Harrison’s horsemen win ‘Sculpture in the Paddock’ prize

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AN impressive crowd of around 200 people toured out for the champagne opening YASSarts’ 2014 ‘Sculpture in the Paddock’ on Friday, where they saw Downer Sculptor Stephen Harrison, receiving the $2,000 award and a sculpted glass prize by Binalong artist Peter Minson from Professor David Williams.

Stephen Harrison receiving award from Professor David Williams, photo , Therese van Leeuwin
Stephen Harrison receiving award from Professor David Williams, photo , Therese van Leeuwin

Radio personality Genevieve Jacobs in welcoming visitors to the bucolic setting of Cooma Cottage, once home of the famous Australian born colonial explorer Hamilton Hume, thanked the National Trust (NSW) for hosting the event.

Harrison's horsemen, photo Kim Nelson
Harrison’s horsemen, photo Kim Nelson

The judges of this year’s “Sculpture in the Paddock”, Shane Breynard, Joseph Falsone, and this writer, awarded the prize to Harrison of Downer for his sculptural installation “The Three Horseman Conference.” Harrison’s “beautifully-finished” white horses/horsemen, they commented, had immediately raised the question,” where is the fourth horse, the pale horse of the Apocalypse?” adding, “we suspected it might be the spectator.” Harrison’s evocative installation, they said,   fitted perfectly with several ageing tree stumps in  the paddock, and went a step further than most in raising questions about the possibilities of sculpture.

Buckman's roundabout sheep, photo Kim Nelson
Buckman’s roundabout sheep, photo Kim Nelson

The judges also very strongly commended artist Roger Buckman for his work ‘Roundabout Sheep’, another perfectly-placed installation which they said they hoped would be purchased as a public art work.

Sculptural installation  (detail) by Dan Moore. Photo by Kim Nelson
Sculptural installation (detail) by Dan Moore. Photo by Kim Nelson

Artist Dan Moore won a special award, the chance to stage an exhibition at the Tuggeranong Arts Centre in 2015 and a ‘People’s Award ‘ prize will be announced at the end of the show.

‘Sculpture in the Paddock’ attracted 24 entries, mostly from the immediate region, a more-than-respectable showing considering the fact that many other sculpture prizes and shows take place in October, not least the Clearwater Prize on Queanbeyan River this week, the new Harris Hobbs Small Sculpture Prize at Canberra Grammar School on October 16, and the coming Sculpture by the Sea in Sydney.

Sculptpr Ross Fairley's family of thylacines. Photo by Alex Tewes
Sculptpr Ross Fairley’s family of thylacines. Photo by Alex Tewes

Several of the entries were executed in a kind of bush vernacular style, among them works making use of farm implements, horse shoes and parts of old engines. As well, old fenceposts found on the property were incorporated into art works.

Dandelions' by Al Phemister
Dandelions’ by Al Phemister, Cooma Cottage in background

‘Sculpture in the Paddock’, at ‘Cooma Cottage’ on Yass Valley Way just this side of Yass, until October 26, Thursday to Sunday, from 10am – 4pm. (Open to 8pm on Thursday evenings). Workshops and artist talks will be taking place on the closing weekend, October 25-26. For all details visit http://yassarts.org/welcome/yassarts-spring

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Helen Musa
“CityNews” arts editor

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