Gareth Graham

Gareth Graham carves beautiful figurative sculptures from Huon pine.

Artist Statement
My works are essentially about gesture. With figurative art it is, I believe, the first thing that captures the imagination…what is the figure conveying through gesture? With my sculptures, I allow interplay between implicit detail and the sudden truncation or dissolving back into the natural timber to prompt the audience to explore different possibilities in the emotional and physical states of being of the figure.
My work is also very much about beauty. I want to create pieces that are harmoniously proportioned and that through line and shape there is a sense of ease for the viewer. The places where I have left the natural defects or surface of the timber become a means by which the highly finished areas are enhanced through the contrast set up between the two. An important part of the overall appearance of the work is the light coloured timber used.
Huon pine has, for me, in many cases a resemblance to marble where it is almost possible to detect a transparence or luminosity through the often extremely fine grain and high oil content. On a larger piece, 25 hours of hand sanding after the machine and chisel finish is accomplished brings the timber to a remarkable, almost iridescent surface where slight variations and details in the grain become a fascinating study in themselves.

Studies
- Bachelor of Fine Arts degree at University of Newcastle in 2001-2004 with
Majors in ceramics with painting and drawing
- Completed Bachelor of Fine Art Honours Degree July 2006 achieving High Distinction

Exhibitions
- Year 12 artwork exhibited in travelling ArtExpress Exhibition -1999
- Selected as part of the Graduating Student’s Exhibition at the Inner City Clayworkers Gallery, Sydney -

January 2004
- Exhibited in the Christmas Charity Group Show at Tighes Hill Gallery - 2004
- Participated in ceramic survey show Thoughts Brought Forth By Our Hands at Watt Space - May 2005
- Solo Show of woodcarving at Tighes Hill Gallery - August 2005
- Exhibited in The Art Lounge, Sydney - November 2005-April 2006
- Solo Exhibition at the University of Newcastle Gallery 14 June – 9 July 2006

Competitions
- Commended - Newcastle Regional Show Art Competition, sculpture category, 2003
- Highly Commended -Mattara Sculpture competition - 2003
- Winner - Newcastle Regional Show Art Competition, sculpture category, 2004
- Winner - Newcastle Regional Show Art Competition, sculpture category, 2005
- Second -Mattara Sculpture Competition, figurative category, 2005

Commissions
- Carving commission - Great Northern Hotel mantle piece, 1999
- Illustrations for educational material for the Engaging Fathers Project, 2003
- Commissioned by John Hunter Hospital to create wall murals for the Day Stay Ward, 2004
- Commissioned by Universal Financial Planning for a large painting, 2004
- Several private commissions of both painting and carving

Collections
- The William Wilkins Memorial Art Collection
- Peter Berry Collection, Newcastle
- Trevor Solomon’s Collection, Sydney
- Several other private collections in both Sydney and Newcastle

Scholarships
- Joint Winner - 2006 Jenny Thomas Travelling Scholarship for Fine Arts Honours Students, University of Newcastle