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Waikato Small Sculpture Award Show

Judge Andrea du Chatenie

"...It is the sensory aspect that has always captivated me about sculpture. While technology reshapes our cultural perceptions of life, our physical form, our ability to sense the world around us, has remained unaltered for nearly 160,000 years. The pleasure derived from engaging with the physical world transcends time, while culture is in a process of constant flux.


The works showcased in this exhibition stand as a testament to the artists' profound comprehension of this paradox. Through their chosen materials and techniques, they have embraced the significance of tactile engagement and physical presence in a world that often feels disconnected. These works beckon us to reestablish a connection with our senses, to delve into the intricacies of form, texture, and weight, and to appreciate the inherent beauty found in the physicality of sculpture. Simultaneously, these works must also reflect our contemporary context.

The winners...

The first award, Highly Commended, goes to a beautifully realized work, modest by nature but significant in thought and making. The artist has couched the work in anthropomorphic language creating a lovable creature of hidden depths. Strong but winsome. The winner of the highly commended award goes to Stuart Bridson for Hello.


The merit award made me smile as soon as I saw it. Although provisional in its making, its intention shows a great awareness of what it is to make art. The work offers a moment of unique kindness; it gives back when most art just demands to be seen. The Merit award goes to Robyn Gibson for Press for Self-Congratulations.


The winning work leapt out at me for its pure saturation of colour. The form ( and artists statement) show a sophisticated understanding of materials. It plays on a contrast between soft and hard creating an ambiguity between the materials. It looks effortless but shows a profound technical ability. It has a rightness of form and intention. The winner of the Waikato inaugural small sculpture award goes to Louise McRae for Red."

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2023 finalists and winners*:

Beatrice Carlson

Elliot Collins

Sandra Howlett

Z Snook

Christine Cousineau

Becky Richards

Deborah Crowe

Susan Nelson

Sylvia Sinel

Kathryn Bartlett

Johnathan Lovering

Robyn Gibson*

Virginia Henderson

Anna Campbell

Franke Heidecke

Andrew Rankin

Ainsley O’Connell

Ben Pearce

Volker Hawighorst

Chauncey Flay

Sian Torrington

Diane Parker

Louise McRae*

Aidan Raill

Sarah Urwin

Stuart Bridson*


Oliver Cain

Stephen Penny

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