... absolutely deserving of his award. The winner of the National Sculpture Award is quite literally the bomb. I can't find a picture of it yet, but here's the press release. I'm sure it will be published in all the weekend paper glossy bits.
Glen Clarke's American Crater near Hanoi #2 is just stunning. Hard to explain, but I'll do my best. He's created a 3-d grid from thin wooden rods and red string (wood on top and bottom, red string running between in vertical lines) and tied to the string creating the horizontal lines are very small origami cheong sams made from Vietnamese money. They make a visual block, but at the centre they have been spaced to leave a shape like a bomb crater. So you are looking at square sides and a concave centre, but with the straight strings and the precise placement, it feels and looks like a graphic made by computer modelling. Wonderful to walk around. A very complex, well thought-out piece using the simplest of materials -- string, wood, paper -- which, combined with the title, makes it extremely effective and beautiful.
I was surprised by my reaction to some of the entries as I pushed my way through the (huge) crowd to actually look at the pieces rather than stand around and network like everyone else. Some I loved. Some I just thought were crap. I had quite physical reactions to them. Perfectly innocuous sculptures, noting offensive in their themes, just couldn't believe that stuff like that was still being made and shown. I won't mention names, but if that room was the best of Australian sculpture, there must be some shite out there in the rejection pile. I'd say 2/3 was excellent. The rest I have suspicions about the judge's motivation in choosing them. I guess there'll be a lot of debate while the show runs. I highly recommend a visit if you're in the area.