2 July 2024

Snowy Valleys Sculpture Trail expands to include Tumut, and the works of four very distinguished artists

| Edwina Mason
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Wataru Hamasaka, The Sound of Sky – The Physical Ring VI, Snowy Valleys Sculpture Trail at Tumut. Photo: Grant Hardwick.

Tumut was formally welcomed into the Snowy Valleys Sculpture Trail on Friday (28 June) with live music sounding in four sculptures now occupying space in prime locations around the town, one of them already affectionately known as ‘The Knot’.

The beautifully carved granite intertwining knot – located at The Hub in Wynyard Street – has been officially named The Sound of Sky – The Physical Ring VI by its creator Japanese artist Wataru Hamasaka and, like its other four counterparts, is on loan to the town for four years.

Sculpture Trail founder and CEO of Sculpture by the Sea David Handley said the piece was remarkably sophisticated given the skill required to achieve perfect curvature and given the granite has a different finish through the use of different methods of carving and polishing, on different parts of the sculpture.

“Granite sculptures pick up the warmth and cold of the surrounding air and sunlight making them even more tactile and wonderful to touch,” he said.

Japanese artist Kozo Nishino is a leading large-scale artist who has received international acclaim for his public art pieces, one of which soars over the southern forests at National Arboretum Canberra, another more monumentally, in the foyer of 4 World Trade Centre in New York City, the site of Ground Zero.

Now one of his works – Rotation in the Sky – a gentle kinetic work that moves in the wind – sits in Tumut.

A sculpture which will turn the head of anyone who welds was installed out the front of the Tumut Art Society’s 5-Ways Art Gallery in April this year to great acclaim.

The large cube, essentially made up of lots of smaller cubes and the work of another Japanese artist, Tetsuro Yamasaki, is called Metamorphosis – Inside Out (Cube) and with colour only on one side of each metal plate, compels interaction with and inquisition of the piece.


Tetsuro Yamasaki, Metamorphosis – inside out (Cube), Snowy Valleys Sculpture Trail at Tumut. Photo Grant Hardwick.

All four sculptures have previously exhibited at Sculpture by the Sea, Bondi where they were widely appreciated by hundreds of thousands of visitors and art critics, says David.

Gracing the sand dunes of Tamarama Beach in 2023, Masayuki Sugiyama’s Moving Stillness 2020/2023 then travelled across the country to Sculpture by the Sea, Cottesloe earlier this year.

This shimmering black perforated metal sculpture, in two parts, now returns east to the mountains.

The move to extend the Snowy Valleys Sculpture trail to Tumut followed requests from local business.

What started life as a 150-kilometre initiative, borne in 2020 from the ashes of the Black Summer bushfires, has expanded to cover well over 200 meandering kilometres through the western foothills of the Snowy Mountains.

With the addition of Tumut, the trail also weaves through the historic towns of Adelong, Tumut, Batlow, Talbingo, Tumbarumba, the hamlet of Tooma and the vineyards of Courabyra Wines, Johansen Wines and Obsession Wines, three sites in the Sculpture Forest in Bago State Forest.

READ ALSO New Snowy Valleys venture connects visiting thrill-seekers and explorers with local business

Today, 55 artworks by artists from 13 countries around the world, and five from Australia dot the street, land, creek and tree scapes in a commanding world-class permanent collection that’s carving the region out as an international tourism hotspot.

It includes works by Robyn Verneer Sweeney of Batlow, Michael Le Grand of Murrumbateman, Queanbeyan’s Phil Spelman, Nigel Dobson of Canberra and Andreas Buisman, who transitions between the Snowy Mountains and Vienna.

Artists local to the Eastern Riverina have also been commissioned to create artworks for the Shop Art Projects housed within vacant shops in Batlow and Tumbarumba.

David Handley said the sculpture installation in Tumut had been made possible thanks to Snowy Hydro’s sponsorship of Snowy Valleys Sculpture Trail and were officially unveiled by local MP Dr Joe McGirr.

Snowy Hydro CEO Dennis Barnes said the partnership also included an education program delivering sculpture workshops to Snowy Mountains schools.

The Snowy Valleys Sculpture Trail School Education Program delivers 34 artist-led sculpture making workshops to 17 schools in the Snowy Valleys and Snowy Mountains regions each year.

Original Article published by Edwina Mason on About Regional.

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