1973 SCULPTURE EXHIBITION Macquarie Callery Manuka

Derek, 49 with the “Aerial sea urchin 1” – the arms moving at random with the slightest breeze. This was the prototype of a 5m high version which Ben helped me erect at a Commonwealth Park exhibition around 1980 and again at Burra – photos somewhere but can’t find them so far.

The late 1960s and early 1970s saw a splurge of sculptural creativity when my Jansz Crescent workshop got to a productive stage. Hilary ventured into a few sculptural pieces which had sold well at the Finnis Crescent Gallery (Lesta O’Brien) together with mine  (see page 1969). Around 1973 I had accumulated a good number of small table top sculptures based on stainless steel, silicon bronze with marble offcuts for bases (from Henry Satrapa (with whom I had been developing a substantial range of street furniture).

I arranged a solo exhibition at the Macquarie Gallery in Manuka and managed to fill it quite easily – see above for one of the exhibits.

They were all abstracts, largely based on movement of individual elements using elasticity of supports anchored in marble or on small ring joints which allowed friction free movements between limits with an automatic return to a neutral position. They were great fun to make and they sold well at ridiculously low prices – when I see what artists are charging these days I feel they overestimate their societal worth – but on the other hand it is about time that the community appreciated the skill, patience and time that is necessary to create something elegant and beautiful. It is a difficult balance and I often wonder if I have undervalued my contribution – I so enjoy the making of these works and would really like to get back to sculpture when my solar phase reaches its limit. At 91+ I had better hurry up, but there are so many things I need to do.