Lorne Sculpture Biennale returns for 2018
Held from 17 March until 2 April, the 2018 Lorne Sculpture Biennale (LSB) celebrates the best in contemporary Australian and international sculpture in a free, vibrant festival that enriches and transforms the stunning Lorne foreshore and surrounds on the Great Ocean Road. Over three weekends, Victoria’s most prestigious sculpture festival, now in its sixth iteration, will be an unmissable destination for arts lovers everywhere.
Under the creative direction of curator Lara Nicholls in her incoming biennale, the 2018 event explores the theme ‘Landfall’, presenting major works and new commissions from 41 artists devoted to pressing global issues of nature and endangerment.
Astonishing sculptures and installations which explore the intersection of nature, humanity and art, created by acclaimed artists from around the world, are situated across the dramatic sweep of Lorne’s world-famous foreshore. In 2016 this event attracted over 65,000 visitors.
Lorne Sculpture Biennale Curator Lara Nicholls: ‘There is a great energy transference that occurs when inspired artists create works in concert with nature, especially in a space as precious as where the Otway Ranges meets the wild Bass Straight at Lorne. That energy is then absorbed by audiences in ways that enlighten and enrich one’s existence. We are all wondering what are we going to see when in Lorne next March. Knowing these artists as I do, I anticipate a transformative experience to savour and remember.”
The Sculpture Trail is a four-kilometre track extending from Erskine River to the St George River, which can be pleasantly walked enjoyed by car or bike, featuring 25 artists. Many of the artists were born overseas but now live and work in Australia including: Ritchie Ares Doña (Phillipines), Aldo Bilotta (Italy), Brigit Heller (Switzerland), Ashika Marek Ostapkowicz (Poland), Fleur Brett (Papua New Guinea) and Mark Schaller (Germany). The curator has included young emerging artists such as Paul Murphy, Georgina Humphries, Sophie Clague and Ciara Glover. They will be exhibiting alongside senior legends of Australian sculpture including Jock Clutterbuck and Margaret Worth.
Many pieces are site-specific, with highlights including Nicole Voevodin–Cash’s inflatable temporary tree museum, isolating a majestic eucalyptus as monument and magnifying glasses allowing visitors to get up close and Tony Wolfenden’s Couta specially made for the Pier to evoke the extinct practice of Couta boat fishing. Audience interaction and performance is a key focus with Jill Orr performing her work Dark night in the evocative old Quarry at night; Anton Hasell will be smelting and crafting his Spirit Tree Furnace giving audiences of all ages the chance to make their own sculpture; and Geelong artist, Merinda Kelly seeks the audience to repurpose their daily clutter in her Performing Archaeologies.
Celebrating the Land Art movement, the 2018 Sculpturescape trail features nine artists reimagining the landscape in astonishing ways, including American-born Ryan Kennedy’s installation of over ten thousand glass bottles, into which visitors may write and insert messages on waterproof paper through to German artist, Kerstin Cuming’s swirling, sandy labyrinth.
Sculpturescape is complemented by three site-specific Major Projects. Breakwaver by Iranian installation artist Shirin Abedinerad – a curve wall created from broken televisions, their screen replaced with mirror glass reflecting the ocean, visitors and light; and Claudia Chaseling and Milovan Markovic’s collaboration The darker the sky the brighter the stars will be constructed in Lorne in the month proceeding the opening.
The 2018 LSB Awards honour exhibiting artists in four categories: The ‘Landfall’ LSB18 non-acquisitive award ($20,000); Sculpturescape Land Art award ($10,000); Emerging Artist Award ($10,000); the People’s Choice award ($3,000); as well as the Scarlett Award ($3,000), for writers.
LSB curator Lara Nicholls is the Curator of 19th century Australian Art at the National Gallery of Australia. Born in Lorne, Nicholls brings her expertise and passion for art, a desire to achieve gender parity for artists and a need to explore environmental issues to her role.
Founded in 2005, the LSB is uniquely located where the Great Otway National Park meets the ocean, a site that naturally lends itself to art that engages with environment and encourages cross-cultural dialogue. The seaside town becomes the glorious venue for an enlivening program of festival experiences.