Grant allows artist to push boundaries

David CharlesworthHarvey-Waroona Reporter

AUSTRALIND sculptor Alex Mickle can further explore the boundaries of sculpture with the announcement of the State Government’s Regional Arts Legacy Grants recipients.

Mr Mickle will receive $48,750 over two years for his technical and professional development as a sculptor.

With the grant, Mr Mickle will sculpt 12 medium-sized pieces and establish ties with a bronze foundry in Jakarta.

Mr Mickle has collaborated with his wife Nicole, using her experience in graphic design in a number of public artworks.

“The pairing of fine art and graphic design seems to have a good application for public art,” he said.

Mr Mickle said the grant would allow him to pursue his own work rather than deferring to a client.

“All of our jobs are project based and what that means is we’re responding to others’ briefs all the time,” he said.

“I never really get the opportunity to pursue the art that I’d like to pursue.”

Over the years, Mr Mickle has experimented with the boundaries of sculpture and learnt special skills and techniques for each project, including one in the Pilbara which used explosives to shape steel plate.

“We developed a whole process called blast forming, which we used to create a 4.5-tonne artwork,” he said.

“It was really cool work but then of course, the next job is completely different so everything I learnt in that job gets put on a shelf.”

Mr Mickle said the grant would enable him to use these many specialised skills.

“The other reason for applying for that funding is to take advantage of all these skills I’ve learnt but don’t get to utilise after,” he said.

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