More than half of Aussie men report experiencing sexual difficulties

Many men were concerned about climaxing too quickly or lacking interest in sex.Krista MangulsoneOne in two Australian men aged 18 to 55 have experienced sexual difficulty in the past 12 months, accord...

Jennifer Power, Senior Research Fellow at the Australian Research Centre in Sex, Health and Society, La Trobe University - avatar Jennifer Power, Senior Research Fellow at the Australian Research Centre in Sex, Health and Society, La Trobe University

Sanders, Harris, Biden... can anyone beat Donald Trump to become the next US president?

No sooner had the US midterm elections for Congress concluded than jockeying began for the presidential elections in 2020. Barring either impeachment, which seems unlikely, or a health crisis, Donald ...

Dennis Altman, Professorial Fellow in Human Security, La Trobe University - avatar Dennis Altman, Professorial Fellow in Human Security, La Trobe University

As many Muslims return to mosques today, they will need ongoing support

A worshipper lights candles at a makeshift memorial at the Al Noor mosque in Christchurch.AAP/Mick Tsikas, CC BY-SAToday, many Muslims in New Zealand will be returning for Friday prayers. Some might f...

Fatima Junaid, Lecturer, Massey University - avatar Fatima Junaid, Lecturer, Massey University

'It's real to them, so adults should listen': what children want you to know to help them feel safe

Children and young people told us they were often overwhelmed by the risks that surrounded them.from shutterstock.comIn recent months, we have been confronted by events that make the world seem unsafe...

Tim Moore, Associate Professor and  Deputy Director, Australian Centre for Child Protection, University of South Australia - avatar Tim Moore, Associate Professor and Deputy Director, Australian Centre for Child Protection, University of South Australia

A brief history of science writing shows the rise of the female voice

Women played a role as both readers and authors in the history of science writing.Shutterstock/Africa StudioThree centuries ago, when modern science was in its infancy, the gender disparity in educati...

Robyn Arianrhod, Adjunct Associate , School of Mathematical Sciences, Monash University - avatar Robyn Arianrhod, Adjunct Associate , School of Mathematical Sciences, Monash University

Cannibalism helps fire ants invade new territory

Fire ant stings can be deadly to people who have an allergic reaction to their venom.Forest and Kim Starr/Flickr, CC BY-SATropical fire ants (Solenopsis geminata), originally from central and South Am...

Pauline Lenancker, PhD student in biology and ecology, James Cook University - avatar Pauline Lenancker, PhD student in biology and ecology, James Cook University

We've let wage exploitation become the default experience of migrant workers

Australia’s Fairwork Commission has so far this year examined more than a dozen cases of wage theft. Those cases involve hundred of workers and millions of dollars in underpayments.And it’...

Joo-Cheong Tham, Professor, Melbourne Law School, University of Melbourne - avatar Joo-Cheong Tham, Professor, Melbourne Law School, University of Melbourne

Jobs but not enough work. How power keeps workers anxious and wages low

The unemployment rate is 4.9%, but the underemployment rate is 8.1%ShutterstockThis is the third in a three-part mini-symposium on Wages, Unemployment and Underemployment presented by The Conversation...

Barbara Pocock, Emeritus Professor University of South Australia, University of South Australia - avatar Barbara Pocock, Emeritus Professor University of South Australia, University of South Australia

What Parkland's experience tells us about the limits of a 'security' response to Christchurch

In the days before the mass shootings in Christchurch I was visiting Parkland, Florida, where 17 people were killed in a school shooting on Valentine’s Day 2018. I was recording a story about ho...

Amanda Tattersall, Postdoc in urban geography and Research Lead at Sydney Policy Lab. Host of ChangeMakers Podcast., University of Sydney - avatar Amanda Tattersall, Postdoc in urban geography and Research Lead at Sydney Policy Lab. Host of ChangeMakers Podcast., University of Sydney

Friday essay: images of mourning and the power of acknowledging grief

These images of Cherine Fahd's grandfather's funeral were tucked away in a brown paper envelope for decades. As a society, we too often keep grief hidden from view. Author providedBefore her death in...

Cherine Fahd, Director Photography, School of Design, University of Technology Sydney - avatar Cherine Fahd, Director Photography, School of Design, University of Technology Sydney

Local Māori urge government to address long-running dispute over rare cultural heritage landscape

Supporters of the campaign to stop commercial development at Ihumaatao.Qiane Matata-Sipu , CC BY-SAAn escalating crisis at Ihumaatao, near Auckland’s airport, is challenging the commercial devel...

Tim McCreanor, Professor Race Relations, Health and Wellbeing, Massey University - avatar Tim McCreanor, Professor Race Relations, Health and Wellbeing, Massey University

Grattan on Friday: Shorten's not getting ahead of himself, but the tape measure is out

With the election likely to be called in about a fortnight – the weekend after the April 2 budget - behind the scenes Labor is “measuring the curtains” of government.Any sign of hubr...

Michelle Grattan, Professorial Fellow, University of Canberra - avatar Michelle Grattan, Professorial Fellow, University of Canberra

Will the New Zealand gun law changes prevent future mass shootings?

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has announced a ban on certain military-style weapons.AAP/David AlexanderAs she foreshadowed in the aftermath of the Christchurch massacre last Friday, New Ze...

Rick Sarre, Professor of Law and Criminal Justice, University of South Australia - avatar Rick Sarre, Professor of Law and Criminal Justice, University of South Australia

NSW election: where do the parties stand on brumby culling?

Feral horses have severely damaged the landscape in Kosciuszko National Park.Travelstine, CC BY-SAThe future management of New South Wales’s national parks is one of the issues on the line in Sa...

Don Driscoll, Professor in Terrestrial Ecology, Deakin University - avatar Don Driscoll, Professor in Terrestrial Ecology, Deakin University

Confused about aged care in the home? These 10 charts explain how it works

Home care providers' profits are growing but many older Australians are missing out on quality care.The Conversation / ShutterstockThis week, the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety hea...

Fron Jackson-Webb, Deputy Editor/Senior Health + Medicine Editor - avatar Fron Jackson-Webb, Deputy Editor/Senior Health + Medicine Editor

Jobs but not enough work. How power keeps workers anxious and wages low

The unemployment rate is 4.9%, but the underemployment rate is 8.1%ShutterstockThis is the third in a three-part mini-symposium on Wages, Unemployment and Underemployment presented by The Conversation...

The Conversation - avatar The Conversation

We've let wage exploitation become the default experience of migrant workers

Australia’s Fairwork Commission has so far this year examined more than a dozen cases of wage theft. Those cases involve hundred of workers and millions of dollars in underpayments.And it’...

The Conversation - avatar The Conversation

A new procedure may preserve fertility in kids with cancer after chemo or radiation

A 12-week-old baby female macaque, named Grady, was born from frozen testicular tissue. Oregon Health and Science University, CC BY-SACancer in children was often a death sentence in decades past, but...

Kyle Orwig, Professor of OB/GYN and Reproductive Sciences, University of Pittsburgh - avatar Kyle Orwig, Professor of OB/GYN and Reproductive Sciences, University of Pittsburgh

March Madness: With gambling legal in eight states, who really wins?

The odds of more legal betting are good. AP Photo/John LocherMarch means springtime, but also breathless headlines of Cinderellas, busted brackets and buzzer beaters. This year, it’ll also inclu...

John Affleck, Knight Chair in Sports Journalism and Society, Pennsylvania State University - avatar John Affleck, Knight Chair in Sports Journalism and Society, Pennsylvania State University

Will more genetically engineered foods be approved under the FDA's new leadership?

Will food laws change as more GM foods are created?Zerbor/Shutterstock.comThe world of food and drug regulation was rocked earlier this month by the news of a change in leadership at the Food and Drug...

Ana Santos Rutschman, Assistant Professor of Law, Saint Louis University - avatar Ana Santos Rutschman, Assistant Professor of Law, Saint Louis University

We need more teachers of color, so why do we use tests that keep them out of the classroom?

Teacher license exams often fail to predict which teachers will be the best, research shows.michaeljung from shutterstock.comStudents of color seldom see teachers who look like them. This is because m...

Emery Petchauer, Associate Professor, Michigan State University - avatar Emery Petchauer, Associate Professor, Michigan State University

Niger has the world's highest birth rate – and that may be a recipe for unrest

While fertility levels have declined rapidly in most parts of the world, many countries in the sub-Saharan African region of the Sahel have seen their reproductive rates go down very slowly, and only ...

John F. May, Adjunct Professor, Georgetown University School of Nursing and Health Studies, Georgetown University - avatar John F. May, Adjunct Professor, Georgetown University School of Nursing and Health Studies, Georgetown University

Nuns were secluded to avoid scandals in early Christian monastic communities

Margareta, head of the women's community at Lippoldsberg (in modern-day Germany) clasps hands with an Augustinian monk as he hands her a book.Lippoldsberg Evangeliary. Kassel, Landesbibliothek, MS the...

Alison I. Beach, Associate Professor of History, The Ohio State University - avatar Alison I. Beach, Associate Professor of History, The Ohio State University

imageThe winner of this year's McLelland Prize, Matthew Harding's Void (2014). Stainless steel, 650.0 x 800.0 x 260.0 McLelland Prize

In Australia’s somewhat subdued public sculpture scene, the McClelland Sculpture Survey – which runs until July 19, 2015 – provides a rare opportunity for witnessing contemporary public sculpture.

This year on a couple of occasions I visited Beijing, after an absence of several years, and was struck by the huge revival in this form.

This was not only sculpture celebrating the Chinese leaders or the feats of the Peoples Liberation Army, but funky contemporary work by artists including Chen Wenling, Zhang Yaxi and Yue Minjun, as well as the full range monumental expressionist, formalist and conceptual works.

These public sculptures were everywhere, in shopping complexes, hotels, city squares and of course in the huge sprawling art districts. In many building developments a percentage of costs is being spent on art, particularly on sculpture. Perhaps more importantly, very rich Chinese developers have a acquired a taste for contemporary Chinese art and set out to compete with one another.

In Australia, there are very few forums for the display of public sculpture. Sydney’s Sculpture by the Sea, now in its 18th year, has been a runaway success drawing an audience of half a million visitors for its 10-day duration. Its offshoot, on Cottesloe Beach in Perth, also manages to attract a reasonable audience. Melbourne’s response to all of this beach culture could be termed “sculpture in the bush”.

The McClelland Sculpture Survey and Award is a biannual sculpture competition, which was commenced in 2003 by the then newly-appointed, energetic director at the McClelland Sculpture Park and Gallery, Robert Lindsay.

imageLouis Pratt, A backwards attitude (2014). Cold cast aluminium, steel, fibreglass. 178.0x115.0x254.0 cm.McLelland Prize

It is a very different sort of event from its cousin in Bondi. It is held over a period of seven months and is situated in a sprawling area of wooded bushland. Each of the sculptures is provided with its unique bush setting, away from all of the other sculptures and visual disturbances.

About an hour’s drive out of Melbourne, it still manages to attract about 100,000 visitors, mainly locals, but increasingly interstate and international travellers.

The prize purse is much larger than at Sculpture by the Sea – A$100,000, in contrast to A$60,000 in Sydney – and there are a couple of other prizes of A$30,000 and A$20,000. Also the catalogue produced at McClelland is a substantial and scholarly 160-page book, rather than Bondi’s 80-page pamphlet. At McClelland, from a field of about 200 entries, this year 33 finalists were selected.

The fact that the McClelland Sculpture Survey is on for more than half a year cuts out temporal, environmental installation pieces and generally a much more serious mood prevails.

This does not entirely remove the quirky and tongue-in-cheek creations, and included this year is Jason Waterhouse’s shrinking farm shed and my personal favourite, Tunni Kraus’s Suburban Time Capsule, a monumental vertical construction, resembling a termite mound, made up of crushed shopping trolleys.

imageTunni Kraus, Suburban Time Capsule (2014). Shopping trolleys, 220.0x60.0x70.0 cm.McLelland Prize

I have always wondered what happened to shopping trolleys that have lost their way on the fringes of town and now I know – they are as if magnetically drawn into that great gathering place, not in the sky, but in the bush where, like John Chamberlain’s crushed cars, they are brought together in the form of a memorial suburban totem.

One of the most unusual pieces in this year’s Survey is Sonia Payes’ five metre high, white, decapitated, highly realistic head, made out of fibreglass, and shown as if growing in a bush clearing with other huge heads emerging like mushrooms out of the ground. To add to the disquieting tone and to heighten the uncanny sensation is the fact that the head is four-sided with four very similar faces morphing one into another.

imageSonia Payes, Re:Generation (2014). Fibreglass, UV stable gelcoat, 3 elements: 500.0 x 230.0 x 230.0 cm; 250.0x230.0x230.0; 125.0x230.0x230.0 cm.McLelland Prize

Payes, who is best known as a photographer, has been working with 3D computer modelling programs in recent years and ventured into sculpture a few years ago. Her piece is titled Re-Generation and the knowledge that the image has its origins in a photograph of her daughter may have the viewer reaching for his or her dictionary of Freudian symbols and the uncanny handbook.

The piece sufficiently impressed the judges to be awarded the McClelland Achievement Prize (MAP) which not only carries a A$30,000 purse but also the promise of a survey exhibition of the artist’s work at the next McClelland Sculpture Survey in 2016.

The major A$100,000 acquisitive McClelland Sculpture Award this year was judged by Liz Kreijn from the Kröller-Müller Museum in the Netherlands and went to Matthew Harding for his work, Void (main image).

It is quite a remarkable piece, where the toughness of steel is employed to dissolve mass and to create interlocked floating, almost transparent disks, measuring some six and a half by eight metres. When you first encounter Void in its bush setting, it appears like some intriguing suspended spider web in the centre of which is a void-like vortex.

In its formal language I am reminded of the work of the Russian Gabo brothers, especially Naum Gabo who engaged with the ideas of Einstein and Henri Bergson and was concerned with the creation of forms which had an emotional presence, rather than only a physical mass and which existed in all four dimensions, including that of time. Harding is an heir to such speculation, but employs new materials to create work with a distinctly Australian accent.

Lisa Roet’s Sneezing snub nose monkey carved out of white Yunnan marble is not as quirky as it first seems.

imageLisa Roet, Sneezing snub nose (2014). Yunnan marble, sound, 120.0x109.0x109.0cm. Photo Credit: Mark Ashkanasy.McLelland Prize

There is a sense of relief that this monkey does not resemble any Australian politician, unlike some of her earlier creations, but on a weird associative level it has been linked with the late Michael Jackson.

The monkey was first discovered in 2010, a year after Jackson’s death, and some have thought that it was him reincarnated. It was only discovered because of its unusual sneezing habit, so this installation peers out of the bush complete with a sneezing soundtrack which is activated the moment it senses your presence.

The New Zealander Phil Price is represented by one of his surreal ten-metre-high stainless steel organic mobiles, Anton McMurray carved a three-and-a-half metre high portal out of wood and David Horton has a beautifully resolved, huge and imposing bush altar in mild steel.

One of my favourites from the show is an exacting piece by the German-born Melbourne-based sculptor Benjamin Storch, whose steel Orbital is an outstanding piece of precision engineering as it silently moves in response to any breeze.

With monumental public sculpture in Australia still seeking to reassert its voice and establish a presence, the McClelland Sculpture Survey has become a key national forum for the display of Australian sculptural practice.

The McLelland Sculpture Survey and Awards are on display until July 19. Details here.

image

Sasha Grishin does not work for, consult to, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organisation that would benefit from this article, and has no relevant affiliations.

Read more http://theconversation.com/sculpture-in-the-bush-a-strong-year-for-the-mclelland-prize-34811