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National Sculpture Prize 2010

Gayna Rose Madder takes a look at the contenders in a Biennial taster at the Bluecoat Display Centre

Published on September 20th 2010.

National Sculpture Prize 2010

THE launch of the Liverpool Biennial is just a wek away, but things are already moving around town, and this week the winner of the National Sculpture Prize 2010 is announced.

The prize is all about giving Liverpool's thriving sculpture scene a platform on a national level and came about to answer what was seen as a need to include 3D work within the broad framework of the Biennial celebrations.

It's only the second time the prize has been awarded: created by the Bluecoat Display Centre the inaugural event was in 2008. The six shortlisted artists are eligible for a £1,000 prize and all currently have their work on display in the gallery. The winner will be announced this Friday (September 10).

It's a fascinating collection and well worth a visit. Nicolas Moreton's giant stone structure fronts the show, looking like a huge egg from a pre-historic creature - until, on closer inspection, one sees the immense amount of meticulous attention and labour which has gone into the creation of this monolith. Unusually, the artist encourages visitors to touch the work and closely inspect the subtle lighting, which also heats the piece, changing its appearance at different times of day.

In complete contrast, Caren Hartley's intriguing collection of ostensibly household items utilises forms which look familiar but creates them from unexpected materials. Glasses made of wax or bronze teeter on slender, extended stems or bend and tip uncertainly, rendering the homely front somewhat sinister and disturbing.

Continuing the theme of apparently functional objects that confuse and question is Maya Selway's precious metal bowl which seems to be designed for use, along with other more overtly sculptural pieces being exhibited, many influenced by Japanese ceramic and lacquered art.

All of the works exhibited here express unique viewpoints which succeed in defying obvious comparisons.

This competition is a ground-breaking step for Liverpool. There is a 'People’s Choice Award' in which visitors can make their personal choice. Don't miss the chance to see this unique selection of works, and have your say.

Translations, Caren Hartley

Sponsored by Malthouse and Co, Chartered Accountants, The 6 short-listed artists are:

Nicolas Moreton "I believe that the use of hand tools adds and aids to the resultant image creating a personal and intimate statement.. Recently my awareness of light has become much more acute."

Caren Hartley "I have a fascination for the lives of familiar object, especially those that seem unimportant or have fallen out of favour. To create my work I employ various techniques in casting and mould making."

Mari-Ruth Oda "I am inspired by the wave forms that the oceans make and by waves of thought. The forms are hand-built through building up layers of coils and manipulating by adding, scraping and sculpting".

Nicholas Lees "My work expresses tension and resolution between polarities, particularly focused on the relationship between 'artificial' and 'natural', using slipcasting and handbuilding techniques."

Katriona Beales "I am interested in the issue of the subject in the public eye and notions of consumption, privacy, vulnerability, exploitation. These 3D collages, which act as a kind of metaphorical portrait."

Maya Selway "My new series of contemplative works has connections to the tradition of Wabi-Sabi, the art of finding beauty in imperfection, profundity in simplicity and revering authenticity above all."

*Exhibition continues until 25 September 2010. Mon-Sat 10am – 5.30pm. Sundays 12-5pm. Admission Free.

Bluecoat Display Centre, 50-51 the Bluecoat, College Lane Entrance, Liverpool L1 3BZ. 0151 709 4014

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