Victorian sculptor awarded $10,000 Bega Valley Council acquisitive prize

A Victorian artist has had his work acquired by the Bega Valley Shire Council following the popular Sculpture Bermagui event.

Simon Pankhurst’s work Out for a stroll was named the winner of the BVSC $10,000 acquisitive prize and will be added to the shire’s collection of public art. 

The metal sculptor and blacksmith from Bright in Victoria is the fourth artist to win the annual award, with his piece to join works by Tanja’s Alan Watt, Ross Cameron and Richard Moffatt.

The judging panel this year included regional gallery director Iain Dawson, South East Arts’ Andrew Gray, artist Liam Benson, BVSC culture manager Simon Schweitzer and Mayor Kristy McBain.

“After three successful years of funding the Sculpture on the Edge acquisitive prize we allocated funds this year for a further one-off prize to support the new Sculpture Bermagui exhibition,” Mr Schweitzer said.

“Looking beyond this, allocation of funds for future acquisitive prizes is subject to budget prioritisation and the adoption of the 2017/18 budget by councillors.”

Meanwhile, the Philip Cox and Janet Hawley Acquisitive Award was claimed by a textured, plasma-cut steel piece titled Stringybark by artist David Doyle.

The seven pillars will be installed in Mr Cox’s impressive sculpture-filled property, Thubbul, at the Murrah.

Eden artist Jesse Graham was presented with the South East Arts Local Encouragement Award of $500 for his work Unbuoyansea.

“Jesse used to live in Nimmitabel and his sculptures are all around town, up and down the main street, and at Jindabyne,” Mr Gray said.

“The combination of the materials, using the buoy and metal to create the octopus and the rest of the tentacles is what attracted me to it.

“I was drawn to the life he created in the tentacles. I felt I was learning something by looking closely at it.”

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