Emerging Perth Artist Sam Hopkins Awarded WA Sculptor Scholarship of $10,000 at Sculpture by the Sea, Cottesloe Opening

Sculpture by the Sea, Cottesloe returns for a 16thyear to the sandy white shores of Cottesloe Beach, Western Australia, today, awarding young Como artist Sam Hopkins the prestigious $10,000 Western Australian Sculptor Scholarship to kick off the 18-day exhibition.

Presented by Hon Ken Wyatt AM, MP, Member for Hasluck, Western Australia and Minister for Indigenous Australians, the scholarship, donated by Gavin Bunning & Julienne Penny since 2013, provides invaluable support for the advancement of the artist’s career, including the opportunity to travel and study their craft.

Hopkins’ work is a 6m tall aluminium tree, titled ‘2030’, which explores the concept of the ‘tree of life,’ a symbol of wisdom, strength and forgiveness, now reshaped by climate change. ‘2030’ represents a looming skeleton of this once great life giver, now destroyed by the lives it had supported.

Image above – Sam Hopkins, ‘ 2030’, Sculpture by the Sea, Cottesloe 2020. Photo: Jessica Wyld

Hopkins said, “Words can’t express how thrilled I am to be awarded this year’s WA Sculptor Scholarship. As an emerging artist, Sculpture by the Seahas been an amazing opportunity to share my work with the world. Many thanks to scholarship sponsors Gavin Bunning AM and Julienne Penny, to Capral, whose material sponsorship made this work possible, and to my mentor Johannes Pannekoek for his wisdom and guidance.

Hopkins is a young, emerging Western Australian artist with a background in landscaping/design, construction, interior design and woodworking. He has previously exhibited at Buratti Gallery. A member of the Sculpture by the Seasite crew for many years and mentored by Johannes Pannekoek, a senior WA sculptor, Hopkins exhibited as an artist for the first time at Sculpture by the Sea, Bondi 2019where ‘2030’ was awarded the Staff Pick, as chosen by the staff and site crew at the Sydney exhibition.

Founding Director of Sculpture by the Sea, David Handley said, “Sam’s sculpture is an extraordinary work for an emerging artist.  Its scale, presence and superb craftsmanship suggest a far more experienced sculptor and mark him as an artist of the future.”

Sam Hopkins was selected for the WA Sculptor Scholarship by this year’s Judging Panel: Jen Cochrane (Artist); Dr Nien Schwarz (Artist and Honorary Senior Lecturer; School of Arts and Humanities, Edith Cowan University); and Professor Ted Snell AM (Chief Cultural Officer, Director; Lawrence Wilson Art Gallery, Cultural Precinct, University of Western Australia).

In attendance at the launch was Japanese sculptor Haruyuki Uchida, one of the world’s most prominent kinetic artists, who is exhibiting the largest gravity defying sculpture he has made outside of Japan at Sculpture by the Sea, Cottesloeas the Tourism WA Invited International Artist.

Thirty-three WA artists will showcase works this year – including Alcoa Aluminium Sculpture Award recipient, April Pine, and The Bendat Family Foundation WA Invited Artists Program recipients, Olga Cironis, Tony Davis and Ron Gomboc- alongside 15 interstate and 26 international artists.

Sculpture by the Sea, Cottesloe’s Access & Inclusion Program, which aims to engender a greater sense of community, introduce the public to a broad spectrum of sculpture and support emerging and established national and international artists, returns in 2020 with Tactile Tours, Community Inclusion Tours and extended Beach Access Days. On Tuesday 17 March, Wednesday 18 March and Thursday 19 March, special matting will be installed that will enable visitors with limited mobility and those using wheelchairs to access and experience sculpture located in specific areas on the beach.

This year marks the 16th anniversary of Sculpture by the Sea, Cottesloe, which is Perth’s largest free to the public event, attracting an estimated 210,000 visitors to explore the art and creating Perth’s own version of the Italian passeggiata with thousands of people wandering among the sculptures on Cottesloe Beach at sunset each evening.

For the first time in the exhibition’s history, Sculpture by the Searecently announced that due to a significant decline in corporate sponsorship and State government funding it will ask everyone who visits the Cottesloe 2020 exhibition to donate $5 on entry as a voluntary contribution and $10 for families. The Minderoo Foundation has generously agreed to match public contributions by attendees to Sculpture by the Sea, Cottesloe to a maximum of $150,000. The donations, and the matching campaign, will go towards covering the artists’ installation costs and event costs to ensure the survival of Sculpture by the Sea, Cottesloe.

Sculpture by the Sea, Cottesloe runs from today until March 23.

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Image above –
Sam Hopkins, ‘ 2030’, Sculpture by the Sea, Cottesloe 2020. Photo: Jessica Wyld

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