National Sculpture Prize and Exhibition 2005 winner announced

14 July 2005

Glen Clarke was today named as the winner of the National Sculpture Prize 2005 for his work titled American Crater Near Hanoi #2.

Sydney based artist Glen Clarke was selected from a record 39 finalists, featuring some of Australia's foremost sculptors, such as Bert Flugelman, Geoffrey Bartlett, Ian Howard and Bonita Ely, as well as a number of emerging artists.

Judges statement:

"American Crater Near Hanoi #2 is an exceptional work that is fragile and delicate in addressing a particularly powerful subject. The artist has sensitively integrated message and form to allow for multiple interpretations by the viewer, and the work yields constant rediscovery as it is observed. American Crater Near Hanoi #2 is exquisitely executed and extends our understanding of the possibilities of sculptural practice.

"The decision of the judges was unanimous. The diversity and outstanding quality of the works in the exhibition, however, made it difficult to single out one work as the winner, and is a testament to the extraordinary vitality of contemporary Australian sculptural practice."

National Gallery of Australia Director, Ron Radford, who was also one of the judges, said: "The sculptors have embraced the unrestrictive nature of the competition and used a vast array of materials, techniques and approaches in their work," said Mr Radford.

"No artistic stone has been left unturned by this year's finalists, who have used everything from vacuum cleaner parts to termite-hollowed tree trunks to convey their message.

"Significantly, this year's Prize also includes works in new media, including digital works, DVD projections and sound works, as well as large-scale installations alongside traditional sculptural objects."

The National Sculpture Prize and exhibition was established as a partnership between the National Gallery of Australia and the Macquarie Bank Foundation in 2000 to support and promote Australian sculpture.

Held biennially, it carries a $50,000 prize, making it one of the most generous award for contemporary art in Australia. The Macquarie Bank People’s Choice Award of $4,000 is also awarded to the most popular work in the exhibition.

Announcing the winner, Macquarie Bank Executive Director, Warwick Smith, said the National Sculpture Prize had achieved much for Australian sculpture over the past five years.

"The National Sculpture Prize has given new prominence to Australian sculpture, which for a long time was the bridesmaid of the Australian arts," Mr Smith said.

"It has also initiated other lucrative sculpture prizes, further enhancing the profile of the art form. Most importantly, it has given valuable exposure to Australia's most talented sculptors, providing a strong platform on which to build their careers."

The judges selecting the winner of the National Sculpture Prize 2005 were:

  • Mr Julian Beaumont, Chairman, Macquarie Bank Art Committee
  • Dr Anna Gray, Assistant Director, Australian Art, National Gallery of Australia
  • Dr Deborah Hart, Senior Curator, Australian Art, National Gallery of Australia (preselection judging only)
  • Ms Hilarie Mais, Artist
  • Mr Ron Radford, Director, National Gallery of Australia (final judging only)
  • Mr John Stringer, Curator, Kerry Stokes Collection

From tomorrow the exhibition of the 39 finalists' works will open at the National Gallery of Australia, allowing visitors to experience the largest exhibition of contemporary Australian sculpture in a public gallery in the last decade.

A selection of the finalists' work will then tour several Macquarie Bank offices, where they will be placed on public display, then to the Dell Gallery, Queensland College of the Arts.

For further details, please contact:

Alix Fiveash
Marketing and Communications
National Gallery of Australia
Tel: 02 6240 6431

Julie White
Macquarie Bank Foundation
No.1 Martin Place
Sydney NSW 2000
Tel: 612 8232 9673
Fax: 612 8232 6346

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