Lorne Sculpture Biennale returns in 2018

Lorne SB Seol Park and John Kelly, En plein air; In plain sight (AR) - photo by Rick CavicchioliTransforming the stunning Lorne foreshore and surrounds on the Great Ocean Road, the 2018 Lorne Sculpture Biennale (LSB), will celebrate the best in contemporary Australian and international sculpture for two weeks from 17 March.

Now in its sixth iteration, under the creative direction of curator Lara Nicholls in her incoming biennale, the 2018 event explores the theme Landfall – presenting major works and new commissions from 41 artists devoted to pressing global issues of nature and endangerment.

Astonishing sculptures and installations which explore the intersection of nature, humanity and art, created by acclaimed artists from around the world, are situated across the dramatic sweep of Lorne’s world-famous foreshore. In 2016 this event attracted over 65,000 visitors.

“There is a great energy transference that occurs when inspired artists create works in concert with nature, especially in a space as precious as where the Otway Ranges meets the wild Bass Strait at Lorne,” said Lorne Sculpture Biennale Curator Lara Nicholls.

“That energy is then absorbed by audiences in ways that enlighten and enrich one’s existence. We are all wondering what are we going to see when in Lorne next March. Knowing these artists as I do, I anticipate a transformative experience to savour and remember.”

The Sculpture Trail is a 4km- track extending from the Lorne Swing Bridge over Erskine River to just beyond the pier, which can be pleasantly walked, or enjoyed by car or bike. Featuring 25 artists, any of the artists were born overseas but now live and work in Australia including: Ritchie Ares Doña (Philippines), Aldo Bilotta (Italy), Brigit Heller (Switzerland), Ashika Marek Ostapkowicz (Poland), Fleur Brett (Papua New Guinea) and Mark Schaller (Germany).

Lara Nicholls has included young emerging artists such as Paul Murphy, Georgina Humphries, Sophie Clague and Ciara Glover. They will be exhibiting alongside senior legends of Australian sculpture including Jock Clutterbuck and Margaret Worth.

Many pieces are site-specific, with highlights including Nicole Voevodin-Cash’s inflatable temporary tree museum, isolating a majestic eucalypt as monument, with magnifying glasses allowing visitors to get up close and the Tony Wolfenden and Lorne Men’s Shed project Couta, especially made for the Pier to evoke the extinct practice of Couta boat fishing.

Audience interaction and Performance is a key focus with Jill Orr performing her work Dark night in the evocative old Quarry at night; Anton Hasell will be smelting and crafting his Spirit Tree Furnace giving audiences of all ages the chance to make their own sculpture; and Geelong artist, Merinda Kelly seeks the audience to repurpose their daily clutter in her Performing Archaeologies.

Celebrating the Land Art movement, the 2018 Sculpturescape trail features nine artists reimagining the landscape in astonishing ways, including American-born Ryan Kennedy’s installation of over ten thousand glass bottles, into which visitors may write and insert messages on waterproof paper through to German artist, Kerstin Cuming’s swirling, sandy labyrinth.

Sculpturescape is complemented by three site-specific Major Projects. Breakwaver by Iranian installation artist Shirin Abedinirad – a curved wall created from broken televisions, their screen replaced with mirror glass reflecting the ocean, visitors and light; Claudia Chaseling (Berlin) and Milovan Markovic (Serbia)’s collaboration The darker the sky the brighter the stars – constructed in Lorne in the month preceding the Biennale; and En plein air; In plain sight (AR) – a collaboration between Seol Park (Korea) and John Kelly (Australia/Ireland) that uses 3D modelling and augmented reality to create an otherworldly floating iceberg which appears off the water’s edge to onlookers delight.

Situated at the Erskine Paddock, The Living Stage is a recyclable, biodegradable, edible and biodiverse installation and performance space that will be a centrepiece of the 2018 Lorne Sculpture Biennale. Part theatre, part garden and part community collage; Lorne’s living stage will feature vertical garden walls, suspended sculptures, and portable garden beds. Housed within and amongst the living structure, a series of performance works will explore stories of environmental and community vitality and rejuvenation.

The 2018 Lorne Sculpture Biennale runs 17 March – 2 April. For more information and complete program, visit: www.lornesculpture.com for details.

Image: Seol Park and John Kelly, En plein air; In plain sight (AR) – photo by Rick Cavicchioli