A celebration of small sculpture

Exhibition dates: 29 August–11 October 2024

The Deakin University Contemporary Small Sculpture Award was established in 2009 and is organised by the Art Collection and Galleries Unit at Deakin University, Victoria. The award celebrates contemporary sculptures from artists around Australia, culminating in an exhibition of finalists' work held in August to October each year at the Deakin University Art Gallery.

A panel, who changes composition each year, shortlist around 40 entries as finalists from an average of 300 entries that are received annually. The same panel then chooses a Winner and a Highly Commended. The winning work goes into the Deakin University Art Collection.

The finalist exhibition is held for a period of 6-8 weeks at the Deakin University Art Gallery on Deakin’s Melbourne Burwood campus. At the end of the exhibition, a People’s Choice winner is determined by vote from exhibition visitors and the winning artist is awarded a non-acquisitive cash prize.

Supported by Community Bank at Deakin University.

Call for Entries

Entries open on Monday 15 April 2024 and close midnight AEST Friday 14 June 2024.

Apply for the Deakin University Contemporary Small Sculpture Award 2024

Frequently asked questions

Is the stand included in the measurements?
If the stand is needed to make the artwork free standing, it is included in the measurements and considered to be part of the artwork for the purpose of the size requirement. If the stand is integral to the work and the work must be attached to the stand then the stand is included in the measurements

Is the white display plinth included in the measurements?
No. The only thing included in the measurements is the artwork itself and anything needed to make it free-standing. The white display plinth provided by the gallery is not included in the measurements.

Can the work be wall mounted?
No. All works must be free-standing – in other words, must stand up by themselves. Wall mounted works are not eligible.

Can I enter a drawing of what I think my work will look like?
No. There are strict size and weight restrictions that must be met. To avoid disappointment, it's best to submit the actual work.

Can I enter pictures of my other work?
No. Please only submit the actual entry to avoid confusion. There is a limit of three images per entry. Please make sure the entrant’s name is in the file title.

Can I bring my own display plinth?
Yes. Please do so with the understanding that it will be repainted to match the other plinths in the gallery. Please contact gallery staff prior to delivery to discuss.

Can I submit a late entry?
No.

Can I submit an entry by mail?
No, entry forms must be submitted online. Entry forms sent by email or postal mail will not be accepted.

I cannot submit the entry form online.
Please check you have verified your email address by typing in the verification code emailed to your nominated email address. We do this to ensure everyone has entered a valid email address. You must verify your email before submitting the entry form. The code is generated straight away so please check your junk mail/spam folder if it doesn't arrive in your inbox. It will come from “Snapforms”.

Can I enter more than once?
Yes. This year we are introducing a limit of three entries per person, as an individual or joint entrant. If you are entering more than one artwork, please submit a separate entry form for each artwork.

2023 award winners

A sculpture of a plaster model of a revolutionary.

Nina Sanadze
Gramophone
lay, resin, hydrostone, acrylics, glue. Sculpture incorporates a replica of a studio plaster model of a revolutionary by Soviet monumental sculptor Valentin Topuridze (1907-1980)
62 x 24 x 27cm
Winner of the Deakin University Contemporary Small Sculpture Award, 2023
Image © and courtesy of the artist and Daine Singer Gallery, Melbourne
Photo by Simon Peter Fox

d

Natalie Tso
your spit is my nest
saliva and guar gum on isomalt crystals (sugar) coated with nail polish varnish
Winner of the Highly Commended Award in the Deakin University Contemporary Small Sculpture Award, 2023
Image © and courtesy of the artist. Pictured in the finalists’ exhibition, Deakin University 22 August to 13 October 2023
Photo by Simon Peter Fox

Past winners

2022


Scotty So
Surburbkin in Red, 01
Nylon, metal
34 x 30 x 15cm
Winner of the Deakin University Contemporary Small Sculpture Award, 2022
Image © and courtesy of the artist and MARS Gallery, Melbourne

2021

Michael Le Grand
TRANSIT
Painted steel
12 x 22 x 13cm
Winner of the Deakin University Contemporary Small Sculpture Award, 2021
Image © and courtesy of the artist and Australian Galleries, Melbourne and Sydney

Photo by Polo Jimenez

2020

The Award was not held in this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

2019

Kate Ellis
Untitled, Poodle Paw
Beeswax, damar resin, silk thread, acrylic fur, poodle fur
47 x 13.5 x 17cm

Winner of the Deakin University Contemporary Small Sculpture Award, 2019
Image © and courtesy of the artist

2018

Hannah Toohey
Archaea No. 4

Fabric, stuffing, porcelain, raccoon claws
37 x 23 x 18cm
Winner of the Deakin University Contemporary Small Sculpture Award, 2018
Image © and courtesy of the artist
Photo by Simon Peter Fox

2017


Richard Stringer

House on Fire
Cultured marble, felt & Perspex
64 x 56 x 56cm
Winner of the Deakin University Contemporary Small Sculpture Award, 2017 Image © and courtesy of the artist
Photo by Simon Peter Fox

2016

Geoffrey Bartlett
Fusion revisited
Bronze and Jarrah (Eucalyptus marginata)
70 x 27.8 x 27cm
Winner of the Deakin University Contemporary Small Sculpture Award, 2016 Image © and courtesy of the artist and Australian Galleries, Melbourne and Sydney
Photo by Simon Peter Fox

2015

Kendal Murray
Provision, Revision, Decision, Division

Mixed media assemblage: timber, porcelain, metal, plastic, paint, resin and pebbles
30.8 x 18 x 18cm
Winner of the Deakin University Contemporary Small Sculpture Award, 2015 Image © and courtesy of the artist and Arthouse Gallery, Sydney
Photo by Ian Hobbs

2014

Mikala Dwyer
Empty Sculpture
Plastic, air
68 x 40 x 30cm
Winner of the Deakin University Contemporary Small Sculpture Award, 2014 Image © and courtesy of the artist and Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery, Sydney
Photo by Simon Peter Fox

2013

Michael Sibel
Primitive Dance
Bronze
55 x 29.3 x 21.8cm (in two parts)
Winner of the Deakin University Contemporary Small Sculpture Award, 2013 Image © and courtesy of the artist
Photo by Mark Soutter

2012

Lisa Roet
Spider Monkey
Bronze
45 x 60 x 20cm
Winner of the Deakin University Contemporary Small Sculpture Award, 2012
Image © and courtesy of the artist and Hugo Michell Gallery, Adelaide; Gow Langsford Gallery, Auckland; and Pieces of Eight Gallery, Melbourne Photo by Simon Peter Fox

2011

Stephen Bird
Boxers
clay, pigment, glaze
70 x 38 x 28cm
Winner of Deakin University Contemporary Small Sculpture Award, 2011 Image © and courtesy of the artist and Olsen Gallery, Sydney; and The Scottish Gallery, Edinburgh
Photo by Simon Peter Fox

2010

Robert Hague
Trojan Hammer (200%)
bronze, 24 ct gold powder
39.5 x 13.5 x 13.5cm
Winner of Deakin University Contemporary Small Sculpture Award, 2010 Image © and courtesy of the artist
Photo by Simon Peter Fox

2009

Stephen Benwell
Statue, Grey-Pink Man
clay, engobe, glaze stains

23.5 x 9.5 x 9.5cm
Winner of the inaugural Deakin University Contemporary Small Sculpture Award, 2009
Image © and courtesy of the artist and Niagara Galleries, Melbourne Photo by Simon Peter Fox

Contact us

Please email us if you would like to be added to the award mailing list. 
smallsculpture@deakin.edu.au