our own wellbeing.

Geoff Overheu is a graduate of the Victorian College of the Arts. He was chosen for the Hatched at PICA in 2004, and was a finalist in the Lempriere Sculpture Prize and Sculpture by the Sea in 2006. His group shows include ‘Boundless’ at the State Gallery of Western Australia; he has also had solo exhibitions in Perth, Sydney, Melbourne and Basel, Switzerland.



Photo: Sally Tsoutas

Turning and turning in the widening gyre…
John Petrie

Using the construction of a recent sculpture in the Mount Annan Botanic Garden as inspiration, this work is comprised of approximately 20 long, circular, ‘basket tubes’ of gambion mesh and river stones, laid out and fastened to each in a triangular shape. The final form of the sculpture emerges after the joined basket tubes of stone are rolled out in a diagonal direction – the result evokes a shell form; the blueprint of organic life.

John Petrie is an award-winning Sydney based sculptor. His sculptures have been exhibited in group exhibitions across Australia, including Sculpture by the Sea and the 2010 UWS Acquisitive Sculpture Prize. In 2011 he was the Inaugural Artist in Residence at Mount Annan Botanic Garden.



Photo: Sally Tsoutas

In the beginning
Jimmy Rix

This sculpture is a critique of the education system, which is increasingly moving away from the skills of drawing, to focus more upon conceptual ideology. A replica of a steel pencil sharpener – if one was to stand 1.6 metres and weigh 500kg – it reflects on the importance of drawing in art forms, in particular to the artist, whose drawings comprise 80 per cent of his sculpture practice.

Jimmy Rix was born in Allora, Queensland. His work has been shown in numerous group and solo exhibitions since 1995, including the UWS Acquisitive Sculpture Prize. He was the winner of the Clitheroe Foundation and Sculpture by the Sea Mentorship in 2009.



Photo: Alice King

The Listrumpet
Sue Roberts

This sculpture evokes memories of the hearing trumpets of days past and of megaphone wielding coaches running up and down the sports field calling instructions. The former was used to concentrate sound and the latter to project it – in both cases sound is trapped and contained, before being projected inwards or outwards.

Sue Roberts was born in the UK, studied at Cambridge college of Art, and was the recipient of the CCAT Travel Scholarship. Since living in Australia she has studied art at Hornsby TAFE and the Natural Art School, graduating in 2008 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts (Sculpture). She has exhibited in a number of Australian exhibitions, including Sculpture by the Sea in 2010 and Sculpture in the Vineyards in 2010.



Photo: Sally Tsoutas

Martin Rowney

The work shows an imagined ruin of a homestead building, reflecting on the nature of the history of individual places. The cultural signature of a place is based on the artefacts that are left behind in the archaeological record – this ‘ruin’ has been constructed from bricks made of sand, dirt, cement and archaeological artefacts, and stretches 4.5 metres in length.

Martin Rowney is a sculpture student at the Australian National University. His sculptural work to date has included explorations of assemblage, mixed media and bronze casting. He was a finalist in the Willoughby Sculpture Prize in 2011.



Photo: Kim Armstrong

Martin Sims

This sculpture of coloured shapes in neon light is composed to mimic the universally recognised touch-control icons seen on electronic, analogue and digital devices. The work alludes to everyday life as often being a sequence of moments comprehensively mediated by such devices, where decisions and responses can seem to resemble a chocolate box selection; reality filtered in a saccharin version of events.

Martin Sims attended Chelsea School of Art and the Royal College of Art in London, where he first exhibited before moving to Sydney. His sculpture and installations have been shown in historic sites, civic locations, religious spaces and contemporary galleries. He is a Senior Lecturer in Sculpture at the College of Fine Arts, UNSW.



Photo: Sally Tsoutas

Transit Orbit (2012)
Vanessa Stanley

A 40 metre path of mirrored tiles winds through the landscape, in the sunlight and underneath the tree canopy, to end in a circular path within a clearing. The trees, the sky and the viewer’s reflection are fractured and abstracted as they walk. The viewer, manipulated into a specific relation with light, space and time, is invited to approach, question, play and become part of the process.

Vanessa Stanley, an emerging Brisbane artist, acquired First class Honours in Fine Art with awards for academic excellence from Queensland College of Art, Griffith University. She exhibited large-scale works in Brisbane Festival’s Under the Radar Program (2011) and Swell Sculpture Festivals (2010 and 2011).



Photo: Sally Tsoutas

Marcus Tatton

Our messages are sent out into the ether. Digitally, verbally, physically; on a multitude of levels we extend our intentions out to our environs... Receptors process our messages. They have travelled by code, to be deciphered into a corresponding language at the receiving end. This 1200kg sculpture is a configuration of circles and dashes in an accumulated chaotic mass; constructed from corten steel, which is coated in a fine layer of bitumen and gravel.

Marcus Tatton is a graduate of the University of Tasmania’s Bachelor of Fine Arts (Furniture Design) program. He was the recipient of the 2011 Helen Lempriere Scholarship and has exhibited in a number of solo and group shows, including Sculpture by the Sea, the Artscape Bienniel Sculpture Awards.



Photo: Sally Tsoutas

Greer Taylor

The theory of holographic principle suggests that the information in a space relates to the information on the surface of a space. A faceted object invites the act of looking only to reveal that you cannot – you can only see through, inside becomes outside and what seems concrete becomes ambiguous.

Greer Taylor has worked in many fields of the visual arts: fashion, textile arts, make-up, theatre, graphic design. Since completing an Advanced Diploma of Fine Art in 2005, Greer has had regular solo exhibitions and has participated in many group shows. Her work has been included as a finalist in a number of exhibitions including the John Leslie Art Prize, Blake Prize, Calleen Prize, and the Montalto Sculpture Prize.



Photo: Sally Tsoutas

The Ok Collective – Oliver Cloke and Kathy Heyward

From a distance the shining beacon of bright white fabric situates the viewer in a complex conundrum, why would a tent be considered an artistic accomplishment? And if it were not art, what use would a tent have if it has holes? On closer inspection it becomes obvious that the tent has been made from men’s shirts, which could be considered a symbol of power and the conforming individual that creates a homogenous society.

The Ok Collective, founded in 2009, is the collaborative practice of Oliver Cloke and Kathy Heyward. Meeting whilst undertaking their studies at the Victorian College of the Arts, these two artists developed an interest in the intersection between their practices: Oliver’s love for social spaces and Kathy’s passion for architecture.