IT MAY be hard to believe, but the only remnant of a Gold Coast art heist is part of a sculpture exhibition which opened in Byron Bay this week.
The $15,000 rhino beetle sculpture created by Clunes artist Daniel Clemmett was bought by Gold Coast City Council and bolted to a roundabout but was swiped despite being secured by six bolts.
However, Clemmett’s penchant for creating models of his massive works has ensured the piece remains for antiquity. Rhino is one of the works in Waywood Gallery’s 3D Sculpture Exhibition, which features the work of sculptors from the Northern Rivers and beyond.
“People would ask me if I was upset but I took it as a compliment. It would have taken a fair bit of angle grinding to remove it,” Clemmett says.
“It’s a funny story ... its part of the reason I enjoy this piece. The sculpture, like most of my work, is inspired by evolution with the intention of getting the viewer to question their ideological constructs. It’s always interesting to put an object in front of people and see how they respond,” he says.
Though not all artists featured in the exhibition can claim their work has incited larceny, many of the region’s award-winning artists are included.
“This exhibition has a very high standard of work that incorporates all mediums and styles of sculpture,” 3D Sculpture Exhibition curator Dev Lengjel says.
“We have the figurative works of Laila Bell and Frank Miles to the abstract narration of conflict depicted by Robert Gibson.
“We also have a strong ceramic landscape by local ceramics educator and award winner Suvira McDonald and a most wonderful found object imprinted with a surfing theme by local artist PoTTs, juxtaposed by Daniel Clemmett’s wonderful figurative insect. There is something for everyone.”
Waywood Gallery at Still@thecentre is in the Arts & Industry Estate, Byron Bay, and is open Monday to Saturday from 9.30am to 5pm until May 15. For more information, call 6685 5808.
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