Mudgee Sculptures in the Gardens a Huge Success

Mudgee and regional NSW’s most renowned outdoor sculpture exhibition, Sculptures in the Garden, has enjoyed a hugely successful event for the 11th year. Over 300 sculptures were exhibited, with over 65% of works sold.  More than 4,000 visitors attended throughout the exhibition and over $17,000 was raised for our not-for-profit partner, Guide Dogs NSW/ACT.

The lead up to the exhibition was clouded by uncertainty due to the rolling lockdown extensions in NSW due to the COVID-19 Delta outbreak. After one postponement, the exhibition opened on Saturday 6th November and closed on Sunday 21st November, one month after it was initially scheduled.

Visitors to the event were able to view over 300 works on display, including the acquisition prize winners as listed below: 

– $25,000 Sculptures in the Garden and Mid-Western Regional Council Acquisition Prize – Ahead by Harrie Fasher (Portland)

– $10,000 Friends of Sculptures in the Garden Acquisition Prize – Pensive by Nicole O’Regan (Sodwalls)

– $5,000 Moolarben Acquisition Prize – Runner by François Jaggi (Armidale)

These acquisitive prize-winning works will all be added to Lawson Park’s Sculpture Walk, a public art installation on the banks of the Cudgegong River that is enjoyed by locals and visitors to the region.  Sculptures in the Garden has contributed over 23 acquisitive works to the Lawson Park Sculpture Walk over the years and the walk acts as a legacy of the event and all it has achieved for arts in the Central  West over the years.  

The following acquisition prize will be displayed permanently in the grounds of the new Mudgee Hospital.

– $5,000 The Buchanan Artistic Merit Acquisition Prize The Great Escape by Alan Kuczynski (Seaforth).

Other prizes won included the $500 People’s Choice Award, won by Katherine Castillo Alfarez for Coral Queendom (Manly), and Annika Thurbon who won the $300 The Sculptors Society Artistic Merit prize for her sculpture Sway.  

The exhibition also featured a dedicated SIG for Kids! section with the theme this year being, ‘4 Seasons in 1 Day’ something that couldn’t be more relevant after the wild weather that has affected the state recently.

Commenting on the success of this year’s event, Sculptures in the Garden Founder and Curator, Kay Norton-Knight commented, “We have been overwhelmed with the support we have received for this year’s event. There were times we were uncertain whether we’d be able to proceed with the event this year due to the pandemic. However, we pushed on and made it happen and we are so thrilled that we did. The support not only from our own community but from all those across NSW who came to visit, as well, of course, from our artists who poured their time, energy and frustrations into their beautiful works has been marvellous.” 

Kay continued, “We’re really humbled by the success of the event now in its 11th year. We’re constantly amazed by how well the exhibition is received and we’re excited about the event’s future. We’re looking forward to announcing the exhibition calendar for 2022 which will see rolling exhibitions all year round, including Sculptures in the Garden 2022.” 

Sculptures in the Garden enables emerging artists to showcase their work, nurturing creativity and the arts in the regions. Winner of the top prize, Harrie Fasher commented that “producing an exhibition of the calibre of Sculptures in the Garden is a huge undertaking; but in reality, SIG is doing more than just showcasing sculpture, they are nurturing local talent.” 

All artworks were for sale at the event with prices ranging from $150 to $40,000 and artworks that remain on site at Rosby at the artist’s request will continue to be for sale.  

With 2021 celebrating the 11th year of the event, it seems this is only the beginning for this world class sculpture exhibition that has been hailed as rural Australia’s answer to Sculpture by the Sea.  

IMAGE: Rosby Wines and Gallery. Photo by Amber Hooper