Robert Owen | Woollahra Small Sculpture Prize Winner

For Robert Owen’s expansive art career, the Woollahra Small Sculpture Prize is another bit of icing on the cake.


Practicing for over fifty years, Owen’s winning sculpture ‘Symmetria #37’ is proof of a well honed craft. Part of a continuing investigation into geometry, proportion and visual poetry, Robert Owen deftly plays with geometric shapes in Symmetria #37. Located somewhere between order and disorder, the fragmentary shapes of the sculpture shift and move with the viewer’s changing perspective.

The title gives a little hint towards the work’s Greek influence, Symmetria #37, which Robert Owen refers to, “the mastery of symmetria, the perfect “commensurability” of all parts of the statue (sculpture) to one another and to the whole.”

Going into greater depth concerning his conceptual practice, Robert Owen stated, “These sculptures reconstruct Euclidian geometry through an intuitive play of structure in space. I am interested in the process of transformation and change that can reveal new geometric relationships with the organic and the poetic.”

Awarded the acquisitive prize of $15,000 last Friday 9 October, ‘Symmetria #37’ caught the judges’ attention with its bold lines and rhythmic, striking shapes.

For the 15th annual Prize the judging panel was comprised of Dr Michael Brand, Penelope Seidler, and Curatorial Advisor Barbara Flynn.

Commenting on their decision, the judges’ stated, “Owen’s sculpture reveals a complex and sophisticated use of line and shadow. A senior Australian artist, with significant works on a monumental scale across Sydney, his winning submission demonstrates excellence also on a smaller scale.”

Established in 2001 the Woollahra Small Sculpture Prize has only grown in prestige and strength. The first national award for an original, freestanding sculpture of up to 80 centimetres in any dimension, its popularity proves that size doesn’t matter.

With a record number of entries submitted to the prize this year, 43 finalists were selected out of the 701 works. To see Robert Owen’s strikingly blue bold work and the finalists exhibition, it  is on display at Woollahra Council Chambers until 25 October.

Woollahra Small Sculpture Prize 2015
Until 25 October
Woollahra Council Chambers, Double Bay

Image: Robert Owen, Symmetria #37, painted stainless steel, 63 x 73 x 66cm
Courtesy the artist, ArcOne and Woollahra Small Sculpture Prize


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