New Delhi-based sculptor Harsha Vardhan Durugadda has been awarded the $50,000 Rio Tinto Sculpture Award for his 'Column of Sound'. The "most generous" award for sculpture in Western Australia, the honour was announced recently at the opening of the 13th annual Sculpture by the Sea here. Durugadda, originally from Andhra Pradesh, based his sculpture on the "visual dynamics of an audio wave" - that sound, temporal and ephemeral, translates into tactile and eternal, creating a paradigm shift of an individual's sensory experience. "This is a wonderful work by a fabulous and imaginative artist. It is exceptionally hard and adventurous for an artist to exhibit from overseas, with the added costs and logistics. "I am delighted for Harsha and look forward to him exhibiting many times in the future.
He is also a very nice bloke and this award will be a major step in what I believe will be a great career," David Handley, Founding Director of Sculpture by the Sea, said. The acquisitive award was presented by Rio Tinto, the Principal Partner of the exhibition, for permanent public placement in Western Australia. "Rio Tinto is pleased to continue our support of 'Sculpture by the Sea' in 2017, a partnership we embarked on last year, in our 50th anniversary year of shipping iron ore from the Pilbara. "Such events play an important role in creating a sense of place and encouraging social participation. Congratulations to Harsha Vardhan Durugadda for receiving the award for your thought provoking sculpture 'Column of Sound'," Chris Salisbury, chief executive of Rio Tinto's Iron Ore group, said. Additionally, the Western Australian Sculptor Scholarship of $10,000 was also announced on the occasion and was awarded to Denise Pepper from Bayswater for 'Leaden Heart'. Donated by Gavin Bunning and Julienne Penny since 2013, the scholarship provides funds for the artist's study, travel and the advancement of their career, together with an invitation to exhibit at 'Sculpture by the Sea', Bondi 2017 this October. "I am extremely proud to be a recipient of the Western Australian Sculptor Scholarship and thrilled that I have been recognized for my work. "I believe this is a strong work and particularly its concept of the convict tokens highlighting sad but intimate stories. I look forward to utilizing the scholarship associated with this award to take my art practice further," Pepper said. Now in its 13th year, the 'Sculpture by Sea' exhibition is Perth's largest free to the public event and runs from March 3 to March 20. An estimated 220,000 visitors are expected to flock to Cottesloe to enjoy sculptures by more than 70 local, national and international artists.
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