Western Sydney University Sculpture Award and Exhibition opened

John Fitzmaurice, ‘Dragging the Chain’

Western Sydney University, together with supporters Landcom, the Peter Eichhorn Family, Quest Campbelltown and Campbelltown City Council, is proud to open the ninth Western Sydney University Sculpture Award and Exhibition. 

Based at the University’s Campbelltown campus, the renowned biennial exhibition will feature outdoor sculptures by leading Australian and international artists designed to complement the surrounding environment and landscape. The exhibition will run from 7 May to 6 June.

Vice-Chancellor and President Professor Barney Glover AO said the exhibition provides an opportunity to highlight a range of talented artists and demonstrates the University’s strong connection and commitment to the arts and culture sector.

“I offer my congratulations to the winners and finalists who contributed to this year’s exhibition," said Professor Glover.

“The University is proud to present such a high calibre exhibition at its Campbelltown campus — one that brings together a range of innovative artists whose thought-provoking works not only enrich our campus, but can be enjoyed by our students, staff and the community.”

Jennifer Cochrane, ‘Cubes with Trees’

This year’s esteemed curatorial panel, which included Kon Gouriotis AOM, Nigel Harrison, Renee Porter and Monica McMahon, selected 20 stand-out sculptures as finalists in the exhibition.

Joining the exhibition opening was special guest Chris Keely, Executive Director of Create NSW, who announced the winners of the following awards:

  • Western Sydney University Acquisitive Sculpture Award - valued up to $30,000 - John Fitzmaurice, ‘Dragging the Chain’
  • Janice Reid Site Specific Sculpture Award - $5,000 - Jennifer Cochrane, ‘Cubes with Trees’
  • Peter Eichhorn Family Sculpture Prize - $5,000 – Samantha Stephenson, ‘Notion of Flight’

Western Sydney University Art Curator Monica McMahon commented the standard of works this year was incredibly high, with many artists overcoming significant challenges to complete and deliver their pieces.

“Our esteemed judges commended the sculptors for their incredible works. They also highlighted the exhibition for its important contribution to society and for keeping sculpture alive in public places,” said Ms McMahon.

“The winning piece, ‘Dragging the Chain’ by John Fitzmaurice, was recognised for its simplicity of form and rhythmical nature, characteristics that appear to be in contradiction to the heaviness of the solid material of metal that it is made from.”

“The work is an iconic form from a distance in the landscape, however up close it reveals a natural beauty of form that integrates seamlessly.”

Acquired by Western Sydney University, the winning work by John Fitzmaurice will be permanently installed alongside past winners within the grounds of the Campbelltown campus.

The Landcom People's Choice Award, valued at $5,000, will be awarded at a later date.

For more information on the exhibition, please visit the Western Sydney Sculpture Award and Exhibition web page (opens in a new window).

Samantha Stephenson, ‘Notion of Flight’


6 May 2021

Ali Sardyga, Media Officer

Photo credit: Sally Tsoutas