Sculpture Forest

  • Philip Spelman, 'Tree Hide', Sculpture Forest at Alpine Ash Walk. Photo Angela Lyons
  • Philip Spelman, 'Tree Hide', Sculpture Forest at Alpine Ash Walk. Photo Grant Hardwick

Philip Spelman (Queanbeyan, NSW)

‘Tree Hide’, Alpine Ash Walk, Sculpture Forest

Artist Statement: The concept behind this work is to provide a defined contemplative space that changes the perspective of how we perceive and experience the forest. Six curved panels form a circular structure with vertical spaces between, one gives access to the space the others provide a restricted, framed view into the Ash forest.

The central painted form that appears consistently in my work is an abstracted leaf shape, the colour creates an intense contrast between the structure of the forest against the luminous colour of this abstract shape, drawing in the viewer, it also serves as a bench on which to spend some time.

With time the exterior of the work will become obscured, overgrown with the local flora. The path leading to the sculpture intentionally diverts from the main ash walk trail by approximately 100 meters, this is to isolate the work from other artworks and further develop a secluded space in a quiet forest.

Biography: Philip Spelman holds a Bachelor of Visual Arts (Sculpture) from the School of Art at the Australian National University.

As a practising sculptor for the past 30 years, Spelman works in painted steel, he maintains a broad professional arts practice. He is actively engaged in national and international exhibitions, commissions and conference programmes as well as technical management and consultation.

His works are abstract constructions where elements balance, tumble and float, creating positive and negative compositions of space, light and shade. The sculptures are memorable for their vibrant colours which give luminosity and depth, creating stunning silhouettes within their environment.

Spelman’s sculptures are held in many public, private and corporate collections, nationally and internationally. In 2012 he was awarded a Helen Lempriere Scholarship for research and travel. In 2013 he received the NSW Government Regional Acquisition Award, his work was acquired by Bathurst Regional Gallery.

His commissions include ACT Cultural Facilities Corporation, Civil & Civic / Lend Lease ACT, South Sydney City Council and ACT Public Arts, Arrow International, and most recently a major work for Capital estate developments. His work is also featured in collections such as The National Convention Centre, The Lady Ethel Nock Sculpture Collection, Canberra Museum & Art Gallery, Gomboc Sculpture Gallery Price Waterhouse, University of Canberra and the Bathurst Regional Gallery.

He has exhibited at Sculpture by the Sea, Bondi 18 times since 1999, Sculpture by the Sea, Cottesloe four times since 2009 and Sculpture by the Sea, Aarhus in 2009 and 2011.

Stage one of the Snowy Valleys Sculpture Trail was jointly funded by the Australian and NSW Government’s Bushfire Local Economic Recovery Fund, under the Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements.