IT TOOK Walcha sculptor Stephen King three years to finish his 6-metre-high creation Fallout, but yesterday that effort paid dividends when it claimed top prize at Sydney’s Sculpture By The Sea.
The three-tonne timber sculpture was inspired by the Fukushima nuclear disaster and named the winner of the $60,000 Macquarie Group Sculpture Prize, the highest cash prize for sculpture in NSW.
At the announcement yesterday, Sculpture By The Sea founding director David Handley noted Mr King had been close to winning the main prize at the annual event a number of times.
Mr King has had an entry in all but two of the 17 Sculpture By The Sea exhibitions and told The Leader the win was “a shock” and after missing out so many times before, he “didn’t make the mistake of thinking it was even a possiblity”.
While the sculpture, created from a fallen tree on his Walcha property, had been inspired by Fukushima, its concept and construction had morphed over the years.
Tamworth Regional Gallery will hold a 30-year survey show of his works in May next year and yesterday director Sandra McMahon was full of praise for the win. “It’s the equivalent of an artist winning the Archibald Prize,” she said.
Sculpture By The Sea is made up of 106 sculptures along the Bondi to Tamarama coastal walk.