May 27, 2013

Sculpture is a wonderful thing.

Represented in many different forms from figurative to abstract, decorative to functional and from the very small to the incredibly large, sculpture can bring life and dynamism to a space that no two dimensional artwork can match. Whether it's in a foyer, a courtyard, a garden, a field, an urban space or a lounge room, sculpture has an ability to alter a space, to become the focus, to draw the eye from every angle.

Shown here are sculptures by a number of renowned Australian and International sculpture artists. Here you will find a diversity not only in size, subject matter and style but also in the materials used; corten steel, marble, sandstone, bronze and wood.

One thing each of these artists have in common is the mastery they have over their chosen medium to tell their story. All the sculptures here are produced by truly skilled artisans who each a unique artistic vision.

Greg Johns has had a long and successful career in working with corten steel creating abstract forms inspired by the Australian landscape. In 2012 Johns won the prestigious McClelland Sculpture Award with his piece "At The Centre (There is Nothing)". Johns was also a finalist in this year's Montalto Sculpture Prize with the work "Lightning Figure" which is shown here.

Jane Valentine is regarded as the country's preeminent marble sculptor. "Wings of Victory" is testament to that; the fluid shape of the wing, the fine detail in the feathers, this is the skilled work of a unique talent. This piece was a finalist in the McClelland Sculpture Award.

"Immersion" reveals another side of Jane's art; the pursuit of classical simplicity and the purity of form. Here her aesthetic resonates with the essential elements of sculpture and its traditions to reveal the clarity of the material.

Like Jane, Matthew Simmonds works in Pietresanta, the Italian town internationally renowned for its marble and stone studios and where Michelangelo and Henry Moore once worked. In Simmonds' approach to sculpture he draws on the formal language and philosophy of architecture and explores themes of positive and negative form, the significance of light and darkness, and the relationship between nature and human endeavour. In "Romanesque Stone" we can see an intricate world revealed within the solid stone; the space created gives the same feeling as in the buildings themselves; a place to rest, a place to travel with the eye and maybe find a moment of tranquillity. The stone is opened up, and inside is a space within a building that only exists in the viewer's mind.

Traditionally an artist will name an artwork upon completion. Not though in Stephen Glassborow's case. He takes a phrase or word and interprets it into an idea, often with a light-hearted, humurous approach, that reflects not just his personality but a more contemporary attitude to figurative sculpture. Here we have "Mumbo Jumbo" and "Flat Out"; in these sculptures Glassborow manipulates and captures the figure in a blend of real and abstract. "I attempt to bend the traditional attitudes of the figure, while still retaining my view of an aesthetic balance."

The sculptural work of German artist Stephan Guber has became more and more a study of human genesis. The origin of humanity, the distinction of the sexes and the formation of human consciousness are core questions raised by his work.

With limbs kept close to the body and their gaze staring off into the distance or looking deep inside, Guber's life-size wooden sculptures "Sister of Hope" and "Venus and the Shell" are the epitome of a calm, cool, collected presence.