THIS week we chat with major prize-winning local sculptor Andre Sardone, a unique artist who creates striking organic pieces, principally with steel.
What initially motivated you to take up sculpture as a practice?
I have always been creative, enjoying drawing and painting from a young age. My artwork has evolved over the years from two-dimensional works to the three dimensional sculpture I now create. About 10 years ago I was working next to Sandhurst Steel and noticed a lot of ‘waste’ steel they were throwing into the recycling bin. This is what triggered my interest in creating sculpture from steel. It began as a hobby and over the years it has turned into my full-time profession.
How would you describe your sculpture style and how did you develop it?
My artwork is inspired by the natural world and I try to use recycled materials when possible. My work varies greatly in style, including abstract and figurative works and also kinetic sculptures that move and shimmer in the wind.
Which other artists inspire you and why?
I am inspired by many artists including English sculptor, photographer and environmentalist Andy Goldsworthy, Australian sculptors Andrew Rogers, Jock Clutterbuck, Robert Klippel, and Inge King, English sculptor Henry Moore, Pablo Picasso, Albert Tucker, and many artists that I follow on social media.
What are some highlights or fond memories you have from your career so far?
Winning the inaugural Victoria Sculpture Prize in 2021* was an exciting achievement. In the same year I was featured on ABC Artworks and also held a very successful exhibition at Dudley House, Bendigo titled Steel Life and Shimmer. I am very happy that I get to create artwork for a living.
I was was awarded the VSP Wellington Shire Council Acquisitive Prize for my work Shimmering Penny Tree, which was purchased for $20,000 and can now be found in the Sale Botanic Gardens’ Sensory Garden.
How has your practice been affected by COVID? Has there been little change or has it had a substantial effect?
The isolation that COVID caused gave me the time and space to spend more time in my studio and it proved to be very productive for me. I started an online shop and I was surprised at the amount of artwork that sold that people had not actually seen in real life.
How can people check out your work? Do you have any exhibitions coming up?
My work can be seen on Instagram or Facebook @andre sardone art.
I have a couple of big commissioned projects coming up and I do not have any exhibitions planned at the moment, so the Bendigo Open Studios in October will be a great chance to visit my studio and see where my artwork is made. I also offer interactive tours of my studio in the Mandurang Valley and discussions of my work is by appointment.
What would you say to young regional aspiring artists who are thinking of having a go at the artistic life?
I would encourage anyone to explore their creativity and to exhibit their work. It may just be a hobby or could possibly turn into something more. It is a good idea to have a reliable source of income while your arts practice develops so you have more freedom to be creative without the pressure of having to sell your work.