3 on sculpture shortlist

Yackandandah sculptor Benjamin Gilbert with his peace monument at Wodonga’s White Box Rise.
Yackandandah sculptor Benjamin Gilbert with his peace monument at Wodonga’s White Box Rise.

CONCRETE, rock, bronze, timber and recycled objects have all been flagged as possible materials for a sculpture earmarked for Yackandandah’s new council offices.

Indigo Council yesterday announced three artists had been shortlisted after 12 proposals were received in response to a call for expressions of interest.

The trio in contention to construct the sculpture include Yackandandah pair Benjamin Gilbert and Ali Rowe and Richard Walker, of Smoko.

Gilbert’s previous sculptural projects include a peace arch at Wodonga’s White Box Rise and a monument at Stanley commemorating the 2009 Black Saturday fires.

Visual artist Rowe has been part of various exhibitions, mostly recently receiving a commendation for her knitted and crocheted piece Fluffy Gunny in the Arts Wodonga-Hume Building Society Acquisitive Award last year.

Walker is a blacksmith artist who has produced steel brolgas which are on display at Corowa and a backbone sculpture for a park at Werribee.

Indigo Council has applied to Arts Victoria for a grant of up to $100,000 to fund the project and expects a response by May.

“The quality and variety of the shortlisted submissions is inspiring. Mediums include rock, historical salvaged materials, concrete, bronze and timber,” Indigo Council’s acting chief executive Alan Clark said.

“The grant application goes to Arts Victoria and we won’t know the result until May.

“Once we know the outcome, the three artists will develop their concepts to a more detailed level for broad community input.

“In August, the selection panel will then choose one of the three artists to fully develop their design for construction towards the end of the year, as the office project nears completion.”

Those on the group choosing the successful sculpture include Yackandandah gallery owner Cheryl Webster, Murray Arts chief executive Karen Gardiner, Indigo councillor James Trenery, Beechworth’s Burke Museum collections officer Linda Peacock, the council’s office project manager Robert Uebergang and arts and culture officer Susan Reid.

The successful design will be required to tie in with Yackandandah’s history and surrounding landscape as well as having broad appeal.