Link to Amanda's Home page

Artist Statement
My sculpture message is all about celebrating joy and life and love, and reflecting reslilience and optimism in a seemingly fragile world. Without hope we have nothing. There is always a place for joy and excitement, a space for defiance and strength, and a time to revel in the moment.

My sculpture story generally revolves around people’s relationships with each other and the world around them, especially the parent and child, an ancient symbol of hope and optimism. The compositions are often prompted by images of my children's childhoods that bubble up under my fingers.

Exploring balance is a fascination. Hopping and dancing, up on their toes, the figures are caught in a moment of time, creating both tension and movement but also a lightness and whimsy.

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. A background in graphic design, where the "KISS" mantra (Keep It Simple Stupid) is paramount, and in scriptwriting, where the best practice is to cut anything not essential to the story, is always front of mind. A photographer's eye helps with composition, the use of light and shadow, and texture.

Texture is another interest, not only to create highlights and energy but to express individuality, a 'made by hand' statement in a world of mass-produced goods. I use oxides to emphasise texture on my ceramic pieces and wax and patinas on my metal work.

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*.

Process
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 an image in 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 time 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. 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 an award at the 2019 Sydney Teapot Show. In the last 2 years she has won 1st prize (Figurative Sculpture) at the Sydney Royal Arts, 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.

 

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