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HomeLifestyleNew Les Sculptures Refusées exhibition opens at Q Station

New Les Sculptures Refusées exhibition opens at Q Station

Les Sculptures Refusées officially launched its 2022 exhibition at Q Station this week- ‘Le Petit Salon de Sculpture’, which reflects the practice of Australian artists throughout lockdowns.

The Q Station will remain transformed as a sculpture park from now through to 7 November. The public is invited to walk through the historic site and view contemporary art works by some of Australia’s best sculptors on the weekends during this period.

Visitors can wander along the outdoor sculpture trail, beginning with an Ingrid Morely work within the Q Station reception, and discover a gallery of over 30 indoor sculptures once they reach the heritage listed hospital precinct.

Q Station’s new proprietor Glenn Piper says they were keen to continue their partnership with Les Sculptures Refusées whose sculpture park has invigorated the historic parklands over the past few years.

“We are delighted to be launching this unique exhibition in conjunction with Les Sculptures Refusées. The natural environment and history at Q Station provide much inspiration to many who visit, so it is incredible to see this connection deepen through the works of some of Australia’s best sculptors.”

Les Sculpture Refusées, now in its third year, was originally a sculpture exhibition based on entries to Sculpture by the Sea that were not selected for the final installation between Bondi and Tamarama. Due to the pandemic, Sculpture by the Sea did not go ahead in 2021, however, Les Sculptures Refusées did, and was one of the only outdoor sculpture exhibitions that was held that year.

The 2022 show has shifted focus, much like the rest of the world after the past few years, and added an indoor exhibition called ‘Le Petit Salon de Sculpture’, which reflects the practices of Australian artists during the pandemic and how they have been working throughout lockdowns.

Q Station’s Hospital Precinct. Photo: Kelly Black

Les Sculptures Refusées co-founder Simon Hodgson says lack of opportunity to exhibit and restricted access to studio space caused artists to respond collectively, and in turn have been more productive than ever.

“It’s been remarkable observing how the artist’s pivot their respective practices in response to the global pressures of Covid 19. We’re delighted to be presenting a show that reflects such a diverse response to these external pressures.” 

Les Sculptures Refusées, translated literally as ‘the sculpture of the refused’, was born from the tradition of the great 1863 Parisian Salon in which two thirds of all paintings submitted were rejected. The dismissed artists, including the likes of Manet, defied the academy and created their own opportunities. And thus, Les Sculptures Refusées was created by artists Tania McMurty and Simon Hodgson to provide Australian and International artists the opportunity to have their works shown within the Australian sculpture scene.

Simon Hodgson and Tania McMurty. Photo: Kelly Black

“Our vision is to be recognised as one of the most innovative arts fringe organisations in NSW that keeps true to the spirit of the renowned rebellious exhibitions.”

“Alive with the rebellious spirit of the infamous refuse shows of the past. The petit salon de sculpture is an artist led event, creating opportunities for established, renowned, and emerging artists coming together, for the love of art.” 

The exhibition was officially opened by Northern Beaches Manly Mayor Michael Regan, a self-proclaimed sports enthusiast, but says the council’s role should be ‘all things to everybody’.

“I love sport, but not everyone plays sport, not everyone watches sport, there are artists in our community.”

“We should support all of you in every way, so to support the arts is a no brainer. A healthy arts community is a healthy democracy. And it’s really important that we invest in that.”

“The artists are extraordinary at what they do, they think differently to the rest of us, and the world has got extraordinary problems right now and they need creative thoughts, they need creative people, and the artists are those creative people that can solve those problems.”

Sculpture by Orest Keywan. Photo: Kelly Black

The artists for 2022 include the renowned Orest Keywan, who has featured works in the annual Sculpture by the Sea every year since it’s inception, bar one- the first one, which he chose not to enter because he thought it would be a backyard exhibition! Keywan has since won Sculpture by the Sea twice, and is the only Australian to achieve this since it began in 1997.

Sophia Zantiotos, Keywan’s wife, says Orest leapt at the opportunity to exhibit at Les Sculptures Refusées because it is such a magnificent site.

Sculpture by John Petrie.. Photo: Kelly Black

“As soon as we drove out here he knew he wanted to put his sculpture here. It welcomes sculpture, the landscape is perfect- the setting, the undulation of the land, the serenity of the area, he knew it was perfect, and equally has attracted other sculptors for the same reason. It’s a glorious site to have their work settled in amongst this landscape. So he is very happy to be involved.”

Keywan, who has multiple sculptures featured in this years show, says his in situ works are as much about the space around them and the Q Station landscape as they are about the pieces themselves.

 “The spaces I create are very much part of the piece, it’s not just the solid parts. You can’t look at it without looking through it. My work is deliberate that way, the whole world around it is drawn into it.”

Sculpture by John Petrie.. Photo: Kelly Black

The rooms within Q Station’s hospital precinct heritage buildings have sat unused for years, but have been given new life housing the works of the Le Petit Salon de Sculpture artists, which Tania McMurty says is important as it allows people to see and experience sculpture in different settings.

“I think what’s unique about here is that these heritage buildings, they’ve been empty for years and used as storage, but we’ve turned them into beautiful galleries and I’m very, very proud of that, I think the works look amazing.”

Sophia Zantiotos agrees that it is important for residents, locals, and non-locals to experience art in alternative settings as it keeps art alive. She says art out in the open makes it an even more accessible and enriching way to experience sculpture, as opposed to a traditional indoor gallery, that she says some people can feel daunted by.

“Most people are too intimidated to walk into a gallery, where as here in the landscape they are comfortable walking around looking at the works.”

“It is a wonderful way to engage people who may not usually look at art.

Details: Les Sculpture Refusées brings you Le Petit Salon de Sculpture
Location: Q Station Manly, 1 North Head Scenic Drive, Manly (Within Sydney Harbour National Park)
Date: October 15th–November 7th, 2022 (WEEKENDS ONLY)
Entry: Free
Parking: Free

For further information on the exhibition, head to: www.lessculpturesrefusees.comandwww.qstation.com

Accommodation can be booked along side a visit to the exhibition, with the Q Station offering a variety of options of varying sizes and budgets: www.qstation.com.au/

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