James Parrett wins Aqualand Sculpture Award

Sculpture by the Sea, Bondi 2018 James Parrett, M-fortysixSculpture by the Sea and Aqualand have announced that Victorian James Parrett is the recipient of the prestigious Aqualand Sculpture Award for M-fortysix at the 22nd annual Sculpture by the Sea, Bondi.

The acquisitive award, which was increased by Aqualand to $70,000 in 2018, is the most generous sculpture award in the Southern Hemisphere and one of the most sought after in the world. M-fortysix will be gifted to the Harbour Trust for permanent public enjoyment in Georges Heads at Headland Park.

“Receiving an award like this is something that I have allowed myself to daydream about from time to time, but never expected to happen! said Mr Parrett. “After getting that call from David Handley and having a surreal and giddy sleepless night, I am just so excited and humbled to be the recipient of the Aqualand Sculpture Award. A big thank you to Aqualand for their generosity.”

M-fortysix is one of those sculptures that was very special to me all the way from model to finished form. I am blown away that the judges loved it as much as I do. I can’t wait to see M-fortysix at its new home in Headland Park and hope the public will enjoy it as much as I enjoyed making it.”

The gift of the three Aqualand Sculpture Award works to the Harbour Trust will see Parrett’s work join last year’s recipient David Ball’s Orb and 2016 recipient Johannes Pannekoek’s Change Ahead at Headland Park in Mosman for visitors to enjoy year round.

“The Harbour Trust is delighted to continue to partner with Sculpture by the Sea to bring award-winning sculptures to Headland Park at Mosman, and we are grateful to Aqualand for their generous donation,” said Harbour Trust CEO, Mary Darwell.

M-fortysix will be placed within the Sculpture by the Sea collection at Headland Park in a thriving setting consisting of a working artist precinct, great cafes and restaurants, beautiful bushwalks and a wonderful exhibition space in our WWII T5 Camouflage Fuel Tank. This cultural experience adds to the rich Indigenous, military and Pacific stories of Headland Park,” said Ms Darwell.

As is tradition, the award was selected by a majority decision of the judges that included: Jennifer Turpin, Artist; Geoffrey Edwards, Curator, Pt Leo Estate Sculpture Park & former Director, Geelong Gallery; and Clara Hali, Sculptor & Lecturer in Sculpture, National Art School, Sydney.

“After a rain delay more usually associated with the cricket, we are pleased to finally announce James as the recipient of the Aqualand Sculpture Award – the first Victorian recipient,” said Sculpture by the Sea founding director, David Handley AM. “Congratulations to James on receiving this award.”

James Parrett holds a B.A. in Sculpture from Monash University and B.A. (Honours) in Sculpture, Victoria College of the Arts. He has been a finalist five times for the McClelland Contemporary Sculpture Award; nine times for the Montalto Winery Sculpture Prize, winning in 2016; and five times for the Yering Station Sculpture Prize.

Parrett has participated multiple times in Sculpture by the Sea, Bondi. His solo exhibitions include Line and ARC at Gould Gallery (Melbourne), and commissions include The Rabaul and Montevideo Maru Memorial at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra.

The recipient of the Waverley Council Mayor’s Award of $5,000 was also announced, and awarded to, Mu Boyan from China, for his work Horizon – the large fleshy man sitting on the south Bondi headland in Marks Park.

This year marks the 22nd year in which Sydney’s breathtaking Bondi to Tamarama coastal walk has been transformed by Sculpture by the Sea, Bondi with the installation of 107 sculptures from 21 countries. The exhibition is free to the public and runs until Sunday 4 November 2018. For more information, visit: www.sculpturebythesea.com for details.

Image: James Parrett, M-fortysix, Sculpture by the Sea, Bondi 2018 – photo by Gareth Carr