From Carrie Miller…
We like our contemporary art to be big – from big macho paintings dripping with the unique mark of the individual to giant puppies made of pretty flowers. The Woollahra Small Sculpture Prize aims to change all that. In fact this year you can see the tiniest piece ever shortlisted – a glass work by Jessica Tse that measures 9mm x 5mm.
The prize, which is awarded to the best free-standing sculpture up to 80cm, has attracted nearly 500 entries from Australia and overseas this year and the finalists include established artists such as Ron Robertson-Swann, Titania Henderson, Nigel Harrison and Rodney Pople.
Prizes have become as common as warm wine in the Australian contemporary art scene but in its fairly brief history the Woollahra Small Sculpture Prize has distinguished itself as one of the more critically significant awards for a local artist to win. Previous recipients include some of Australia’s best contemporary artists such as Mikala Dwyer, Adam Cullen, Alexander Seton and Archie Moore.
The pull of this prize for many artists is the expanded possibilities of sculpture in recent times. What’s appealing to audiences is this diversity in the way the medium is interpreted as well as just how incredibly cute some things are when they are little.
Until November 11
Woollahra Council, Double Bay.
Pic: Karleena Mitchell, Art Attack, 2012. Books, pick welded to steel rod and steel base, paint, 80 x 70 x 40cm.