10 of the Best Sculpture Artists in 2022
Welcome to art in the third dimension. Sculptors create physical forms from nothing. They are true craftsmen, bringing multiple materials together to design something special. With this level of skill, it’s no wonder that interest in this style has been growing quickly on Bluethumb. Below are 10 of the best Australian sculpture artists that are bringing unique creations to life and into your homes.
1. Brooke Walker: In Her Nature
Brooke Walker is a collectable sculpture artist from Adelaide. Also a painter, her work explores nature, looking deeply into human impact on the animal world. Her passion for wildlife conservation and desire to understand the human/non-human animal relationship inspires her art. Brooke brings her skills as a painter to the craft of sculpture, painting in reverse onto 4mm super clear glass, to create a hybrid painting sculpture that suspends itself in the air. Currently, she creates realistic depictions of sea life, seamlessly hanging in space. Her work reminds us that nature is all around us.
2. Tjanpi Desert Weavers: From The Red Centre
Tjanpi Desert Weavers is a social enterprise that is close to our hearts. The Ngaanyatjarra Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara (NPY) Women’s Council work with women from the central and western desert regions, helping them to turn fibre woven artwork into a source of income.
This collective represents a range of artists, with each artist having their own type of work. This can be seen in the woven basket work of Manyitjanu Lennon and Imitjala Curley. Artists create highly conceptual work, like Roma Butler’s stunning woven person, Alkuwari.
3. Stefan Mager: Mullumbimby Spirit
Stefan brings the creative spirit of the northern rivers of New South Wales to Bluethumb with his playful and offbeat style. Based out of Mullumbimby, Stefan Mager applies his product design and publishing background to his sculptural works. His work resembles reimagined animals and people, distorting body features and covering them in colour.
Materials are gathered from his farm, amalgamating ceramics and various metals. Stefan’s subjects could be described as fantastic beasts like the Stilted Pegasus and Fantastic Mugwort. Some sculptures go beyond classifications like Bone Daddy. Stefan sure has a wild imagination.
4. Emma Young: South Australian, Heaps Good
Emma Young is a true South Australian. Working out of the iconic glass blowing studio, the JamFactory in Adelaide, she often makes references to local cultural icons like the Balfours Frog Cake range or Menz Fruchocs. She is known for her signature style of vibrant glasswork sculpture. Emma creates artwork that ranges from practical to decorative; from dotted vases to her speckled prickly pears. The iconic South Australian saying “heaps good” best describes her work.
Read our exclusive interview with Emma here.
5. Todd Simpson: From the Hyperreal to the Surreal
Todd Simpson’s artwork is a reminder to always try something new. Todd Simpson considered himself new to making art. In our interview with him, he discussed what was initially a weekend art course soon became a full-time commitment. Now he is a well-known, collectable Bluethumb artist creating not only hyper-realistic paintings but also complex sculptural structures.
His recent work takes on sculpture form, whose recent orb series explores concepts like heaven and earth and even seeks to connect two-dimensional and three-dimensional imagery together. Todd succeeded in trying something new, seeking to create artwork that’s ambitious and captivating.
6. Eamonn Vereker: Sculpture and Storytelling
The Irish are known for telling stories, and as an Irishman himself, Eamonn brings that to his sculpture. Eamonn tries to open up people’s eyes to the colours and wonders of nature by creating unique and beautiful pieces. Rustic and earthy textures come through his work, with pieces referring to Australian landscapes like his Grampians Vase and Desert Night.
From Kilkenny, Ireland to Adelaide, Australia, he brings his qualifications as a master cutter and designer to Bluethumb, creating each piece as a unique, handcrafted piece of glass art. Eamonn’s work invites you to dig deeper and find the story within.
7. Jianzhen (Shirley) Wu: The Healing Power of Art
Art is therapy for many, and Jianzhen Wu embraces that fully in her work. Wu’s study of aromatherapy in Hong Kong comes through in her glasswork, using the medium of sculpture for healing. She uses a variety of materials combining glass, stone, ceramic, and metal together bringing it together with multiple crafting skills like lamp-woking, moulding and casting, metalsmithing, and stone caving.
Shirley uses this complex arrangement to navigate emotional themes like identity and childhood memory. Her work is sculpture for the soul.
8. Margaret Walters: A Self Made Success
Margaret is the perfect self-made Bluethumb story. She began her career in pottery, teaching herself through reading books and self-tuition. When arthritis developed in her hand, she moved into making sculptures. Finding joy in using recycled materials, her sculptural work is a testament to her independence.
Making sculptures is an important part of Margaret’s storytelling, “My purpose in making my sculptures is to give people a touch of life’s absurdity”. Her work process comes naturally, saying that her creations seem to assemble themselves. Life is strange, but Margaret reminds us to love it.
9. Marisa Mu: The Happiness Project
Marisu Mu wants you to be happy. When you see her sculptures, how can you not be? Small, playful figures dance around her mildly coloured ceramics. Marisa has said the aim of her work is to “spark happiness and positive change within people through her art”.
Her work is intricate. The carefully hand-drawn characters on her sculptures have their own personality. The level of detail in her work is essential to her celebration of all things different, making her art a daily reason to find happiness in life’s diversity. Money doesn’t buy happiness, but maybe Marisa’s collaborative sculpture with Alicia McVilly can.
10. Katia Strounina – Sculpture and Science
Katia brings science to sculpture. Dr. Ekaterina (Katia) Strounina whose career as a scientist has allowed her to apply similar scientific processes like planning and precision to her craft. She seeks inspiration from the natural world, particularly in the world of Australian flora and fauna.
Her recent sculptural works reflect this, exercising careful attention to detail to best recreate the now extinct Thylacine or Tasmanian Tiger. Katia knows how to be precise, which makes for very good artwork.
This is just the beginning of our exciting sculpture artists. Go explore and find more here.