"JUST SCULPTURE" sets out to redress an imbalance in the recent Australian Sculpture Triennial. The 14 leading artists in this impressive show considered the titled "Sculpture Triennial" a misnomer, the catalogue essay explains, because "sculpture as a discipline, was poorly served". It also suggests that installation art, the controversial focus for the Triennial, is really the medium favoured by painters, students and other stylistic cuckoos when they occupy the professional sculptor's nest.
"Just Sculpture" brings together iconic pieces by Jock Clutterbuck, Bruce Armstrong and Peter Blizzard, excursions into Miroesque metaphor by Augustine Dall'Ava, Adrian Mauriks and Elwyn Dennis, and a supple yet tough, formal statement in plasticity, "For a Strip of Sky", by David Wilson. The irrational air of Dada is well represented by Peter Cole, Maurie Hughes, Richard Stringer, Giuseppe Romeo and Colin Suggett's witty landscape "The Oh No Zone".
With their organicist aesthetic, Fiona Orr, Loretta Quinn and Geoffrey Bartlett exhibit the most haunting pieces. Orr presents and intriguing bronze bower in her allegorical "Parental Offering", and Quinn takes her fascination with bloated pods and creeping tendrils to a new imaginative height in "When the Evening Falls".
"Just Sculpture" is conservative, but the values that it stands for are clearly worth conserving. The show deserves to travel, for it conclusively demonstrates that there is nothing at all "just" about serious sculpture.
Christopher Heathcote, 1993
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