As the new Assembly’s winners are grinners, MICHAEL MOORE says we owe a vote of thanks to all the election’s candidates.
The launch on Friday evening (September 15) saw valiant art lovers and community members face the winter winds to stomp around the paddocks and then listen to the list of winners, presented this year by the CEO of Regional Arts NSW, Elizabeth Rogers.
Also present on the occasion was Richard Silink, properties manager of the National Trust NSW, which owns Cooma Cottage. He confirmed that the relationship between the exhibition and the Trust would be ongoing.Winner of the $2000 first prize was Robert Barnstone for his sculpture “Cleft ”, praised by the judges, Alexander Boynes, Mariana del Castillo and Jennifer Kemarre Martiniello for its “depth and philosophy” as opposed to works that were “light and whimsical”. The work, they said, was well considered, working in with and taking into account issues of the land from its 60,000 year heritage and the more current issue of CSG mining. A highly commended went to Roger Buckman for “Wind Riders”, in which bicycles installed with sculpted riders are propelled by the wind.
The winner of the 2017 Yass Soldiers Club Encouragement Award was Naomi Ryods for her sculpture “Rhythms of my Heart”, an artwork based on personal experience. The judges commented on the way the work was immediately recognisable and expressed appreciation that it was “biographical, and the quality was outstanding”. The winner of the 2017 ANU School of Art and Design Award was Brian Evans for his sculpture “Mould”, praised for its “extra high standard” and for the way the two main materials worked together.
The winner of the 2017 Tuggeranong Art Centre Prize, chosen by the centre’s arts program manager Narelle Phillips, was Rhonda Castle for her sculpture “Genessee II”.Both Evans and Castle will receive curated exhibitions as their prizes.
A unique feature of “Sculpture in the Paddock” is the adjunct sculpture exhibition in the cottage itself of works by students from schools. The initiative was spearheaded by Sandra Hiscock, Amy Watson with art tutors Suzie Bleach, Andy Townsend, Stephanie Corkhill, Al Phemister, Amy Watson and Dinah Vandenmeys. At last sight, the students’ exquisite small sculptures were selling out fast.
“Sculpture in the Paddock” has always been known for a huge variety of sculptures, some of which fit seamlessly into the natural landscape and others, like Phemister’s mirrored “Narci-Sunnies: To see the one I love”, stand out and make comment.
Members of the public will now have the opportunity to vote for the People’s Choice Award – $500 and a trophy, courtesy of the Yass Golf Club.
“Sculpture in the Paddock”, at Cooma Cottage, Yass Valley Way, until October 8, 10am-4pm, daily, with 8pm closure on Thursdays.