MELBOURNE.- 2009 Award entries were fewer than in previous years due to the introduction of an invitation based submission process that replaced the previous open-application format. The Lempriere Award drew on the experience of eight highly qualified curators from around Australia to each nominate five artists encompassing established, mid-career and emerging sculptors, architects and landscape artists.
Of the 40 nominated artists approached, 28 entries were received, and the judging panel was unable to shortlist 15 finalists from the concepts presented.
Robertson states that after careful consideration, the judging panel, the Trustees and the Awards key stakeholders were not confident that an exhibition of high quality works could be assembled from the entries received and have agreed to withhold the Award in 2009.
Unfortunately the new model has not delivered the quality we were expecting however, regardless of this temporary setback, we will continue to consult with artists and other industry representatives to encourage the best possible representation of contemporary sculpture in Australia, says Robertson.
Quality is paramount to the Lempriere Award and we are dedicated to ensuring that a high standard of work is presented each and every year.
Although we are disappointed to have to withhold the Award in 2009, we will use the next 12 months to consolidate, review the application process, refresh the programming and renew the prize structure to ensure the Awards relevance and success in years to come.
The Lempriere Awards commitment to the future development of sculpture in Australia has not, and will not, change, she says.
The management team is exploring other opportunities to promote sculpture at Werribee Park in March 2009 and to showcase the Lempriere Collection comprising winning works from previous Awards.
The Helen Lempriere National Sculpture Award is named after the late Australian artist Helen Lempriere and is one of the leading prizes for sculptors in Australia. Since its inception in 2001, the Lempriere Award has granted over $1.1 million to Australian sculptors.