Talking With Sculpture / Pop-up at The SHAC

Talking with Sculpture: Two-and-a-half centuries of sculptural experience on show in Robertson.

A group of nine sculptors with a total of 248 years of sculpting experience between them are exhibiting at The SHAC until mid-February.

It is rare for a group of artists with this level of experience to exhibit in a small regional show. The sculptors have collectively won almost every major sculpture show in NSW and many in other states, and sold about 985 sculptures between them.

While more than half of them are full-time practising artists, they have worked their way up to this by holding jobs ranging from a chef to a postie. Others sustain their art practise with part-time work.

“It’s a strategy for survival,” said Andy Townsend, who works collaboratively with his partner, Susie Bleach. The couple have worked as TAFE and high school art teachers and Andy has had jobs ranging from a door-to-door salesman and truck driver to a gardener and house painter. They have built dozens of commissions, exhibited at Sculpture by the Sea (SxS) eight times and – like the other exhibiting sculptors – won numerous awards.

All but one of the sculptors have exhibited at SxS in Bondi and also Cottesloe. Jimmy Rix has exhibited there 13 times, Michael Purdy 11 times, Bronwyn Berman six times, Mike MacGregor three times, David Ball three times (winning the Bondi major prize in 2017) and Britta Stenmanns once.

Talking with Sculpture, at The SHAC, is a pop-up show that was been pulled together on a whim and with three weeks’ notice by local David Ball. There was a temporarily vacant space for the show as tenants move out and in. Brilliant crafting with steel, sticks and stones has realised a kaleidoscope of thoughts by some of Australia’s foremost sculptors.

The sculptors are: Michael Purdy, Brogers Creek via Berry; Jimmy Rix, Malmsbury, Victoria; Susie Bleach and Andy Townsend, Wapengo, Sapphire Coast; Mike MacGregor, Bungendore; Bronwyn Berman, Burrawang; David Ball, Wildes Meadow; Britta Stenmanns, Moss Vale; and Lucinda McDonald Moss Vale.

The exhibition will run until Monday, February 17.

The SHAC, a community success story, opened in May 2019 in the old potato shed, next to the Big Potato. Visitors can watch artists make work in their studios and view finished products in exhibition and studio spaces. The Highlands is home to arguably the highest concentration of artists in rural Australia. Some of the nation’s top painters – John Olsen, Tim Storrier and Ben Quilty – live there, along with countless other fine and performing artists. Quilty’s studio used to be at the potato shed.

Ends February 14
74-76 Hoddle Street, Robertson NSW 2577 (next to the big potato)

For more information visit


Sculpture: David Ball

  • Feeling: Bronwyn Berman
  • Behind Wire: Michael Purdy
  • Boost: Lucinda McDonald
  • Tympani: David Ball
  • On a Disant Shore: Bleach/Townsend