Gomboc Gallery Sculpture Park

 

Sculpture Park

 

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."
Chuck Close

 

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 programme.

 

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,
Bruce Slatter

 

Head of Sculpture at Curtin University
Artist: Galerie Dusseldorf
 

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