Sculptor Terrance Plowright invited to Florence Biennale

His impressive large scale sculptures adorn many iconic Australian landmarks including the Sydney Cricket Ground and Echo Point — and now Wentworth Falls artist Terrance Plowright’s body of work is being recognised by arguably the world’s most prestigious art exhibition.

Mr Plowright accepted a rare invitation to exhibit at the 2013 Florence Biennale last week, telling the Gazette the honour was “a wonderful surprise” that has him feeling rejuvenated and inspired as a sculptor.

“The Florence Biennale works hand in hand with the United Nations and includes all of the arts from dance, music, sculpture, photography and poetry to focus on the best of human creative expression,” he said.

“Eighty nations are represented and I will be one of a few representing Australia — it is probably the most prodigious invitation of my career.”

The 2012 Florence Biennale committee is particularly interested in Mr Plowright’s musical-themed entry for the McClelland Sculpture Prize in Melbourne.

“Everyone working in the arts regularly questions their work’s relevance and I do that all the time, so to be a finalist in the McClelland Prize (to be judged on November 18) and win a position at the 2013 Florence Biennale has given me a sense of confidence that my work is still relevant.”

The 5.5m stainless steel sculpture is curved and twisted into the shape of a pipe organ, has six hidden speakers and three sensors that detect people’s movement and responds to   people approaching by playing recorded sounds of Tibetan bells, cellos and other instruments.

“The sculpture becomes a musical instrument and it has a strong harmonic presence because I’ve used the pentatonic scale.

“A friend of mine called Fran Firth who used to work for the Sydney Symphony Orchestra helped me by playing instruments to record for this interactive sculpture and another friend, Rob Curtis, did the electronics and programming for it.

“I have a huge interest in music that developed when I was a kid and I also have a very clear and strong sense that all human beings are as important to existence as each other, so in this sculpture I’m tying these elements together.”

It’s a very productive period in Mr Plowright’s career, with the Premier and NSW Governor to officially unveil a bronze sculpture in Hyde Park on December 4 and his sculpture of World War I Victoria Cross recipient Robert MacTier to be launched in Victoria next April.

Mr Plowright said he requires sponsorship in order to transport his work to and from Italy for the 2013 Florence Biennale while serving his role as an Australian ambassador for the arts.

To express interest in sponsoring Mr Plowright, contact him on 0419-933-991 or go to his website at and the Florence Biennale committee will then send an official written request for sponsorship.

Wentworth Falls sculptor and artist Terrance Plowright in his home studio last week.

Wentworth Falls sculptor and artist Terrance Plowright in his home studio last week.