Posted: November 24, 2022 / News

Left: Ron Robertson-Swann, ‘Hildegard Von Bingen’ Right: Egor Zigura ‘Colosuss’, Snowy Valleys Sculpture Trail.

The Snowy Valleys Sculpture Trail, Australia’s newest major public sculpture collection, has unveiled two new significant works – ‘Colossus’ by Ukrainian artist Egor Zigura and ‘Hildegard Von Bingen’ by NSW artist Ron Robertson-Swann OAM – at public celebrations attended by the artists and dignitaries.

‘Colossus’ was unveiled at Tumbarumba Creekscape by Volodymyr Shalkivskiy, Deputy Head of Mission, Embassy of Ukraine in Australia, the seventh sculpture to be installed in the town and the 28th in the Snowy Valleys Sculpture Trail. Zigura and his partner Viktoria Kulikova, Art Director at Abramovych Art Agency from Kyiv, were present for the unveiling, travelling to the region after the opening of Sculpture by the Sea, Bondi 2022 on Friday 21 October where a showcase of Ukrainian works was a highlight.

Zigura donated 25% of the proceeds from the sale of ‘Colossus’ to the Snowy Valleys Sculpture Trail to support the Ukrainian military. He holds a post graduate degree from the National Academy of Fine Arts and Architecture in Kyiv, Ukraine and has exhibited internationally in the UK, France, Italy and Spain and at Sculpture by the Sea, Bondi 2019. Zigura is represented in private collections in China, Denmark, England, France, Japan, Italy, New Zealand, Portugal, Singapore, Spain and the USA.

Egor Zigura said: “Despite the war, the support of our partners has allowed my artist colleagues and myself to continue our work. In these last few months, my every free moment has been dedicated to helping my family and friends, as well as fundraising for the army and for those affected by the war. The entire civilized world needs to stand united for our joint victory in order to fight back against the aggression.”

‘Hildegard Von Bingen’ was unveiled at Brigham House in Tooma by Justin Clancy MP, Member for Albury. It was the second permanent sculpture to be installed in Tooma and the 27th in the collection. The sculpture is inspired by Saint Hildegard, a German Benedictine abbess and polymath who was a visionary writer, composer and philosopher. In an artist statement, Robertson-Swann says, “Hildegard wanted her music to be like a ‘feather on the breath of God’. The sculpture is like a spiral movement of a feather in space, finding its place of rest in a pool.”

One of the most noted sculptors in Australia with key leadership roles in the departments of Sculpture at the National Art School and Canberra School of Art, Ron was instrumental in the establishment of Sculpture by the Sea. He studied at the National Art School Sydney under Lyndon Dadswell and St. Martins School of Art London 1962 under Sir Anthony Caro OM and Philip King CBE. He served as an assistant to Henry Moore OM. Robertson-Swann is represented in major public collections including the Art Gallery of NSW, Art Gallery of Western Australia, National Gallery of Victoria and the National Gallery of Australia. Robertson-Swann has exhibited at Sculpture by the Sea, Bondi 12 times since 2000, Sculpture by the Sea, Cottesloe four times since 2005 and Sculpture by the Sea, Aarhus 2009 and 2015. He was a recipient of the Helen Lempriere Scholarship in 2018.

Robertson-Swann said, “My sculpture “’Hildegard Von Bingen’ has found its home and I am pleased with how it’s been sited. Hildegard can sing from there. It’s important to contribute to such a significant community project in the region along with other major sculptures, which intensifies the focus on an artform often overlooked but the only one robust enough to survive such conditions.”

David Handley, Founding CEO & Artistic Director of Sculpture by the Sea and the Snowy Valleys Sculpture Trail, said: “We are very pleased to add these two sculptures to the Snowy Valleys Sculpture Trail, especially because with Ron Robertson-Swann we have arguably the most senior sculptor in Australia now in the collection and with Egor’s work we are reaching out to the people of Ukraine.”

Stretching across 100km of the Snowy Valleys Way – the stunning back road between Sydney and Melbourne – the Snowy Valleys Sculpture Trail features 28 works in collections across seven locations in the towns of Adelong, Batlow, Tumbarumba, the hamlet of Tooma and the Tumbarumba wine region cellar doors at Courabyra Wines, Johansen Wines and Obsession Wines.

This Bushfire Local Economic Recovery Fund project was conceived in partnership with the local communities and Sculpture by the Sea, and is jointly funded by the Australian and NSW governments under the Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements, to aid in the socio-economic recovery of the Snowy Valleys after the devastating 2019/20 NSW bushfires. Destined to become a world class sculpture collection, the Snowy Valleys Sculpture Trail aims to encourage more tourists to visit the region.

Share on: