Bright colours are essential to draw viewers' eyes to my works across long distances - whether they're in the city or in the landscape. Philip Spelman
Philip Spelman was born in the United Kingdom (1962) but has called Australia home for most of his life. A practicing sculptor for the past 25 years, Spelman works across the mediums of bronze and steel.
Spelman began his training at the Queensland College of Art with a Certificate of Applied Arts in 1982. He later completed a Bachelor of Arts (visual) with a major in sculpture (1987) at the Canberra School of Art Australian National University (ANU) under the tutelage of respected Australian sculptor Ron Robertson-Swann.
After graduation Spelman steadily worked away, refining his style and processes. He became the Technical Officer for the glass workshop at ANU in 1991, a role that he still holds today. In the early nineties he taught Sculpture at the Goulburn College of TAFE (1992,93) and was invited as a guest lecturer in Sculpture/Landscape Design to the University of Canberra in 1993. By the mid 1990’s Spelman was exhibiting frequently in commercial galleries in Canberra and Sydney.
Spelman’s sculptures are usually large geometric metallic structures, which are strong enough to complement and draw on their surroundings while carving their own vistas. They come to life via Spelman’s time tested processes of building up works with common components, an approach that is similar to that of a modeler or assemblage artist. He favours the addition of at least one element that challenges the viewer’s sense of balance, gravity and movement. The final stage of his process is to set up the interplay between surface and light. Spelman’s works are almost synonymous with the use of bright, primary colours which give luminosity to the surface and leave a powerful memory cue with the audience.
Spelman was selected in the third Sculpture by the Sea, Bondi exhibition in 1999. This was the beginning of a long and fruitful association with the now well-established annual event. Philip was inducted in the prestigious Sculpture by the Sea Decade Club in 2010.
In 2013 Bathurst Regional Art Gallery acquired redjar redbottle, Spelman’s 2013 Sculpture by the Sea, Bondi entry which now stands in the Gallery forecourt. This acquisition was made possible by the NSW Government through Arts NSW and the newly created Regional NSW Sculpture Acquisition Program which is a $20,000 grant for the acquisition of a sculpture from Sculpture by the Sea, Bondi for permanent public placement in a suitable location within a Local Government Area (LGA) in regional NSW. This program is a partnership between Arts NSW and Sculpture by the Sea.
Spelman has contributed to the cultural life of several communities like Bathurst via his public art works. His sculptures are present in several Australia Capital Territory and New South Wales institutions and many private collections across Australia, the United States and Singapore. Spelman is represented by MiCK gallery, Sydney.
Discuss this quote: Bright colours are essential to draw viewers' eyes to my works across long distances - whether they're in the city or in the landscape. Philip Spelman
Visit the Sculpture by the Sea website and research the history of the exhibition
Using some scrap metal and the right protective equipment, experiment with different types of two pack paint (primer, matte, gloss) to understand their effects on the surface of the metal.
Discuss this quote: The importance of Sculpture by the Sea to my career has been considerable. It is my only opportunity to regularly show large scale works. It resulted in my first overseas sales and my first overseas exhibition. Philip Spelman
Visit the Sculpture by the Sea website and research one of the other Decade Club artists
IMAGES: Portrait: Philip Spelman in his studio. (detail) 2013 Photo: Astrid Spelman. Philip Spelman Tidbinbilla c. 2002. painted steel. 38 x 72 x 38 cm. Gift of Yvon Gatineau under the Australian Government’s Cultural Gifts Program. Photo: Clare Lewis. Philip Spelman Castigliano's Tower 2003. oiled steel. 50 x 25 x 15 cm. Gift of Peter Jackson under the Australian Government’s Cultural Gifts Program. Philip Spelman redjar redbottle 2013. steel, automobile paint. Acquired from Sculpture by the Sea, Bondi 2013, made possible through Sculpture by the Sea, the Regional NSW Acquisition Program supported by the NSW Government throught Arts NSW and Bathurst Regional Council. Photo Clyde Yee.