Link to Amanda's Home page

Artist Statement

My sculpture journey has followed a curved path, remaining a fringe interest while I pursued other artistic careers, including film, photography and graphic design, until I finally took the plunge and turned my life-long passion into my profession.

My sculpture message is about joy, life and love. There is always room in the world for optimism and excitement, a place for defiance and strength, and a time to revel in the moment. My pieces generally revolves around people’s relationships with each other and the world around them, especially the parent and child, an ancient symbol of renewal and hope. Without hope we have nothing.

I like a contemporary style of simplified shapes and flowing lines, always seeking the elusive simplified human form. The reduction of the human form to the bare essentials, to tell the story with as little extraneous 'noise' as possible, is a never-ending search. My graphic design background, where the "KISS" mantra (Keep It Simple Stupid) is paramount, and scriptwriting training, where the best practice is to cut anything not essential to the story, is always front of mind.

I love exploring balance. My figures are often up on their toes, hopping or dancing, caught in a moment of time, which adds tension and movement to the piece as well as giving it a whimsical feel, which I love.

Surface texture is also a passion. It brings an energy to the piece and highlights the form. But texture also makes a 'made by hand' statement, important in this world of mass-produced goods.


Process
All my ceramic pieces are one-off pieces from rolled slabs of clay formed into hollow shells and fired in the kiln. My metal sculptures are either one-offs where I create the sculpture in wax and send that to the foundry to be cast in metal (lost wax method) or a limited edition of ten, where a silicone mold is created from the original sculpture*.

It's unnerving to unwrap a block of fresh clay or be faced with sticks of wax scattered on the bench - how can anything be created from such formlessness? A pencil drawing or a small clay 'maquette' is usually the starting point, sketched without over-thinking, to quickly capture the image in my mind. The maquette acts as a first draft, often with 2 or 3 further larger drafts.

There is an excitement in these early stages of creativity, where shapes and lines move quickly; but the finishing stages, where time slows down as the surface is finalised, is a period of meditative contentment. This is where sculpting becomes an in-the-moment experience - often into the wee small hours of the night.

Background
Amanda was born in London and grew up in the Blue Mountains and in Sydney Australia. Sculpture was never far from her hands in childhood, from endless plasticine figures, carved decorative cakes and sand creations on the beach. After majoring in sculpture in her final year of high school, she diverged to study film and scriptwriting at university, keeping sculpture close by producing a clay-mation animation. After backpacking and working around the world, she completed a sculpture course at the Kensington and Chelsea College in London.

Back in Sydney, Amanda continued to develop her sculptural practice while running a graphic design business, studying sculpture methods and metal casting techniques at workshops and TAFE courses. After encouragement and mentoring from artist-teachers, she then took the plunge and set up her own studio - and has now, happily, 'found her place'.

Awards
Amanda has exhibited widely, been accepted into numerous competitions and has won many prizes. Recently she won the Emerging Artist Award at Sculpture for Clyde, Batemans Bay, and a First-in-Category award at the 2019 Sydney Teapot Show. In the last 2 years she has won 1st prize at the Sydney Royal Arts (Figurative Sculpture), the Ewart Art Prize (Sculpture Section), the Northbridge Art Prize, and has twice won prizes at the Sculptors Society Annual Awards. She has also won the People’s Choice Prize at Bowral Sculpture Show, Sculpture for Clyde, Sculpture in the Valley, Sculpture Bermagui, Northern Beaches Art Prize and the Sydney Teapot Show.

Amanda is a committee member of The Sculptors Society, and a member of the Australian Ceramics Association and the Workshop Arts Centre. She is also the convenor of the popular Greenwich Village Arts Trail, held annually on the first weekend in November in northern Sydney.

 

* Making a mold for a limited edition is an essential tool for sculptors as casting in metal is a very expensive, labour-intensive process. Some well-known sculptures have multiple copies in galleries around the world!