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2020 Woollahra Small Sculpture Prize

Media releases

7 October 2020
Woollahra Small Sculpture Prize announces finalists for the 20th anniversary exhibition (PDF)

2020 Finalists
Images (left to right): Seungwan Park, Coexistence-Apollo; Mechelle Bounpraseuth, My parents come from Laos, the land of condiments. Every bottle, every jar reminds me of them; and Stuart McLachlan, Cardinal Sins.

Sydney, Australia: The Woollahra Small Sculpture Prize, presented by Woollahra Council, today announced 56 emerging and established artists as finalists for the 20th annual Prize and exhibition. The 2020 finalist works, by artists from Australia, New Zealand, United Kingdom and Italy, will be presented for the first time in the Woollahra Council’s new purpose-built gallery space, as its inaugural exhibition opening in early 2021.

The 56 finalist artist sculptures – each measuring up to 80cm in any dimension – were selected from a record 844 entries by a judging panel comprised of Director Curatorial and Digital, Museum of Contemporary Art Australia Dr Lara Strongman, Art Historian/Curator and Industrial Archaeologist Joanna Capon OAM and celebrated artist and fashion designer Jenny Kee AO.

Woollahra Mayor, Councillor Susan Wynne said: “We are thrilled to have received a record number of entries this year as we mark the 20th edition of this celebrated prize. To see such an enthusiastic response to the Prize, during such a difficult year only strengthens our commitment to cultural development and reinforces the decision we have made to open our first art gallery next year – Woollahra Gallery at Redleaf. The quality and diversity of the 2020 Finalist works are outstanding, and we cannot wait to welcome visitors into the new gallery with an exhibition that has something for everyone.”

Woollahra Small Sculpture Prize 20th anniversary judge Lara Strongman said: “This year’s selection of small sculptures represents a snapshot of the great diversity of art practice in Australia today. From glorious kitsch to conceptual rigour, by way of politics and humour, the Award is a showcase for the creativity of Australian artists—both established and emerging.”

The exhibition will be on view, free to the public, in early 2021 in the new gallery space, Woollahra Gallery at Redleaf. To mark the 20th anniversary there will be an increased total prize pool of $29,000 across four categories. The Prize categories are the main Acquisitive award of $25,000; a Special Commendation award of $2,000; the Viewers’ Choice award of $1,000; and the Mayor's Award of $1,000.

Woollahra Small Sculpture Prize 20th anniversary judge Joanna Capon OAM commented, “I was impressed by the quality and diverse themes of the entries in a number of different media which embraced a variety of references including the pandemic, ecology, hope and humour.”

Key themes and trends include:

  • Politics
    A number of finalist works respond to the current political and social climate with China Mask/ Incense Holder, Peony, No2 reflecting artist Scotty So’s experience of the current COVID-19 pandemic and the Déjà vu of the 2003 SARs crisis in Hong Kong through the materiality of porcelain and Politics? by second time finalist Michael Harrell, who first entered the prize as a 15 year old in 2017, which is a multi-layered work considering themes of power, censorship and temptation with nude depictions of Vladimir Putin, Donald Trump and Kim Jong-Un. Samantha Mackie’s A Reliable Source - Set in Stone #1 considers the decline in significance of encyclopedias and what we consider to be reliable sources of information.
  • Environment
    Many finalist works explore and celebrate of our relationship with the natural world. Respected artist Caroline Rothwell’s Faucet Palm juxtaposes our living natural system and the industrial circulatory system of the 21st century while Jacquie Blight’s Breathe considers the balance found in natural ecosystems. Sue Hoare’s Bluebottle transforms discarded plastic bottles to comment on the contamination of oceans and celebrated performance artist Lauren Brincat’s Butcher’s Dance captures the energetic movement of air.
  • Identity
    Several artists explore issues around identity including Yorta Yorta/Gunditjmara artist Josh Muir’s Seeing which considers the freedom of childhood naivety and his own journey of self-discovery and Mechelle Bounpraseuth’s My parents come from Laos, the land of condiments. Every bottle, every jar reminds me of them which uses a series of sculpted condiment bottles to reclaim and decolonise her Laotian cultural heritage.
  • Materials
    Many of the finalist artists test the boundaries of a wide range mediums including Crystal St Clair Gilmore’s Four Graces Of Fairfax Road which pushes the limits of icing fondant as a sculptural modelling-medium; Caroline Wright’s Knitted Gem which blends knitting and ceramics in an ode to slow craft; and Italy based artist Seungwan Park’s use of machine cut marble in his Romanesque bust titled Coexistence-Apollo.

The 20th anniversary Woollahra Small Sculpture Prize finalist artists are: Christine Appleby (ACT) Tamara Baillie (SA) Jacqueline Blight (VIC) Mechelle Bounpraseuth (NSW) Lauren Brincat (NSW) Clare Britton (NSW) Lisa Carrett (NSW) Emma Coulter (VIC) Kate Coyne (NSW) Carol Lehrer Crawford (NSW) Beth Croce (VIC) Anne Delaney (NSW) Jan Downes (NSW) Ann Ferguson (VIC) Jason Fitzgerald (QLD) Natalie Guy (NZ) Michael Harrell (NSW) Sam Harrison (CAN) Shaun Hayes (ACT) Jenny Herbert-Smith (NSW) Sue Hoare (VIC) Kate Howard (VIC) Cara Johnson (VIC) Jules Jones (NSW) Lisa Jones (NSW) Maria Teresa Kuczynska (NSW) Jo Lane (VIC) Barbara Licha (NSW) Keith MacDonald (VIC) Samantha Mackie (NSW) Stuart McLachlan (NSW) Lilach Mileikowski (VIC) Ray Monde (NSW) Josh Muir (VIC) Elena Murgia (NSW) Mika Nakamura-Mather (QLD) Christina Newberry (NSW) Philip Noakes (WA) Denese Oates (NSW) Amanda Page (VIC) Seungwan Park (ITL) Michelle Perrett (NSW) Sandra Pitkin (NSW) Rodney Pople (NSW) Lisa Porter (UK) Caroline Rothwell (NSW) Rhonda Sharpe (NT) Patricia Smart (NSW) Scotty So (VIC) Crystal St Clair Gilmore (NSW) Jess Taylor (SA) Jane Theau (NSW) Diane Thompson (VIC) Debbey Watson (NSW) David Wood (NSW) Caroline Wright (NSW).

Woollahra Small Sculpture Prize 20th anniversary judge Jenny Kee added: "I loved the creativity, quality & amazing diversity!"

Further detail about the winner announcement and new gallery space will be announced in the coming months.

MEDIA CONTACTS: To request interviews, imagery and information in relation to the Prize, please contact Articulate: Megan Bentley, megan@articulatepr.com.au, 0452 214 611 or Kym Elphinstone, kym@articulatepr.com.au, 0421 106 139.

1 May 2020
Woollahra Small Sculpture Prize announces 2020 judges (PDF)

2019 Woollahra Small Sculpture Prize

List of winners

2019 Woollahra Small Sculpture Prize ($20,000 acquisitive award)
Merran Esson, Autumn On The Monaro

Special Commendation Award ($2,000 non-acquisitive award) and Viewers' Choice Award ($1,000 non-acquisitive award)
Benjamin Jay Shand, Array 3

Highly Commended
Jessica Leitmanis, Spouts from which to drink, circa 200 C.E.
Kieta Jackson, Braggadocio 1, 2018

Mayor's Award ($1,000 non-acquisitive award)
Jane Price, Clouds

Plinth Prize
Erica Izard, Homage to Grief

View all 43 finalists

Media releases

11 October 2019
Woollahra Small Sculpture Prize 2019 Winner announced (PDF)

26 September 2019
Woollahra Small Sculpture Prize announces diverse program of free events (PDF)

14 August 2019
Woollahra Small Sculpture Prize announces 2019 finalists (PDF)

1 April 2019
Woollahra Small Sculpture Prize announces 2019 judges (PDF)

2018 Woollahra Small Sculpture Prize

List of winners

2018 Woollahra Small Sculpture Prize ($20,000 acquisitive award)
Tim Silver, Untitled (When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom'd 02)

Special Commendation Award ($2,000 non-acquisitive award)
Ramesh Mario Nithiyendran, Pointy Gold Head

Special Mention
Danielle Freakley, Be My Friend

Mayor's Award ($1,000 non-acquisitive award)
Lucinda Kirkby, Genet Yellow Porcelain

Plinth Prize
Tilly Kubany-Deane, Untitled (Milieu Trepidation)

Viewers' Choice Award ($1,000 non-acquisitive award)
Jess MacNeil, Threshold

View all 48 finalists

Media releases

19 October 2018
Woollahra Small Sculpture Prize announces 2018 Winner (PDF)

2 August 2018
Woollahra Small Sculpture Prize announces 2018 finalists (PDF)

23 May 2018
Woollahra Small Sculpture Prize announces 2018 judges (PDF)

Woollahra Small Sculpture Prize 2018: Small is beautiful:

2017 Woollahra Small Sculpture Prize

List of winners

2017 Woollahra Small Sculpture Prize ($20,000 acquisitive award)
Sanné Mestrom, Self Portrait (Sleeping Muse)

Special Commendation Award ($2,000 non-acquisitive award)
Madeleine Preston, Smoker Series - After Guston

Mayor's Award ($1,000 non-acquisitive award)
Abdul-Rahman Abdullah, Black Dog

Viewers' Choice Award ($1,000 non-acquisitive award) and Plinth Prize
Sergio Hernandez, Impotence

View all finalists' works

Media releases

13 October 2017
Woollahra Small Sculpture Prize presented to Melbourne artist (PDF)

2 August 2017
Woollahra Small Sculpture Prize announces 2017 finalists (PDF)

Video of the 2017 judging process with Djon Mundine OAM, Alexie Glass-Kantor and Roslyn Oxley OAM:

26 April 2017
Woollahra Small Sculpture Prize announces 2017 judges and increased prize money (PDF)

2016 Woollahra Small Sculpture Prize

List of winners

2016 Woollahra Small Sculpture Prize ($15,000 acquisitive award)
Todd Robinson, Psychic Staircase

Special Commendation Award ($2,000 non-acquisitive award)
Stephen Bird, Saturn eating a man's leg

Mayor's Award ($1,000 non-acquisitive award)
Tetsuro Yamasaki, Morph ◇ ⇨ ○ (Morph No. 6)

Yeldham Family Commendation Award ($1,000 non-acquisitive award)
Daniel Templeman, Missing Corners 2015 edition of 3 + 2AP

Highly Commended
Glenda Kent, bared
Andrew Southall, untitled

Plinth Prize
Yioryios, SOH - Black, Chromium Oxide Green, Ultramarine Blue & Pink

Viewers' Choice Award ($1,000 non-acquisitive award)
Emma Coulter, construction #7 (Shifting Test Patterns)

View all finalists' works

Media releases

14 October 2016
Woollahra Small Sculpture Prize presented to Sydney artist (PDF)

18 July 2016
Woollahra Small Sculpture Prize announces 2016 finalists (PDF)

30 March 2016
Woollahra Small Sculpture Prize announces 2016 guest judges Wendy Whiteley, Barry Keldoulis & Rhonda Davis (PDF)

2015 Woollahra Small Sculpture Prize

List of winners

2015 Woollahra Small Sculpture Prize ($15,000 acquisitive award)
Robert Owen, Symmetria #37

Special Commendation Award ($2,000 non-acquisitive award)
Rocket Mattler, Shim

Mayor's Award ($1,000 non-acquisitive award)
Glen Clarke, Proposed Monument for Continuing Sustainability #010

Highly Commended
Hwanhee Kim, Diameter 9 (3:2 series)
Kathy Temin, Orange Cube

Plinth Prize
Huseyin Sami, Untitled (Long Stack)

Beowulf Award ($1,000 non-acquisitive award)
Kendal Murray, Game, Claim, Exclaim!

Special Mention
Matt Dabrowski and the Many Hands of Glamour, The Milk of Stormtroopers

Viewers' Choice Award ($1,000 non-acquisitive award)
Eli Braga, MYRIAD

Media releases

9 October 2015
Woollahra Small Sculpture Prize presented to senior Australian artist Robert Owen (PDF)

27 July 2015
Woollahra Small Sculpture Prize announces 2015 finalists (PDF)

1 April 2015
15th annual Woollahra Small Sculpture Prize announces 2015 guest judges and call for entries (PDF)

2014 Woollahra Small Sculpture Prize

List of winners

Acquisitive award of $15,000
Natalie Guy, Form for modern living #2

Special Commendation, non-acquisitive award of $2,000
Peter Cooley, Cassowary No. 7

The Mayor's Award, non-acquisitive award of $1,000
Ben Young, Fjord

Highly Commended
Gunjan Aylawadi, Ritim
Merran Esson, Euriowie Cliff
Mee-Sun Kim Park, Being
Morgan Shimeld, Triplex
Abdullah M. I. Syed, Money-scape I

Plinth Prize
Micaldo Combriani, Kinetic MC#1

Viewers' Choice, non-acquisitive award of $1,000
Ben Young, Fjord

Media releases

17 October 2014
Woollahra Small Sculpture Prize presented to international artist for first time - New Zealand artist Natalie Guy awarded $15,000 acquisitive prize (PDF)

11 August 2014
Woollahra Small Sculpture Prize announces 2014 finalists - 14th year of award attracts record number of entries and international submissions (PDF)

24 April 2014
Woollahra Small Sculpture Prize announces 2014 judges and significant increase in prize money (PDF)

For information or images, please contact:
Jo Jansyn, Cultural Development Coordinator
Phone: +61 2 9391 7135
Email: sculpture@woollahra.nsw.gov.au