SCULPTURE SURVEY 2007
"Sculpture occupies real space like we do... you walk around
it and relate to it almost as another person or another object."
Currently Perth has a land shortage, something a little hard to
believe. People love land; they love the freedom that their own
territory provides. Everybody wants his or her own bit of space. The
demands and restrictions imposed on space in the workplace and in
suburbia, where blocks are constantly divided, make space a premium.
Artists deal with and in space; they use it, adjust it, study it,
experiment with it, control it and work within it. Certainly all
artists depend on space and all art needs it to exist.
"Space is the breath of art."
Frank Lloyd Wright
Of all the art forms Sculpture relies on space most of all. The
Gomboc Sculpture Park and the Sculpture Survey provides artists and
the viewer with the necessary breathing space.
On arrival to the Sculpture Park the approach to the Gallery
looks a little different at this time of year. Usually we would come
ready with hat and sunscreen to view the outdoor work and linger
longer in the gallery with a cool drink to escape the late summer
sun. The contrast of the green winter landscape at this time of year
brings a different environment that is reflected in the making and
installing of the site-specific works.
Although the ‘blood, sweat and tears’ of the artists hard work is
evident there was considerably less sweat shed this year than during
the usual February/ March months of the previous sculpture surveys.
The impact on the work of this change perhaps most notable in the
student work which has benefited from the extra time in the semester
The Survey this year has invited artists with strong
international and national reputations. Jean Pierre Rives from
France, Campbell Robertson-Swann, Russell McQuilty, David Teer, Phil
Spelman from New South Wales and Angela Bakker from Broome in
Western Australia show through their work the rich variety sculpture
can provide. The inclusion of these artists from far a field gives
the local audience a chance to experience their sculpture first
hand, particularly in an educational sense for students to observe
and learn from.
This year the outdoor part of the Survey showcases student work
from Curtin University and Edith Cowan University. The Sculpture
Survey provides a unique opportunity for students to participate in
a professionally recognised exhibition. As well as an exhibition
(often the first noteworthy) on the CV, students gain important
professional practice experience in all aspects of being an artist.
Past student exhibitors in the Gomboc Survey have used this as a
springboard to respected local and national exhibitions such as
Sculpture by the Sea Cottesloe, Primavera at the Museum of
Contemporary Art Sydney and shows with private and public galleries.
Others have gone on to access awards and scholarships such as
Sculpture by the Sea student scholarship, the Advanced Visual Arts
Scholarship: Antonio Ratti Foundation in Como Italy and the
prestigious Samstag scholarship.
The strategies, methods or techniques made visible through the
work that students produce often reveals something of importance
evident in their work five years down the track in their careers as
artists. The freedom with which the students can engage with the
exhibition is due to the possibilities afforded by the encouraging
and open curatorial policy. The freedom and space to try anything is
just the opportunity an artist needs at any stage of their career.
The Gomboc Sculpture Survey is one of the only annual exhibitions
dedicated to Sculpture in Perth. The other major annual Sculpture
show in town is the Sculpture by the Sea event at Cottesloe, now
three years old, is heavily supported by Ron and Terrie with the
Gombocs providing a home away from home (in a sculptural sense) for
visiting artists and their work. This year at Cottesloe the large
work Nautilus (winner of the kids choice in Sculpture by the Sea)
made by Adje from New Caledonia had the finishing touches applied at
the Gomboc workshops.
I would like to thank Ron and Terrie Gomboc on behalf of all the
participating artists for hosting and supporting events such as the
Sculpture Survey and for their boundless energy and enthusiasm for
Art and in particular Sculpture.
See you at next year’s 25th,
Head of Sculpture at Curtin University
Artist: Galerie Dusseldorf