Prizes amounting to the value of $3,000 were awarded on Saturday to winners in numerous categories of sculpture, photography and group installations, reflecting the broad range of submissions to this year’s Sculpture in the Gaol exhibition.
Large sculpture category winner Kat Aktins said it was the first time she had created work for a sculpture exhibition. “I needed some mannequins to display the couture jewellery pieces I design and wanted something artistic, bold and beautiful with a touch of character, just like my jewellery.”
“I couldn’t find anything suitable in the market so I resolved to create my own mannequins using natural and recycled materials collected along the mid north coast’s beaches. ‘Rhythm Hunters’ evolved from my original plan for a couple of mannequins, doubled in size, grew wings and became an entire work of art!”
The small sculpture category was taken out by Sam Hawkins for his piece ‘Starving Eagle’. Sam’s sculpture practice has taken on new vigour since he began entering works for Sculpture in the Gaol a couple of years ago. He said, “I’ve also been working with the kids at my local Willawarrin Public School to help them design and build their group installations.” One of the school’s works, titled ‘Enjoy Nature. Recycle’ took out the Primary School category first prize.
Kempsey Shire Councillor Mark Baxter was on hand to award prizes to artists chosen by public vote at the closing ceremony held at Seabreeze Beach Hotel. Prizes and commendations recognised at least 24 works and artists, including the 200 community members who contributed to West Kempsey’s Dalaigur Pre-school’s installation ‘King of the Birds’.
Around 5,000 visitors were recorded at Trial Bay Gaol during the month-long exhibition, with at least 1,500 attending the popular opening gala coordinated by South West Rocks Chamber of Commerce in early August.
Sculpture in the Gaol is hosted by NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service. See all results @sculptureinthegaol on Instagram.