Statement by the Executive Chairman of Macquarie Bank
Macquarie Bank is delighted to be partnering the National Gallery of Australia in this, the first National Sculpture Prize and Exhibition.
For too long sculpture in Australia has not received the recognition that it deserves and Macquarie Bank is proud to be playing an important role in acknowledging and showcasing the talent that exists within Australian sculpture today.
Macquarie Bank, Australia's leading full service investment bank, has a longstanding commitment to supporting not only the arts but also a wide range of other community-based organisations and services. Through the Macquarie Bank Foundation, which was established in 1969, the Bank provides funds and support to programs benefitting the community in the areas of education, health research and health care, welfare, the environment and the arts.
Our partnership with the National Gallery, Australia's premier visual arts institution, has succeeded in elevating both sculptors and their art, and is highlighting the outstanding talent that exists in Australia today. We were delighted, indeed overwhelmed, that more than four hundred and eighty entries were received from all around Australia for this prize. The exhibition that you see today showcases the talent of our thirty finalists. From the finalists, a winner will be chosen. We concur wholeheartedly with the comments made by Professor Ian Howard, one of the judges, when he said that: the vast number of sculptors submitting quality entries, the range, scale and diversity of the work and the energy and ambition of many of the proposals, indicates that sculpture is very much alive and well in Australia.
As part of Macquarie's commitment to the support of sculpture in Australia, we will be touring selected pieces from this exhibition to Macquarie offices in Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne during 2002. It is hoped that this will enable a wide appreciation of the outstanding pieces that have been brought together for this exhibition. It is also our intention in future years to travel some of the sculptures overseas.
I would like to congratulate all of the artists who have been selected to exhibit their work - some pieces are challenging, but all represent the best of contemporary Australian sculpture.
I thank the National Gallery of Australia and its Director, Dr Brian Kennedy, for the commitment and dedication that he and his staff have given to the National Sculpture Prize and Exhibition and for their willingness to join with Macquarie Bank in this exciting partnership.
I do hope that you enjoy the exhibition and I am confident that this will be the beginning of a new era in Australian sculpture.
Executive Chairman, Macquarie Bank
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