About The National Sculpture Prize

The National Sculpture Prize has been established as a joint partnership between the National Gallery of Australia and Macquarie Bank as a means of promoting and supporting sculpture in Australia. Prizes are popular with both artists and the public, and in recent years have been a successful way of generating interest in contemporary art amongst the wider community.

A prize of $50,000 was awarded to XIAN, Ah, for Human Human - Lotus Cloisonné Figure 1, 2000 - 2001. An exhibition of shortlisted works will be held at the Gallery until 10 March 2002. The conditions of entry for the inaugural National Sculpture Prize were carefully considered in order to be as inclusive as possible of works from across the broad spectrum of contemporary sculpture, and to be open to as many artists as possible. In recognition of the diversity of sculptural practice today, no definition of sculpture was given, and it was made clear to artists who inquired that entries in all media would be acceptable. The criteria were that works could not be outdoor or site-specific, nor could they exceed one tonne in weight, though no restrictions were placed on size. It was also a requirement that the works be safe to handle and exhibit in an art museum environment.

There were no age or educational qualification restrictions on the artists, the only criterion for eligibility was Australian citizenship or residency in Australia in the year prior to the close of entries. In order to encourage artists from all states and territories to enter, the Prize was advertised nationally and entry forms distributed as widely as possible.

For this inaugural Prize, artists were invited to enter up to four works. These could be either works completed within the previous twelve months, or proposals for new works. Artists were asked to send photographs, slides or other visual materials with their entries, and to provide brief written descriptions for proposed works.

By the close of entries on 1 May 2001, four hundred and eighty-five entries had been received from artists in all states and territories, as well as from Australian artists living overseas. As had been hoped, entries were received from artists of all ages and backgrounds and the works entered encompassed the diversity of contemporary sculptural practice.

The first stage of the judging took place in late May 2001. The panel of five judges convened at the National Gallery to choose the works to be exhibited later in the year. Whereas the initial intention had been to select up to four works by up to ten artists, it became evident to the judges that it would not be desirable to restrict the exhibition to this relatively small number of artists. They unanimously agreed that the number of artists selected for the exhibition should be increased. This was in recognition of the extraordinary quality and range of entries, and also the fact that that many artists had chosen to enter only one work.

At the close of two days of intensive deliberation, the judges announced that they had selected forty works by thirty-one artists (including two collaborations, each between two artists) for the final exhibition. 1Of these forty, seventeen were proposals for new works. International Art Services, a specialist art carrier, has sponsored the Prize by offering all shortlisted artists a fifty per cent discount on transport for their works to and from the National Gallery for the exhibition. In addition, the shortlisted artists received a payment of $2,000 to assist with their costs.

The wining work will be chosen by the judges when the exhibition is installed at the National Gallery of Australia in late November, and announced at the official opening of the exhibition.

1One of the shortlisted artists reluctantly chose to withdraw from the Prize due to logistical difficulties.

click images to enlarge
Nautilus, BARTLETT, Geoffrey, 2001
'esque - thoughts brought forth by our fingers, BAWDEN, Lionel, 2000 - 2001
Wall unit (origin of the world), BURCHILL, Janet, McCAMLEY, Jennifer, 2001, Courtesy of Yuill/Crowley, Sydney
Natalie and Benjamin are playing cubby, BURFORD, Kristian, 2001
Face value, CALVERT, Matt, 2000, Courtesy of Diane Tanzer Gallery, Melbourne
The birdman - flight of fancy, COLE, Peter, 2001, Courtesy of Ray Hughes Gallery, Sydney
The man who drinks milk outside the Art Gallery, CONNOR, Kevin, 2000
Head VI, CONNOR, Kevin, 2000
Head IV, CONNOR, Kevin, 2000
Victoria Street woman, CONNOR, Kevin, 2000
Clip, DI MAURO, Sebastian, 2001
Tea party in the Mayoral garden, DOWNES, Ruth, 2000 - 2001
Twisted, FISHER, Fred, 2000
Triple twist, FISHER, Fred, 2001

Prosthetic resort II, GOODWIN, Richard, 2001, Courtesy of Boutwell Draper Gallery, Sydney; Christine Abrahams Gallery, Melbourne
Glass slipper (Ugly Blister), HORN, Tim, 2001
Julietta, IVIMEY, Linde, 2000
Dysmas, IVIMEY, Linde, 2001
Climacus, IVIMEY, Linde, 2000

Parallel horizons, JENSZ, David, 2001, Courtesy of Michael Carr Art Dealer, Sydney
Trace, OLIVER, Bronwyn, 2001, Courtesy of Christine Abrahams Gallery, Melbourne
Pillow, PIGGOTT, Rosslynd, 2000, Courtesy of Sutton Gallery, Melbourne
Spine (Column), PURHONEN, Ari, 2001
Ramp, ROBERTS, Neil, 2001, Courtesy of Helen Maxwell Gallery, Canberra
Vertical channel, ROBSON, Sarah, 2000, Courtesy of Gitte Weise Gallery, Sydney
Herd (All 16 hands), SWANN, Heather, 2001, Courtesy of Bett Gallery, Hobart

My dogs, YARINKURA, Lena, 2001, Courtesy of Maningrida Arts & Culture, NT
Forbidden fruit, KOPIETZ, Gunther, 2000, Courtesy of BMG Art, Adelaide
Bedroom suite, KOPIETZ, Gunther, 2000, Courtesy of BMG Art, Adelaide
Love, KOUWENHOVEN, Pamela, 2000
The wash, KOUWENHOVEN, Pamela, 2000
Shrine to memory, KOUWENHOVEN, Pamela, 2000
The way we eat, LIU, Xiao Xian, 2001
Teamwork 2, MARCUS, Donna, 2001, Courtesy of Diane Tanzer Gallery, Melbourne
Games, LIU, Xiao Xian, 2000 - 2001
Human Human - Lotus Cloisonné Figure 1, AH XIAN, 2000 - 2001
Chromeskin, DRAKE-Brockman Geoffrey, KUHAUPT, Richie, 2001
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Human Human - Lotus Cloisonné Figure 1, AH XIAN, 2000 - 2001