Posted: October 21, 2022 / Awards, News

Sculpture by the Sea and Aqualand today announced regional Western Australian artist Tony Davis as the recipient of the $70,000 Aqualand Sculpture Award, for his striking 7-metre-high Jarrah timber and steel sculpture ‘Folly Interstice’, at Sculpture by the Sea, Bondi.

The exhibition was officially opened to the public today, with Davis in attendance to accept the award.

The Aqualand Sculpture Award is an acquisitive award, recognised as the most generous sculpture award in the Southern Hemisphere and one of the most sought after art awards in the world. ‘Folly Interstice’ will be gifted by Aqualand for permanent public placement in Sydney.

Said Davis, “This Aqualand Sculpture Award is very humbling, I have been an artist for all of my adult life and this award validates my development and practice over a long period of time. I must thank the principal sponsor, Aqualand, for their generosity and Sculpture by the Sea for the opportunities and support for sculptors from across Australia and internationally.

“Sculpture by the Sea has been a platform for my sculpture since 2010, inspired by fellow artists and Sculpture by the Sea’s vision. It is especially rewarding because the sculpture ‘Folly Interstice’, due to the pandemic, has been waiting in the wings for two and a half years and as we emerge, I see it in a new light, as a beacon of hope for the future. The sculpture is interactive and I hope the public will enter its space and engage with its positive energy.”

‘Folly Interstice’ explores Donald Judd’s assertion, “if it’s not functional, it must be art”; a folly, intimating a compressed space within and complementing a secret place in discourse with the organic language of wood, with all its archives and unread stories.

Jin Lin, Managing Director, Aqualand, said: “We are incredibly proud to continue our support of this iconic event in the Australian arts and culture landscape for the seventh year running. We see great synergy between Aqualand and Sculpture by the Sea, Bondi through the integral correlation between creativity and engaged, vibrant communities, which we are driven to foster through our projects.

“Aqualand is delighted to present the Aqualand Sculpture Award to one very talented artist, and on behalf of Aqualand I would like to congratulate Tony Davis on his beautiful sculpture ‘Folly Interstice’. Tony’s sculpture will be gifted for permanent public display for Sydneysiders and visitors to enjoy for generations to come, with the location to be announced soon.”

David Handley, Founding CEO & Artistic Director, Sculpture by the Sea, said: “Congratulations to Tony, this is a fantastic sculpture that will be hugely popular with visitors to the exhibition and the people of Sydney for many years to come.”

Davis’ work was chosen by this year’s judging panel:

  • Terence Maloon – Director, Australian National University Drill Hall Gallery and Former Senior Curator; Special Exhibitions, Art Gallery of NSW
  • Wendy Teakel – Artist, former Head of Sculpture, Australian National University, School of Art and Design

Tony Davis is a regional Western Australian sculptor, art educator, painter and fine wood craftsman. He was one of three inaugural Bendat Family Foundation WA Invited Artists to exhibit at Sculpture by the Sea, Cottesloe 2020, where he also entered the Decade Club for artists who have exhibited at Sculpture by the Sea, Cottesloe at least 10 times. ‘Folly Interstice’ is Davis’ eighth work at Sculpture by the Sea, Bondi and he has exhibited once at Sculpture by the Sea, Aarhus – Denmark in 2011.

Davis’ works have featured in numerous solo and group exhibitions in Western Australia over the past 40 years, with his works held in major public and private collections including Minderoo, Curtin University, the Supreme Court of Western Australia and the City of Bunbury. Davis has worked as a secondary art teacher and head of department in various schools in Western Australia and as a part-time lecturer in drawing and painting at Curtin University.


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