Barossa Arts Festival Garden Sculpture competition seeks a wide variety of works

wednesday, JANUARY 17

Barossa Arts Festival Garden Sculpture competition seeks a wide variety of works

words clem stanley

From March 30 to April 30, The Barossa Arts Festival will grace the region with a wide variety of eclectic works from local South Australian artists.

One such section of the Festival is the Garden Sculpture competition, which sees artists using all kinds of different materials to create fascinating and intricate works.

Speaking with The Leader, Program Director Karen Nickels, said: “The Garden Sculpture Competition is a chance to display the talents of various South Australian artists who are working in, essentially, three-dimensional style of work.

“Some may be using upcycled materials, thinking outside the box, or some could be using traditional materials that are weatherproof for being in a garden, usually outdoors.”

The submissions are displayed at the Barossa Bushgardens for the month of April during the Festival, which Karen said helps enhance the already beautiful space.

Last year’s competition saw a wide variety of different entries, with artists using creative methods to form their sculptures.

“Some were made from mosaics, which were amazing, some were mixed media, different types of metal, some were using rusted metal, found objects, junk sculptures, in a variety of different themes,” she said.

“Some were based on creating structures like animals or flowers and things out of metal and mixed media, some were freestanding, some were hanging, some were hanging from some of the trees in the garden as well as fixed on the ground.”

Essentially, the only limit in this competition is your imagination.

“Anyone can create whatever their imagination leads them to create, and they can essentially choose where in the garden their creation sits to make the most of the shape of it, and visibility, and how people can move amongst and view their work.”

>> Steel Sculpture works by Tony Howard provide inspiration for artists looking to enter the sculpture competition.

“People can enter up to three different sculptures, there’s about $3000 in prize money up for grabs”

- Karen Nickels

This year’s competition also offers an upcycled/recycled category for those wanting to make more sustainable choices with the materials they use, as well as a youth section for emerging artists to showcase their skills.

“…People can enter up to three different sculptures, there’s about $3000 in prize money up for grabs,” Karen said.

Karen added that the youth category opens many doors for artists, and creates opportunities for them to gain both skills and visibility.

“It’s a chance to have their brand or their name put out there as an artist who perhaps might accept commissioned work, just so people can see what they’re capable of…,” she said.

“So essentially, (it’s) not going to just be seen by people who manage to get in front of it, they’ll also have people who can see it online in a digital sense.

“But we would expect to have quite a few thousand people on our arts trail and obviously this is an important part of our arts trail, looking at the artwork and having it available for them to purchase as well.”

Karen said the Festival also gives artists the chance to meet other creatives.

“In previous years, the sculpture competition has even led to collaborations and mentorships between the emerging and more experienced artists,” Karen added.

Karen shared that more support from local businesses would be welcomed.

“It would be great to have some more support from local businesses, in the way of sponsorship to help facilitate these sort of events, because it’s a very tough gig without financial backing to put on these events,” Karen said.

“It brings another interesting thing to our area that brings tourists from far and wide and hopefully gets them (to) stay a bit longer.”

The competition is open to all South Australian sculptors, with Expressions of Interest submissions accepted until close of business on Thursday, February 1.

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