Later this year, Geoffrey Ricardo will feature in the 2021 Lorne Sculpture Biennale. The following artist profile provides an introduction to Geoffrey’s creative practice and insight into some of the concepts behind his proposed sculptural work.
The Lorne Sculpture Biennale is a vibrant festival celebrating the best of Australian and international sculpture. A free public event held every two+ years, where the stunning Lorne foreshore becomes the picturesque pedestal for sculptures and the venue for a vibrant program of events.
Under the artistic direction of Graeme Wilkie OAM, the 2021 event will explore the intersection of nature, history and social connection to Lorne and the Great Ocean Road through the theme ‘A sense of place’. Exploring the construction of the Great Ocean Road, the changing face of tourism, first peoples, early settlement, shipwrecks, surfing, beach culture, timber and fishing industries will be some of the themes.
This year, as in the past, a sculpture trail along the beach foreshore will be created from south to north. A new model will present up to 16 public art projects created in “precincts” along this foreshore. Each precinct will become a transformed space, and artists will take ownership of their precincts to create new experiences.
Geoffrey’s work will present his vision for the Tramways precinct, located beyond the pier at the start of the sculpture trail. From the early 1850s, Giant Otway Mountain Ash and other ancient trees were cut down and dragged to this site by teams of horses – and later, steam-driven trams – to be shipped to Melbourne and Geelong as raw building materials at a time when Melbourne was flush with goldfields wealth. There are still pockets of the Otway National Park that show us the awe-inspiring beauty of this centuries-old forest before it was exploited. This work will celebrate the beauty of the Otway forest and the timber it produced. It will also reflect an awareness of the changes to this landscape and region wrought by the exploitation of its timber resources and inspire a more thoughtful appreciation of what remains.
Geoffrey has participated in past Lorne Sculpture Biennales – remember the elephant you could walk under in 2014? He is a Melbourne-based artist, drawing on figurative expressionism and surrealism to create his own ‘dream realism’. Through this imagery, he presents poignant observations of the human condition. Ricardo’s observations sometimes allow us to laugh at our own behaviour, confronting us with the comic and the absurd.
For more information about this year’s Biennale, click here.Image above: Geoffrey Ricardo’s work, Anno Domino, in the 2009 Lorne Sculpture Biennale, winner of the Great Ocean Road Sculpture Award