Tamar Valley Artentwine 2018 to offer $20,000 prizemoney

David Hamilton's winning 2014 sculpture, from the inaugural Artentwine.
David Hamilton's winning 2014 sculpture, from the inaugural Artentwine.

The top prize for the Tamar Valley Artentwine Sculpture Biennial 2018 will be $20,000 – double the amount of the 2016 prize.

The West Tamar Council-funded acquisition prize is now the most lucrative sculpture award in Australia.

The increase in prizemoney comes after the council unanimously carried a motion at September’s meeting to increase its contribution to the Artentwine Acquisition Sculpture Award.

In 2016, the council contributed a $10,000 prize for the award, while also paying $7500 in curation fees. 

The council will now no longer pay the curation fees, these will be paid by the West Tamar Arts Group, and will instead contribute $20,000 to the prize. The council will also retain the winning sculpture.

West Tamar Councillor, and chairwoman of the West Tamar Arts Group, Joy Allen said the competition was open to people all over the world, but the sculpture still must be representative of the Tamar Valley.

“[The sculpture] has got to relate to the area, but we don’t want fish or bottles of wine,” Cr Allen said.

“It just has to be something that can sit outside, and fit in with the area.”

Cr Joy Allen also said in 2018 the prize would only be open to maquette sculptures that are 900 millimeters in size.

The winners will then be asked to create larger-scale models of their maquette.

This competition model is based on the Woollahra Sculpture Prize in Sydney and the Deakin Sculpture Prize in Melbourne.

“We chose to use maquettes, because they’re not so expensive to make, and they're not expensive to ship,” Cr Allen said.

“This is especially important in Tasmania – large [sculptures] would be much more expensive to ship over here.”

Cr Allen hopes these swooping changes to the award will draw more artists to participate in the event, and bring more tourists to the area.

In 2016, the prize contributed to a 15 per cent increase in visits to the Tamar Valley wineries over the year, according to council documents.

The West Tamar Arts Group is expecting this number will increase further in 2018.