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Striking sculpture captures hearts at City of Rockingham’s 2023 Castaways Sculpture Awards

Tyra PetersSound Telegraph
All of the Castaways winners were recognised during an awards ceremony at the Gary Holland Community Centre.
Camera IconAll of the Castaways winners were recognised during an awards ceremony at the Gary Holland Community Centre. Credit: City of Rockingham

A striking artwork created from mattress springs has captured hearts at the City of Rockingham’s annual Castaways Sculpture Awards.

Richard Aitken took out the $10,000 major award announced on October 21 for his sculpture More Than One Thing, a red heart created from mattress springs, layered with aluminium cut-outs of hearts that move and glint in the sun as the breeze catches them.

It sits on top of an old water heater as a plinth and is finished in blackboard paint.

This was Mr Aitken’s eighth year entering the competition and first time winning the major award, though he has won other categories.

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“It blew me away,” he said.

“I’ve always tried to win this event, incorporating aluminium into my work. You see people using materials in very innovative ways, and you can learn from their ideas.

“Winning three awards in eight years is pretty good odds I think.”

The annual awards challenge artists to create sculptures using repurposed items.

Sculptures were on display at Rockingham Foreshore and Rockingham Arts Centre from October 21 to 29.

Edith Cowan University Associate Professor Lyndall Adams and artist Peter Dailey were the judges and both praised Aitken’s work for being “beautifully understated”.

Moira Fearby and Heloise Roberts picked up the sustainability award and pocketed $5000 for their joint work Insidious, which consisted of deconstructed plastic bottles to emulate an insidious introduced botanic species.

Scott Michell won the innovation award with Thirty Bike Flying Pike, a construction created from recycled bikes and truck handrails re-imagined as a fish, fitted with bike bell ringers as eyes, and providing a symbol of freedom and adventure.

Neda Bahremand’s Magician made from recycled household glass took out the maquette and small sculpture award, while Kelly Robbins won the Rockingham local resident award with Ficifolia, consisting of aluminium light covers containing red brush bristles.

Settlers Primary School and SMYL Community College won the schools section awards.

Rockingham mayor Deb Hamblin congratulated the winning entrants.

“Castaways always delights visitors to the Rockingham Foreshore and Rockingham Arts Centre, and we are thrilled to see the high level of work that is on display for this year’s awards,” she said.

“The creative skill on display by our winners is what makes Castaways such a popular annual event and we commend them for their efforts.”

Castaways curator Lyn Di Ciero said there had been a steady stream of visitors to the exhibition.

“It’s amazing to see the locations filled with visitors admiring the inventive and stunning sculptural works made by artists and schools who have all risen to the challenge of transforming recycled materials into objects of beauty,” Ms Di Ciero said.

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