Sculpture Bermagui 2018 winners announced amid Bemboka public art consultations

The Bermagui Community Centre drew a large crowd on the evening of Friday, March 9 for the opening of Sculpture Bermagui and the announcement of the winning exhibitions. 

Over 100 sculptures are on display across the scenic Dickinson Point headland and within the Bemagui Community Centre. 

The prestigious Cox Family Acquisitive Prize went to the beautiful, evocative ‘Influence’ by Jen Mallinson.

World renowned architect and patron of Sculpture Bermagui said the Heasty and Balos Acquisitive Prize for A Fully Resolved Sculpture went to Vlase Nisoleski for ‘Foreshore’.

Nisoleski’s piece, made of stainless steel and bronze and sitting on a custom plinth, addresses the impact of human behaviour on changing water tables and consequences for indigenous fauna.

The third prize awarded on Friday night was the South East Arts Achievement Award, which went to local Bermagui artist, Joy Georgeson for ‘Timeline I and II’.

'Out for a Stroll' by Simon Pankhurst will be installed in Bemboka.

'Out for a Stroll' by Simon Pankhurst will be installed in Bemboka.

Previous winning sculptures of the annual competition have been acquired by Bega Valley Shire Council and installed in public locations throughout the Shire at Short Point, Eden, and Bermagui.

This year, Council will install last year’s winning piece, ‘Out for a Stroll’ by Simon Pankhurst, in the township of Bemboka.  

Council envisions that the sculpture will be an asset for Bemboka.

“As one of the gateways to the Bega Valley Shire, Bemboka has an opportunity to attract more Bega Valley residents and visitors to stop and enjoy its location at the bottom of Brown Mountain,” a spokesperson said.  

“Public art is a great way to enhance public spaces and draw the attention of visitors and locals alike.”

A potential location for the sculpture is the corner of Snowy Mountains Highway and Adams Street, but a this is yet to be finalised. 

Council has invited feedback from the community about the sculpture and where it will be placed. An installation date will not be set until all the feedback has been considered.

Unlike previous years, council will not be running the BVSC Acquisitive Prize or purchasing a public sculpture from this year’s Sculpture Bermagui. 

Instead, council will continue to support public art in other ways, such as the recent installation of Joe Mckenzie’s Spirit Dance mural on the water tower of Bermagui.

The Sculpture Bermagui continues until Sunday 18 March. The People Choice and Children’s Choice Awards will be announced on this date at the exhibition’s closing ceremony.

See the Sculpture Bermagui website for more events, including Twilight Tours, Starlight Conversations and the Artist Symposium, featuring two of the winning artists – Mallinson and Nikoleski – discussing their work.