Centenary of Griffith

Griffith International Sculpture Symposium 2-18 May 2016

Griffith's largest public art project

7 International Master Sculptors from China, Italy, Spain, Germany, The Netherlands, New Zealand & Australia

Large Blocks of stone created into a lasting legacy of sculpture 

Griffith Pioneer Park Museum, 2-18 May, 9.30am-4pm

Flagship event of Griffith's 100 year celebrations

Seven master sculptors from across the globe will gather in Griffith, Riverina NSW this year to create beautiful stone sculptures. Members of the public are invited to be part of this unprecedented and unique opportunity and watch the master sculptors saw, cut and carve as they transform blocks to artworks. People can also participate in art Master Classes and events during the symposium.

Each artist offers a unique style and personality and will develop a work based on their interpretation of the theme: ‘The meaning of water in Griffith and the city’s multicultural diversity.’  

World-class art, carved from large blocks of granite will become a permanent part of the landscape located along Centenary Walk in IOOF Park, adding to the beautiful City Park precinct alongside the Main Canal.  The Sculptures will be officially launched on Friday 5 August as part of Griffith’s 100- year birthday weekend celebrations.


Granite arrives at Griffith Pioneer Park Museum & Renate Verbrugge working with tools of the trade on a granite sculpture in France.





Above left: Luke Zwolsman. Above centre and right: Luke at work

High-profile Australian sculptor Luke Zwolsman has been appointed to manage the symposium. Zwolsman has managed several International Sculpture Symposia including Stone Song (2012, 2013, 2014) and Adelaide Hills (2012, 2014), and has attended several sculpture symposia including Turkey, Italy and Australia.
Zwolsman impressed the Griffith 2016 Centenary Committee with his knowledge, passion and gentle demeanour. The committee is confident he will lead a wonderful event.

Read more about Luke Zwolsman here




Above left: Francesco Panceri. Above centre: Pensiero Divergente, Roma Italy, granite 2004. Above right: Balance of Time, Tehran Iran, marble 2012.

Francesco Panceri was born in Crema, in Italy in 1976, where he attended the secondary school specializing in the art subjects and then graduated from the “Accademia di belle arti di Brera” in Milan.

Panceri has participated in 48 symposia around the world, most recently in China, Taiwan, Italy and Turkey. His works are in private and public collections. This will be Panceri’s first Australian symposium.

Read more about Francesco Panceri here




Above left: Miguel Isla. Above Centre: Taiwan 2012. Above right: Egypt 2012

Miguel Isla was born in Tudela de Duero –Spain.  Miguel is a very experienced and highly regarded international artist, having participated in 55 international symposia, from 1991 through to 2015 and the recipient of many sculpture awards including Silver Medal, Liu Kaiqu Award International Sculpture Exhibition, China and in 1999, the Award Biennale International of Sculpture Montbrison France. Miguel has works in Australia having been part of the symposium team at Adelaide Hills in 2012 and Sunshine Coast in 2005.

Read more about Miguel Isla here




Above left: Chris Peterson. Above Centre: Black Moon Trickle. Above right: China Magnified No. 3 & 4

Chris was born in Bilthoven, The Netherlands. He has participated in 22 International Symposia and this is his first Australian Symposium.

Artist Statement: “My work is a continuous search and exploration of urban, and in some cases, rural space. It’s by means of observation that certain spaces trigger a sudden fascination. Whether this is based on an interest I take into the human behaviour I encounter, or solely from an architectural point of view, the way the space is shaped.”

Read more about Chris Peterson here




Above left: Hew Chee Fong. Above centre: Sustainable, Eumundi, QLD. Above right: Waterstone, Adelaide Hills, SA

Hew studied Sculpture at NCAE, NSW and has been the recipient of many Art Awards including

2014 winner of the Inaugural Eumundi Sculpture Prize and winner of the Inaugural Noosa Stone Sculpture Bequest—Italy Residency in 2011.

Artist statement: "Stone universally connotes all things of an enduring nature, stability, dependability, both timelessness and the passage of time."

Hew has been involved in several sculpture symposia including the 2014, Sculpture Saint John Symposium in New Brunswick, Canada, and the 2014 Adelaide Hills International Sculpture Symposium. Hew was privileged to be the Commissioned Artist Assistant to Andy Goldsworthy, international environmental sculptor in 2011, Great Walks of Queensland Public Art ’Strangler Cairn’.

Read more about Hew Chee Fong here




Above left: Liu at work. Above centre and right: Completed works including Bowknot

 Liu Yang was born in north China and is the most active and the most influential Chinese sculptor in the world. While he has been a TV host in his career, sculpture has always been his passion. In the past five years, he took part in more than 30 symposia across 20 countries, with 10 of the sculptures standing 5 metres high. A series of his works show the soft rope change hard stone; this is an ancient eastern thought. Another series of works show the relationship between the colourful characters and the geometric form, emphasis on public art simple communication.




Above left: Renate at work. Above centre: Sardegna Symposium, Italy 2012. Above right: Tehran, Iran 2014

Born in Belgium, Renate immigrated to New Zealand in September 1995 and was introduced to stone sculpture in 1999. Since ‘99, Renate has attended many symposia around the world.

 Artist Statement: “I don't sculpt because I want to leave a piece of "me" behind...I don't sculpt because I want to create "ART" with the capital A. I sculpt because I love it. I love the process of transforming a raw piece of stone into a sensual thing of beauty, which will give joy to the people who discover it. My stone sculptures are created out of pure inspiration. They should be appreciated with your eyes, your hands, your heart, your soul.  No intellectual analysis will speak louder than the emotions my sculptures provoke.”

Read more about Renate Verbrugge here




Above left: Tobel. Above centre: Energy, Germany, 9Tons sandstone. Above right: Whirl, China, 10Tons granite

Tobel has participated in more than 30 symposia, including in Germany, Hungary, Austria, Taiwan and China. Tobel started as a stonemason in 1989, studied sculpture in Italy and Switzerland, and has been a freelance artist since 1992. The recipient of many art awards and prizes, Tobel is a highly regarded artist.

Read more about Tobel here

SCHOOLS PROGRAM 4-13 May  Book your school here

The schedule below details the exciting opportunity for your school to visit and meet master sculptors at work creating lasting legacies which will celebrate the Centenary of Griffith. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity!

The schools program runs from 4-13 May, 2016.There is a maximum of 60 students per session, with 3 sessions per day, each session lasts for 1.5 hours. The schools program is ideally suited for Years 5 to 8. Entry to the Park for this special event is $2 per child or adult.

Each one and a half hour visit includes:


Session 1

Welcome to the 2016 Symposium.

What is a symposium, who are the artists, why and what are they sculpting?  

Session 2

View the sculptors creating masterpieces from granite using power tools and hand tools.

Session 3

Your chance to create your own sculpture using clay and hand tools and take your creation home!

Session 4

Italian sculpture. Discover our links to the famous sculptors of Italy and learn about a local sculptor and community project.

MAKE A BOOKING - to avoid disappointment please book early.

Senior Art Students

Art students in Years 10 to 12 are invited to visit the Sculpture Symposium Monday 16, Tuesday 17 or Wednesday18 May. The students will have the opportunity to meet and talk with several of the sculptors to get a better understanding of their project sketches and work stages and to admire near completed artworks. If you are interested in accepting this opportunity, please call Paige Campbell or Pam Young at Griffith City Council T 6962 8100 to book a time.


Portraiture Masterclass with Tony Curren

Saturday 7 & Sunday 8 May.  10am-4pm both days

Location: Griffith Regional Studio Annex, Lake Wyangan

Cost: $200 includes morning & afternoon tea.

What to bring: Art materials & lunch. Booking: Griffith Regional Art Gallery 6962 8338

About the tutor: Tony is a practicing artist and teacher working in drawing, painting and digital, exploring contemporary representations of self. Tony's artworks are held in a number of public collections and he has been an artist in residency at the National Portrait Gallery of Australia, Fraser Studios, The Australian National University and the Museum of the Riverina. Tony is a finalist in the 2015 Archibald Prize which is currently touring.

Drawing Master Class with Dennis O’Connor

Saturday 14 & Sunday 15 May. 10am-4pm both days

Location: Griffith Regional Studio Annex, Lake Wyangan

Cost: $200 includes morning & afternoon tea

What to bring: Art materials & lunch. Booking: Griffith Regional Art Gallery 6962 8338

About the tutor: Dennis has over 30 years’ experience teaching drawing at a number of Universities and Colleges throughout Australia.  Denis’s work is generated by the emotive directness of drawing. His work explores through two-dimensional works on paper, piecing together mental, emotional and physical experiences that have survived as fragments in the mind and as physical possessions. Dennis holds a PhD in Fine Art and continues to practice and research Australia drawing.

Spoon Carving Master Class with Hape Kiddle

Saturday 14 May. 9:30am-4pm

Location: Pioneer Park Museum, Remembrance Drive, Griffith

Cost: $120 includes morning & afternoon tea

What to bring: lunch. Booking: Griffith Regional Art Gallery 6962 8338

About the tutor: Hape is a master woodcarver and is one of Griffith prominent artists. Hape’s artworks are held in numinous private collections. Hape has exhibited throughout Australia in art galleries and arts festivals. Hape studied at the Tasmanian College of the Arts and is interested in enhancing the intrinsic qualities in the materials he uses to create his artworks.  Hape is the curator of Bidgee Studio & Gallery, Griffith.


Shared Table with the Sculptors @ Pioneer Park Museum - Saturday 14 May, 6pm

Eight Sculptors will share their story. Come and be inspired by these young artists, enjoy a glass of local wine and some fabulous local food and admire the beautiful granite sculptures. Catering by Sugarmill Patisserie. $60pp. Bookings & further details contact the Visitor Centre T 1800 681 141. Numbers are limited.


The Griffith International Sculpture Symposium has been made possible through the generous support of local businesses, families and the Griffith community. The Griffith 2016 Committee wish to acknowledge these partners: