stephen king sculptor

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DE-INSTALLING THE FOLLY SXS 2014

EXHIBITIONS : SCULPTURE BY THE SEA 1997 ONWARDS  |  TAMWORTH REGIONAL GALLERY SURVEY 2014  |  MAUNSELL WICKES SCULPTURE 2014

NERAM 2012  |  DEFIANCE SCULPTURE PARK WOLLOMBI 2012  |  VIENNA 2010

BIOGRAPHY  |  SCULPTURE  |  WORKSHOPS  |  COMMISSIONS  |  PAINTINGS  |  PRINTS  |  WALCHA'S OPEN AIR GALLERY  |  BLACKFELLOWS GULLY

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workshops

Walcha Street Furniture Project 2001

 

Stephen Killick, Bruce Flanaghan, David Waters
working on "The Bridge"

 

Stephen Killick and Stephen King

 

Ian Flanaghan, David Waters and James Rogers

 

Mike Nicholls

 

WALCHA SCULPTURES — A FRESH AIR GALLERY

REGIONAL ARTS MAGAZINE — ART REACH 2001

In the New England tablelands of northern NSW, large scale contemporary sculpture is taking art to the people.

A total collection of 23 sculptural pieces placed around the streets and parklands of Walcha is creating a name for this small town. The collection titled The Fresh Air Gallery, was initiated with visionary support from Walcha Council in 1996 when it accepted local artist Stephen King's proposal to install a fountain sculpture "Weather Signs" into McHatton Park depicting the weather stories that weave their familiarity between the uncertainty of markets and the weather in a rural community.

The Walcha Arts Council then put together a Public Art Plan 2001 which was adopted by Walcha Council for inclusion in their plan of management in 1998. The Third City of the Arts Program, based in Armidale but including Walcha and Uralla (June 1999 - June 2001) has also provided valuable support for sculpture in Walcha.

One of the pinnacles of the collection sitting in the middle of Walcha's central roundabout is the massive work Song Cycle by James Rogers, a celebration of the cyclical nature of provincial life.

Walcha's Street Furniture Project is the most recently finished stage of the Public Art Plan resulting in eight separate original hard wood pieces. The project has been supported by Walcha Council, The Third City of the Arts (NSW Ministry for the Arts and Armidale Dumaresq Council), Walcha Arts Council, NSW State Forestry, Fennings Timber and National Parks and Wildlife. Four artists, Stephen Killick and Mandy Francis from NSW and Mike Nicholls and David Waters from Victoria were selected to participate in a ten day workshop working with local tradesmen and artists to create sculpted furniture for the Walcha community to provide not only a utilitarian function but also a means to interact and play with sculpture.

At present, Walcha's Fresh Air Gallery include sculptures by local, regional, interstate and overseas artists — James Rogers, Stephen King, Ross Laurie, Nigel White, Stephen Killick, Mandy Francis, Mike Nicholls, David Waters, Tom Deko (PNG) and Emmanuel Watt (Vanuatu). Three other projects are in the pipeline including a mosaic mural by the students of Walcha Central School and a major piece by Aboriginal Artist Gordon Hookey which will be installed mid this year.

"Large scale contemporary sculpture is exceedingly rare in regional Australia. These works of public art not only beautify where we live, they increase community ownership of our public spaces, are powerful statements by accomplished local artists and add to quality of life."

Rob Callaghan, GM of Walcha Council

"The street furniture project was a rare opportunity for artists to work in a team environment. It took a great effort from coordinators, artists and ingenious local tradesmen, who laughed, worked hard, ate together and fed off each other's knowledge and ideas. We created an eccentric array of train chairs, woolshed relaxing seats, lovers chairs and a wrap around town viewing chair."

Mandy Francis, Artist, Hardy's Bay, NSW

"The Walcha Street Furniture Project gave me the opportunity to work on a site-specific sculptural installation. The idea behind "The Big Picture" was to frame the perspectives of both sides of the river. The elevation of the levy bank provided the opportunity to complete the picture by installing two large choir backs to create an artificial landscape juxtaposed by the framing of the natural perspective of the horizon and fore and background hills."

Mike Nicholls, Artist, Williamstown, VIC

"The train provides a monolithic shape that lends itself to high and low relief carving. As an image it automatically suggests power and motion but also something that requires fuel. I was especially happy to be able to leave the original idea for the bench to incorporate the cast iron wheels from the local mill scrapyard."

David Waters, Artist, Fitzroy, VIC

"Public Art develops an understanding of how artists seek to express their view of the world through the act of creation. The interaction becomes both a spoken and unspoken dialogue between artists and their community and inspires an awareness and tolerance of different points of view resulting in an increased confidence to question convention and to participate in artistic dialogue."

Julia Griffin, Artist, Acting Secretary, Walcha Arts Council

last updated June 24, 2016

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