Posted: August 25, 2023 / News

Siahne Rogers, ‘Everything Must Go’, Sculpture by the Sea, Cottesloe 2023. Photo Jessica Wyld

Perpetual and Sculpture by the Sea today announced the three Australian sculptors awarded the prestigious $30,000 Helen Lempriere Scholarships ahead of this year’s milestone 25th Sculpture by the Sea, Bondi.

Senior Artist  Greg Johns (SA)

Mid-Career Artist  Lucy Barker (NSW)

Emerging Artist  Siahne Rogers (WA)

The Helen Lempriere Scholarships are designed to enable artists to further their artistic development through travel, study and the purchase of important new equipment while supporting their inclusion in Sculpture by the Sea, Bondi.

The scholarships are gifted as part of the Helen Lempriere Bequest, a charitable trust managed by Perpetual, providing scholarships with the aim to foster and promote contemporary Australian sculpture. The Helen Lempriere Bequest has provided over $2.2 million in funding support for Australian artists since the trust was established in 1996, more than half of this to artists exhibiting in Sculpture by the Sea, Bondi.

Greg Johns, Lucy Barker and Siahne Rogers will each exhibit a work as part of Sculpture by the Sea, Bondi 2023, along the Bondi to Tamarama coastal walk from 20 October – 6 November.

“The Helen Lempriere Scholarships are a key part of the backbone of the financial support for sculptors in Australia. Since 2010, $1.17M has been provided to 39 artists across the country. It is a privilege and honour to work with Perpetual to facilitate this support for Australian sculptors who work in the widest cross-section of sculptural practice at all stages of their careers to give life to the wishes of the Late Keith Wood in memory of his wife the artist Helen Lempriere,” says David Handley, Founding CEO & Artistic Director of Sculpture by the Sea.

Perpetual’s National Manager – Philanthropy & Non Profit Services, Jane Magor, says: “The scholarships continue to play a crucial role in advancing artists’ careers through study and research and are truly emblematic of the enduring passion Helen had for the Arts. As manager of the Helen Lempriere Bequest, we are proud to help continue Helen’s legacy.”

Greg Johns, a full-time sculptor for nearly 50 years, has completed major commissions in Australia and internationally, as well as exhibiting annually in solo/major group shows in Australia, New York, Asia, the Middle East and Europe. A member of both the Sculpture by the Sea, Bondi and Sculpture by the Sea, Cottesloe Decade Clubs, Johns has participated at both exhibitions a combined 21 times.

Johns has run an independent sculpture and environmental landscape at Palmer in South Australia since 2001. At Sculpture by the Sea, Bondi 2023, he will exhibit a corten steel work titled ‘Sit Down Fella (Contemplative)’, a work influenced by a rock formation on the Palmer landscape.

The $30,000 Helen Lempriere Scholarship will fund new machinery and materials for Johns’ studio, and travel to Sydney and Melbourne to research sacred and contemporary sculpture.

Greg stated that, “I have worked 47 years full-time as a sculptor in Australia. The journey has been both a ‘hard fought’ and heartfelt one. I am genuinely grateful to receive the senior Helen Lempriere Scholarship, acknowledging my contribution to a sculptural sensibility, which reflects both the uniqueness of Australia and universal forces.”

Artist Lucy Barker’s sculptural practice reflects her interest in art as an agent of cultural change. Barker has exhibited with Sculpture by the Sea, Bondi nine times previously, this year joining the Decade Club, and Sculpture by the Sea, Cottesloe three times, as well as numerous other solo and group exhibitions across Australia.

Lucy will exhibit ‘On Line Clothes Swap’, an interactive artwork this year that incorporates a Hills Hoist clothesline where visitors will be invited to share resources by hanging or removing, pre-loved clothes on the line, representing a common desire to find new sustainable ways to live.

The scholarship will support Lucy’s art practice both practically and intellectually by improving her studio, taking casting and bronzing courses, and expanding her cultural and artistic knowledge through travel focused on where sculpture and spirituality meet, with a particular interest in traditional Japanese culture.

When asked about receiving the scholarship, Lucy said, “It is a huge honour to be receiving the Helen Lempriere Scholarship for a mid-career artist this year. Sculpture by the Sea has been pivotal to my career and to receive this level of recognition and support is invaluable. Thank you to all involved! The scholarship will enable critical improvements to my studio and allow me to pursue interests in a way that I previously only ever dreamt about.”

Siahne Rogers is a young practising artist from Western Australia with a background in sculpture, installation and performance who has previously participated in Sculpture by the Sea, Cottesloe, as well as exhibiting in the National Graduate Exhibition ‘Hatched’ at PICA, Perth Fringe World Festival and Adelaide Fringe Festival.

Siahne’s work, titled ‘EVERYTHING MUST GO!’, a shimmering embellished billboard with the title’s text in bright-red acrylic, invites us to contemplate the processes of loss, grief and acceptance in a playful way, while acknowledging the duality this holds for feelings on impermanence and celebration of living.

The scholarship will fund an artist residency overseas and eventually post graduate education, as well as a new studio space and equipment.

“As an emerging artist I am deeply grateful to be awarded the privilege of my practice being supported by the Helen Lempriere Scholarship. This is an invaluable opportunity to develop a career as an artist, and I aim to use it to create meaningful and impactful work and hope for connections with the greater arts community,” Siahne expressed.

Congratulations Siahne, Lucy and Greg!

Sculpture by the Sea, Bondi will run from 20 October – 6 November 2023.

Greg Johns, ‘Horizon Figure’, Sculpture by the Sea, Bondi 2022. Photo Charlotte Curd

Lucy Barker, ‘Sea Through’, Sculpture by the Sea, Bondi 2017. Photo Gareth Carr

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