Erhard breaks free to win new award

KARANGI sculptor Erhard Sickinger has won the New England Art Society's inaugural Armidale Regional Art Prize with his whimsical work The Explorers.

The sculpture is on show in the Armidale Art Gallery.

The sculptor said the timber and wire creation explored 'freedom stuff' while taking a light hearted look at travel and struggle

It also continues the artist's passion for re-using and recycling objects and pieces of industrial design.

The Explorers is based on a wire birdcage.

The artist has set it in a timber base made from a large recycled timber bowl.

A carved timber boat bursts out of the cage, with sails and oars made from carved timber feathers.

Several similar feathers float in the air inside the cage, which has very small touches of gold leaf and contains the two halves of a broken egg.

The piece was also recognised by the judges when it was exhibited at the recent Coffs Harbour Lillipilli Art and Craft Exhibition, where it gained second place in the sculpture section.

Erhard continues his father's tradition of making spinning wheels as well as his sculpture in his country studio on the family property in the Orara Valley.

He said while he liked to grow trees, the only ones he liked to cut down were camphor laurels, which are considered noxious weeds.

“Living up here in nature I hate bird cages,” he said.

“A bird cage is all about getting out.”

“I also like recycling stuff for all kinds of reasons.”

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