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Surreal Sculpture Wins $7000 Prize

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Boonah artist Christopher Trotter won the $7000 first prize in the Kingaroy Sculpture Competition for "Measuring Device Of Undetermined Origin and Ability" which he constructed from an assortment of objects he found in the Scenic Rim

March 6, 2017

The first prize in the inaugural Kingaroy Sculpture Competition has been won by an artist from Boonah who created a surreal work put together from objects he found around the Scenic Rim.

And for the rest of this month, visitors to the Kingaroy Regional Art Gallery can get to see three galleries full of surprising and beautiful works that make up the best sculpture exhibition ever seen in the region.

On Saturday morning, about 50 people attended the Kingaroy Sculpture Prize’s official opening and prize-giving ceremony.

The acquisitive competition was the brainchild of Kingaroy Arts Team president Wayne Brown, who was unable to attend due to illness.

Instead, his place was taken by fellow Kingaroy Arts Team member Patrick Burns, who compered the event.

The biannual sculpture prize offers the biggest prize money of any art competition in the South Burnett, and it attracted entries from all over Queensland, NSW and Victoria in a wide variety of media.

The majority of the prize-money was funded by commissions the Gallery had made from art sales, supplemented with a small contribution from the South Burnett Regional Council.

There were three prizes on offer: a $1000 Encouragement Award for an emerging sculptor; a $2000 sculpture prize for the best work submitted by a South Burnett sculptor; and the $7000 first prize.

Judging was carried out by prominent Queensland sculptor Dr Rhyl Hinwood AM, who said picking the winners was “a very difficult task” because of the high quality of the entries.

The Encouragement Award was won by Peregian Beach artist Kurt Black for “Crop Rotation”, a large wooden pole decorated with metal studs and white dots that reimagined a traditional totem pole.

The South Burnett Award was jointly won by Ina Patterson and her son Liam for “Postcards From The South Burnett”, an elaborately carved steel block designed by Ina and put together by Liam that would not look out of place in a town hall forecourt.

But the winning work – “Measuring Device Of Undetermined Origin and Ability” by Boonah artist Christopher Trotter – may only be able to be displayed indoors.

Christopher’s work is made of found objects: a discarded deer antler, a 1940s Villiers engine, a WWII trumpet and wooden surveyor’s tripod that probably dates to the 1950s.

He assembled all four items together to create a moody, surreal sculpture that looks like it comes from an alternate reality.

Christopher told southburnett.com.au that for one heart-stopping moment last week he thought his fragile creation had been destroyed when the Gallery told him the sculpture had met with an accident when one of the tripod’s legs slipped.

Fortunately no damage was done.

And on Saturday, the work was secured with a carpet to ensure the tripod that holds the construction upright wouldn’t slip again on the Gallery’s polished wooden floor.

Compere Patrick Burns told the audience the competition had two aims.

One was to offer sufficient prize money to attract high quality entrants, and this had clearly succeeded.

The other was to start a conversation in the region about public sculpture, and what sort of works should be placed around Kingaroy’s CBD when it was eventually upgraded.

  • Entries in the Kingaroy Sculpture Prize will be on show at the Kingaroy Regional Art Gallery in Haly Street from 10:00am to 4:00pm Mondays to Fridays, and 10:00am to 2:00pm on weekends, until March 29. Admission to view the exhibition is free.

South Burnett sculptor Ina Patterson won a $2000 prize for "Postcards From The South Burnett", a steel sculpture she designed and built with her son Liam

Kingaroy Sculpture Competition judge and prominent Queensland sculptor Dr Rhyl Hinwood AM with Kurt Black's "Crop Rotation", which won the $1000 Encouragement Award


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