University art and sculpture collection

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University art and sculpture collection

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Since its inception, the University of the Sunshine Coast has worked to develop an art collection focusing on contemporary Australian art with an emphasis on Queensland artists. Many of these works can be viewed throughout the University campus.

Call into the USC Gallery to collect or download the Sculpture Walk brochure (PDF 493KB) and take a self guided walk around the campus to view our collection.

The University's art holdings represent the most significant public art collection in the region. The collection contains works by:      

  • Lawrence Daws
  • Franki Birrell
  • Sally Gabori
  • Norma Uhlmann
  • Scott Redford
  • Ken Thaiday Sr
  • Katarina Vesterberg
  • Judy Watson
  • Elizabeth Duguid
  • Andrew Dixon
  • Craig Medson
  • Charlie Chambers
  • Joanne Currie Nalingu
  • Rex Backhaus-Smith
  • HEW Chee Fong
  • Adam Cullen

Limited edition prints of John Coburn's 'Sunshine Coast' are available for purchase. Please visit the USC Gallery for more information.

Generous support by the Proost-DeDeyne family has also enabled the annual acquisition of outstanding digital works by USC design students and graduates.

The University holds a significant collection of large-scale paintings from the western and central desert of Australia including the Ngabung Djamga gallery. The collection has been donated to the University over several years and is the largest public collection of its kind in the region.

Western Desert art collection

An important collection of Western and Central Desert art has been established at the University largely from donations by Yanda Aboriginal Art. Enhanced by interpretive and educational materials, the group of works is one of the highlights of the USC art collection.

The Western and Central Desert Art collection includes works by:

  • Ronnie Tjampitjinpa
  • Ningurra Napurrula
  • George Tjungurrayi
  • Naata Nungurrayi
  • Gloria Petyarre
  • Ada Bird Petyarre

Many of these works can be viewed in the lower and first levels of the Library or the newly named Ngabung Djamga Gallery (pronounced nya-bung juhmga) located in the foyer of the Innovation Centre and open to the public during office hours. Ngabung Djamga means Mother Messenger in the Kabi Kabi language.

The naming of this exhibition space acknowledges the relationship of the local Indigenous people with the University. It welcomes the artwork of other people to Kabi Kabi and it honours the paintings and cultural tradition.

Western Desert art for Years P-4

Welcome to the Wondervision Education Resource. It has been created to help your Prep to Year 4 students learn about traditional Aboriginal painting from Australia’s western and central deserts.

© Images of Western Desert Art are used under licence from the Aboriginal Art Agency, 2014-2019.
© Text and activities are copyright to the University of the Sunshine Coast, 2014.

Western Desert art for Years 5, 6 and 7

Welcome to the Wondervision Education Resource. It has been created to help your Year 5, 6 and 7 students learn about traditional Aboriginal painting from Australia’s western and central deserts.

Visit our Education page to download a print and iBook version of these resources.

Wondervision received funding from the Australian Government under the Higher Education Participation and Partnerships Program (HEPPP) to develop these resources.

View the following sculptures at our Sippy Downs campus

Rescue of the Big Baby

Artist: Shar MOORMAN
Location: Building B

Rescue of the Big Baby sculpture is a glass image of a humpback whale calf and recalls the events at Coolum Beach on 16 October 1996 when a calf became stuck on a sand bank close to shore.

The whale was cared for by Coolum Beach Surf Lifesaving members and local residents who then assisted the staff from Sea World (Gold Coast) and Underwater World (Mooloolaba) who used a sling to allow the calf to move off the sandbank.

She was ably to rejoin the mother whale that had waited in deeper water for seven hours until they were reunited.

This sculpture was donated by the Coolum Beach Surf Club in 2014.

Image: Shar MOORMAN, (Sculptured Glass Australia) Rescue of the Big Baby, glass, 4.95m x 2.32m x 50mm, 2009

Pulse

Artist: Konstantin DIMOPOULOS
Location: Building J

Constructed by Melbourne artist Konstantin Dimopoulos, Pulse is a site specific sculpture located in the Art Gallery courtyard.

Standing 7 metres high, the piece is constructed of resin rods mounted in a stainless steel and concrete base. Although rigid, the length of the vertical rods allows the work to move elegantly in the wind.

Pulse is lit from the base at night and the rods absorb the light, creating a different dynamic at night focusing on simple but dynamic rhythms of nature.

The artist took his inspiration from the Sunshine Coast's cane fields, with the colour chosen reminiscent of burning cane.

The University received a generous donation from the Lee Graff Foundation in San Diego, California to commission the sculpture with assistance from University supporter Mrs Arija Austin.

It was dedicated by Doug Hall AO, former Director of the Queensland Art Gallery and Gallery of Modern Art, Brisbane.

Image: Konstantin DIMOPOULOS, Pulse, coloured resin rods, 7 metres high, 2007 (detail)

High Order 

Artist: Craig MEDSON
Location: Building C

Leading Queensland artist Craig Medson created stone and bronze work High Order, which stands in front of Cafe C.

Like all of Medson's sculptures, the concept for High Order is derived from the elements in nature: fire, air, water and earth.

He used recurring forms such as the circle, tear-drop and sphere to symbolise abstract ideas such as eternity and the passage of time.

Medson has been a major supporter of the University of the Sunshine Coast and has donated his time and artwork for various projects on campus.

High Order was purchased for the University of the Sunshine Coast collection.

Image: Craig MEDSON, High Order, sandstone, steel and bronze, 305cm x 123cm x 47cm, 1998

Neptune

Artist: Fiona McCARRON
Location: Building K

Neptune is a sandstone sculpture by Brisbane born artist Fiona McCarron. She studied under leading Queensland sculptor Len Shillam.

She also lived and worked in Carrera, Italy in 1983, and surrounded by international craftspeople, she began to work with marble.

This particular work was loaned to the University in 1998 and was eventually purchased in 2009 as part of the public art collection.

Maleny resident McCarron has been a major supporter of the University of the Sunshine Coast and has donated her time and artwork for various projects on campus.

Image: Fiona McCARRON, Neptune, sandstone, 140cm x 60cm x 40cm, 1998

USC entrance sculpture

Artist: Elizabeth POOLE
Location: USC main entrance

Artist Elizabeth Poole designed and installed the front entrance sculpture, which was unveiled in 1999.

The installation won the Maroochy Excellence in Building and Planning Awards 1999 for Public Art.

The work is an homage to the Australian bush, learning and youth, with the different materials reflecting the old land and new ideas.

The poles imitate trees of knowledge, while the two vertical sheets are pieces of paper, scattered in the wind.

The sculpture is designed to encourage interaction. People can walk between the sections, with the ground 'leaf' piece inviting people to rest, contemplate and dream.

The entrance sculpture was purchased for the University of the Sunshine Coast collection.

Obelisk

Artist: Leonard SABOL
Location: Building C

Created by Sydney artist Leonard Sabol, obelisk is an egg-shaped stainless steel work, located outside Student Central (Building C).

The work was purchased from the 2008 Sculpture-by-the-Sea exhibition held at Bondi, Sydney, and donated to USC by the Lee Graff Foundation, the same group that donated Pulse.

It is constructed of Japanese stainless steel and stands on a stainless steel footing that is buried underground.

Trained in blacksmithing and metal fabrication in his home country of Slovakia before immigrating to Australia in 2002, Sabol uses traditional techniques to create contemporary architectural works.

obelisk is meant to look as if it has fallen from the sky—as part of the moon or an alien egg. It was formed as one piece and then sliced and re-welded to create the craters and texture on its surface.

The University received a generous donation from the Lee Graff Foundation in San Diego, California to commission the sculpture with assistance from Mrs Arija Austin.

Image: Leonard SABOL, obelisk, stainless steel, 180cm x 120cm x 80cm, 2008

Image: Nicholas MUKOMBERANWA (Zimbabwe 1940 - 2002), Sower Asking Spirits to Bless the Seeds, serpentine basalt on sandstone plinth built by Craig Medson, 60cm x 50cm x 50cm, 1995 (detail)
Sower Asking Spirits to Bless the Seeds

Artist: Nicholas MUKOMBERANWA
Location: Building D

This sculpture is the first artwork acquired by the University of the Sunshine Coast in 1996 as a symbol of strength and vision for the future.

Image: Nicholas MUKOMBERANWA (Zimbabwe 1940 - 2002), Sower Asking Spirits to Bless the Seeds, serpentine basalt on sandstone plinth built by Craig Medson, 60cm x 50cm x 50cm, 1995 (detail)

Feast of Bunya 

(Feast of Bon-yi)  

Artist: Bianca BEETSON
Location: Building E, Buranga Centre Garden  

The bunya festival is one of the most important traditions for the Gubbi Gubbi people that continues today.

Other families and clans from around the region travelled long distances to come to feast on the bunya nuts.

The sculpture is located in the grounds of the Buranga Centre Garden in Building E on campus.

Artist and Gubbi Gubbi woman Bianca Beetson celebrates the festival with this group of bronze bunya nuts, one of which has the names of the many clans carved into it.

Image: Bianca BEETSON, Feast of Bunya (Feast of Bon-yi), bronze, 2014 (detail)

Big Grid

Artist: Kevin TODD
Location: Building D

A project initiated and managed by USC Senior Design Lecturer Kevin Todd, the purpose of the Chroma 256 Project is to create an awareness of the complexity of our relationship and use of colour - and to explore whether a standardisation is occurring due to computer-based technologies, both in terms of the internet and in the teaching of design, where software has also become international.

Image: Kevin TODD, Chroma 256 Big Grid, digital print on panels, 2014 (detail)

Image: Leonard SABOL, Between, stainless steel, 2009 (detail)
Between

Artist: Leonard SABOL
Location: USC Stadium entrance

Between marks the entrance to the University of the Sunshine Coast from the Claymore Road parking area and represents the space occupied by the vital spirit within the university and the common ground.

The sculptures' mirrored surface captures this space that lies between reality and its reflection, by perpetually responding to the slightest interaction. Donor: Tim Fairfax AM, AC

Image: Leonard SABOL, Between, stainless steel, 2009 (detail)

BigBeizam.jpg
Big Beizam

Artist: Ken THAIDAY SR
Location: Building E

The hammerhead shark is Ken Thaiday Sr’s family totem from ancient times.

His ancestors were from New Caledonia and Murray Island. The hammerhead shark is a symbol of law and order, the boss of the saltwater.

The sculpture is located in the foyer of Building E on campus and was donated by the Proost De Deyne Family, Woombye 2012.

Image: Ken THAIDAY SR, Erub (Darnley Island), Torres Strait (b.1950), Big Beizam, triple hammerhead shark dance headress, mixed media assemblage - black bamboo, plywood, feathers, plastic, paint, 2.36 x 2.41 x 2.17m (irregular) (detail)

Wallum, Building H
Wallum

Artist: Glen MANNING and Kathy DALY
Location: Building H

Wallum explores the landscape through an environmentally sensitive consideration of this locally endangered plant species.

The natural colour and form of the seeds, leaves and flowers inform the artwork and visually link the built environment, while energising the work space with life and growth.

Inspiration for the work is drawn from the remnant Wallum heath, specifically Allocasurina Emuina, found in the Mooloolah River National Park adjacent to the University.

USC's GeneCology Research Group assisted the artists to research the design.

Image: Glen MANNING and Kathy DALY, Wallum, glass window panel with digital image, 2012 (detail)

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