Link to Amanda's Home page


Artist Statement

My sculpture journey has followed a parallel path to my careers in film, photography and graphic design. When I finally turned my 'hobby' into a full-time job, I couldn’t have been happier.

My other careers have developed my sculptural style. Good graphic design should be as simple and clean as possible, while scriptwriting and film editing need anything not essential to the story to be dropped "on the cutting room floor" - these are the ideas I explore in my sculpture, using the shapes, curves and lines to search for the holy grail of modern sculpture, the simplified human form.

I love sculpting figures. People’s relationships with each other and the world around them is my favourite subject, especially the parent and child.

My message is about joy, life and love. I try to express excitement and optimism in my figures, and reflect strength and hope. My figures are revelling in the moment, caught in a moment of time.

I really love balance - I balance my figures on their toes, hopping, dancing, or spinning, which I think gives the piece tension and movement - but it can also add a whimsical feeling which I love. Another of my passions is surface texture which acts to both highlight the shape and make a 'made-by-hand' statement, really important in this world saturated with mass-produced goods.

Process
All my ceramic pieces are one-offs, created from thinly rolled slabs of clay formed into hollow shells and fired in my studio kiln. My metal sculptures are either one-offs, that I've sculpted in wax to go straight to the foundry ("lost wax" method); or a limited edition, where a silicone mold is made of the original sculpture before being cast in an edition of ten.

Getting started can be unnerving - like a painter faced with a white canvas, I look at a block of clay or sticks of wax with doubtful alarm - how I can possibly create anything from that!?

A pencil drawing or a small clay 'maquette' is usually where I get started, working quickly to capture an image in my mind. The maquette then acts as a first draft for the larger piece.

Shapes move quickly in the early stage, and a rough form will appear suddenly, which is exciting. But I also enjoy the next stage when time slows down as I finish the surface. This is when my sculpting turns into an in-the-moment, meditative experience - often late into the night!

To create something from nothing and to watch it come to life - I'm always a bit stunned by this process. My sculptures are my babies and I have to keep them around for a time before I can let them go. And then I’m only happy if I know they are going to a good home.

Background
Born in London, Amanda grew up in the Blue Mountains and in Sydney. Sculpture was never far from her hands, in one form or another, and while she is largely self-taught, she has also built her practice through numerous workshops, TAFE courses, and studio classes where she studied under well-known artists. Formal studies included a BA in film and scriptwriting and a diploma of graphic design, both in Sydney, and whilst travelling and working overseas, a certificate in sculpture at the Kensington and Chelsea College, London.

Awards
Amanda has exhibited widely, been accepted into numerous competitions and has won many prizes. Recently she won the Simon & Susie Bennett Acquisitive Prize for Small Sculpture at the Sculpture in the Gardens exhibition in Mudgee, and the Acquisitive Prize ('Fully Resolved Sculpture') at Sculpture Bermagui and last year, the Emerging Artist Award at Sculpture for Clyde, Batemans Bay, and a First-in-Category award at the Sydney Teapot Show. Other awards include 1st prize at the Sydney Royal Arts (Figurative Sculpture), the Ewart Art Prize (Sculpture Section), the Northbridge Art Prize, and prizes at The Sculptors Society Annual Awards. She has also won the People’s Choice Prize twice at Bowral Sculpture Show, and also at Sculpture for Clyde, Sculpture in the Valley, Sculpture Bermagui, Northern Beaches Art Prize and the Sydney Teapot Show.

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

 

"Art opens our eyes to see and our brain to imagine." - Unknown author