Montalto Sculpture Prize

Currently showing
19 February – 29 April 2012

This post represents a bit of a diversion for me – I’m not going to talk about food.  Instead I’m going to talk about one of my other loves in life – sculpture.  Last weekend, Andrew was heading off for his usual fortnightly dive, and I decided that I’d head down the peninsula with him and do some pinot hunting!  More great incentive – the Annual Montalto Sculpture Prize was on. I have to confess, I’ve been meaning to check out the permanent sculpture exhibit at Montalto for a while now – they have 22 permanent sculptures on display throughout the grounds, and if you’re lucky enough to get a chance to dine at the one hatted Montalto restaurant, you get to see some of the sculptures from the dining area.

This weekend – a couple of stars seemed to line up – first, Andrew didn’t have to leave pre-dawn to get to his scheduled dive, but rather at a more civilised 9am; and second – upon checking the Montalto website I found they were right in the middle of the annual prize exhibit!  The timing was brilliant – so we headed down. The following pics represent only a small sampling of the 25 prize entries and 22 permanent exhibits on the grounds of the winery – if you’d like to see more, I encourage you to head down there before the exhibit closes on 29 April.

Joanna Rhodes, “The Roll”

Joanna writes:  I have this beautiful ex racehorse called Liberty Hall.  Every Sunday morning we go down to the beach for a gallop in the sea, then I take his tack off and down he goes in the sand for his roll and I have to leap out of the way so I don’t get squashed. I cannot convey in words how utterly beautiful these few magical moments are watching him thrust his legs in the air & covort from one side to the other in absolutely heaven. He is incredibly elegant, graceful & awesome. It leaves you spellbound. This sculpture won the 2012 Mitchell Family Choice Award.

Christabel Wigley,”Fingers Crossed”

Christabel says simply: Expresses a hope that things will turn out well between Man and Nature. This sculpture won the 2012 Montalto Sculpture prize.

Andrew Rogers, “Coil”

This sculpture is part of the permanent collection at Montalto – Andrew Rogers used to be a painter, but after many visits to the Musee Rodin in Paris, took up sculpture instead, favouring the many perspectives needed to shape a form.  He is a prolific sculptor, and has works all over the world including San Francisco, Singapore, Vienna, Jerusalem and even Machu Picchu in Peru.

Barbara Licha, “Urbanised”

In this sculpture, Barbara is talking about “isolation and surviving in big agglomerations in the cities, in the countries, and on Earth. In the modern world we are bound by constant expansion of information, and a multitude of tasks. As a result, I think modern society has become more confused, people have become more isolated, puzzled and less attached, but at the same time we are together.

Rudi Jass, “Silver Leaves”

Silver Leaves – detail

Rudi says:  Currently, my passion lies with kinetic, wind driven sculpture.  The interaction of the wind with the organic shapes gives the sculpture a fourth dimension and makes it complete.

Cliff Burtt, “Section”

Cliff explains that: Most of my work in recent years has involved an attempt to reconcile two tendencies: the first, the attraction of purely formal, abstract qualities in sculpture; and the second a desire to deal in some way with the challenge of representation. An alternative title for these columns might have been “Ozymandias”; time and nature have a way of mocking our efforts.

Ewen Coates, “Figure in Landscape”

Ewen says: ‘Figure in Landscape’ is a solid line drawing of a female form where the landscape becomes the paper.  In her stance, the half rendered figure melds with and frames the background emphasising the power and fecundity of nature.  This sculpture won the 2009 competition.

Frank Veldze, ‘Legal Immigrants’ recycled

Frank simply says:  If only some things could to where they came from.  Like rabbit and gorse.

Melissa Cussell, “Luminous”

Melissa says of Luminous: The design of the upright structures and the constellation of mirrors with their mutual reflections meant that, from certain angles, the structures almost appear to be floating or invisible. With their reflective nature they are not taking away from the forest surrounding them, yet mirroring the secrets of nature and their viewer from many angles. Perhaps creating a juxtoposition of richness and mystery with the use of the medium,  and then by placing the reflective structures within the forest and its organic surrounding. Also adding to this beauty and mystery are the finely embedded ribbons surrounding the base of each structure, radiating a red glow in the night.

Anderson Hunt, “Tweet – The Silence of Speak”

Anderson says:  This work is a continuation of my investigation into the human condition and the constant evolution of language and conversation. In the age of i-Phone connectivity, we constantly plug-in, log-on, update, and tweet, often forgetting to sit, look and listen at the signs of nature…  We have come a long way since two cans and a piece of string.  Tweet… the silence of speak.

Bronwyn Berman, “Hanging Pod Form 1”

Bronwyn says: My works are referential of the natural world, responding to the elemental nature of the environment. The pod form encapsulation of life to come, a concentration or distillation of all that is complex in nature, containing seeds of new life, or the promise of transformation to new form. Somewhere between a spiral, a sphere, an egg, the form is a pulse of nature, caught in gravity, space and time.  In “Hanging Pod Form 1” the pod is both raised to the heavens, and slumped toward earth.  Its silvery colour and scratchy texture reflect the colours and texture of Australian bushland. The work could be the egg sac of a small insect or elemental detritus of a flash flood hanging in the trees in a river valley. The form is rigid yet yielding occupying a fluid space between states, or transitional space between successive material incarnations.

Michael Needham, “Diagram for the Internal Image”

Michael says: Part of an ongoing investigation into the ideas and experiences of perception.  In particular, the question of ‘who’ is god?  And in relation to this, the question of ‘who’ are we?  The eye as an optical mechanism plays a fundamental role in our ability to conceive and process the perception of god.   The work reveals the dichotomy between the metaphysical concept and the natural physicality of the form.  This work is about what is beyond us.  It holds to the ideal that in an attempt to pause the consciousness and grasp some understanding, something waits to be revealed. However momentary or timeless this may be is up to the perceiver.   This sculpture won the prize in 2004.

As you can see, the works are many and diverse – the whole collection takes about an hour to take in.  And, while you’re there you can sample some of Montalto’s great wines.  In terms of food, they have two options – the one hatted restaurant (make sure you book!), or the more casual piazza that serves a range of pizzas.  All in all, a wonderful day out – if you like sculpture, then I encourage you to get down there and enjoy.

Montalto Vineyard and Olive Grove
33 Shoreham Road
Red Hill South  VIC  3937
03 5989 8412