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Melbourne: Alive with Sculpture
by Ken Scarlett

Only those Melbournians with long memories will be fully aware of the dramatic changes that have occurred in the field of sculpture here. Once a place of limited activity, Melbourne is now vibrantly alive with sculptural events. In 1961, the Mildura Triennial was launched—the first national survey of contemporary sculpture—but it was six hours from Melbourne. There was the annual exhibition by the members of the Victorian Sculptors Society, an uneasy mix of lingering figuration and tentative exploration of new abstraction. And there were also a few competitions for sculpture, all disappointingly short lived. During this period, only a handful of sculptors earned a precarious living from their talents; commissions were few and far between. It certainly wasn’t a dynamic scene.


Simeon Nelson, Desiring Machine, 2007.
Galvanized steel plate, 9 x 8 x 36 meters.

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