UNSW Art & Design graduate Harrie Fasher has won one of Australia’s richest annual prizes for sculptors, the 2017 Helen Lempriere Scholarship.
The $30,000 award is presented every year as part of Sculpture by the Sea, and Fasher’s latest installation, The Last Charge, is a key piece in this year’s Bondi to Tamarama sculptural walk.
Fasher's series of eight steel horses commemorates the centenary of the Battle of Beersheba where Australian forces played a decisive part in the defeat of the Turkish forces in Gaza on 31 October, 1917.
The Oberon-based artist, one of three winners of the 2017 scholarship, was chosen from the 300 Australian sculptors who applied to exhibit in Sculpture by the Sea. The purpose of the prize is allow artists to undertake travel, study and other opportunities to further their artistic development.
“I wanted the installation to convey what it would feel like to face a cavalry charge,” said Fasher. “The sense of desperation in the battle and the chaos and power of cavalry at full gallop.
“The frenetic dissonance of the battle contrasts with the beauty and strength of the horse. In my mind the horse is a metaphor for the man.”
Five other works by UNSW graduates are part of the exhibition, which includes 104 installations across the two-kilometre walk. They include Sally Adair, Karl de Waal, Fiona Kemp, Jeremy Sheehan and Charlie Trivers.
As a significant partner of Sculpture by the Sea, UNSW this year provided a $10,000 subsidy to the UNSW graduate artists, presented by Neil Morris, Director Student Life and Community Engagement, at the exhibition’s opening night last week.
“UNSW is in its third year of partnership with Sculpture by the Sea and we are delighted that this year six talented alumni have been selected to exhibit,” said Morris. “The event generates an amazing level of local community engagement and our Art & Design alumni are regular contributors which recognises the outstanding quality of our graduates.”