For many years The Friends have sponsored a scuplture prize, giving the opportunity for a student to display a work in a public space for one year (and some cash!)
2014 Michael Pecirno
The Air Above presented by Kevin Walker, RCA
2013 Anna Flemming
Magpie Feather presented by Kate Davies RCA
2012 Luke Burton
This & That & These & Those presented by Denise De Cordova, RCA
2011 Lucy Tomlins
Concrete Country presented by Anderson Inge AIA
2010 Dexter Dymoke
We Love This Place presented by Professor David Raison RCA
2009 Edward Payne
Table Shelter – Stack presented by Professor Richard Wentworth RCA
2008 Gareth Williams
The Friends committee studied eight proposals for the sculpture this year and selected, amongst robust competition, Gareth Williams’ sculpture depicting a hand carved, monumental football. In a recent interview Williams stated, “…it was an idea that just stuck”. On initial viewing Ip dip dip- a 19th Century Football would appear to be a supersized, caricatured football with all the attributes a hand-made sphere, modelled swiftly, might have. The jokey lace-up style ball is poised between two trees in a scenario redolent of the final moments of an imaginary penalty shoot out. The out-of-place scale humorously engages the viewer and the sculpture encourages us to focus not just on subject matter, but also on how the sculpture occupies, and is shaped by, its surroundings.
There is a probing battle between the size of the object, our imagination and the sports ground. The enlargement amplifies the gravity of the subject, any associations, meanings or memories are rushed to the fore whilst the competitive Arena is a fitting location for the challenge. His title, “Ip dip dip” insinuates the awkward moments surrounding the selection process and ‘team building’. The folklore was embraced by the cunning and devious to humiliate, embarrass and demoralise: heavy with significance the sky-blue ball must not be approached lightly.
2007 Maxine Schaffer
The winner of the 2007 award was Maxine Schaffer from the Royal College of Art Sculpture School for her work “Buckhorn Plantain” in painted steel.
Minutes before the ceremony to bestow the 2007 Friends of Battersea Park Sculpture Award, Friends chairman Philip Wright OBE could be seen hurriedly
polishing the winning installation, “Weeds,” with a paper napkin: Parks maintenance had been through the area earlier with a strimmer, leaving a fine coating of dust on the installation’s glossy surface. It was a dainty, delicate finish to a sometimes rough-and-tumble process. It began in a studio at the Royal College of Sculpture, last February, when the Friends Committee selected Maxine Schaffer’s entry, “Weeds,” over fifteen very strong competitors for the honour of being displayed in Battersea Park for one year. The US-born Schaffer studied fine art at Chelsea College and then went directly from there to the Royal College of Sculpture: “It’s sort of been non-stop, really,” she says. Indeed, Wright noted that Schaffer had made a special journey back from America to supervise the installation and to be present at the ceremony “We are very grateful to her for meeting the many challenges created by the competition and for producing such an impressive and iconic result,” Wright said. “Her close identity with the Park and use of a Festival of Britain colour has created a splendid monument to every
gardener’s worst nightmare.”
2003 Andrew Broadbent
Television arts celebrity Loyd Grossman O.B.E. presented the 2003 Friends of Battersea Park Sculpture Award, a cheque for £1,000, to 37-year-old sculptor Andrew Broadbent on 1st September. Broadbent’s winning entry, “F-1,” is an assemblage of two pieces of cast, welded aluminum, the culmination of his two years’ study of foundry work at London’s Royal College of Art Sculpture School. It will remain on display in the Park for one year.
F-1, Broadbent explained, is a term used in plant breeding. “It’s the plant produced when you cross two different varieties,” he said. “That first generation can never then be replicated because it was born of two completely different parents.” He said the piece is the product of “a match between engineering and biology.”Grossman, who is Chairman of the Public Monuments and Sculpture Association, as well as the host of the television series, “The History of British Sculpture,” said F-1 “is kind of bio-morphic; it reminds me a bit of a chain of DNA. But I tend to think it doesn’t matter if we understand what the artist intended, as long as we engage with a work in some way.”Battersea Park has long been a showcase for outdoor sculpture, it boasts a Henry Moore and Barbara Hepworth, among other works. This year marks the eighth year of the Friends’ award. “We believe we are the only Friends in the country which give a sculpture award,” said Philip Wright, chairman. “The Friends of Battersea Park are attempting to keep that tradition alive.”Tradition, however, does not necessarily mean “traditional.”
Last year’s winner, “Reborn,” a massive, squatting, humanoid figure by John Summers, attracted the vituperation of none other than the arts critic and esthete Brian Sewell, who called it “rubbish,” and asked if it had been made out of ice-cream jelly. But Loyd Grossman does not share that approach to art appreciation. “What people tend to lose sight of is that you don’t have to like a work of art,” he said. “It’s meant to just engage you. “For a whole year, visitors to Battersea Park will be engaging in discussions about this work, which gives encouragement to artists like Andrew Broadbent. That’s what’s so great about sculpture.”
2002 John Summers
Once again the weather was perfect for the presentation of the Friends’ 7th Sculpture Award on 2nd September. Over ninety people gathered at the Pump House – Friends (some with their dogs), Battersea MP Martin Linton, Martin Stratton, Assistant Director of Leisure & Amenity Services and other Park staff, and family, friends and fellow Royal College of Art students of this year’s award winner, 28-year-old, American born John Summers.
Dame Jennifer Jenkins, who had kindly agreed to present this year’s award, arrived at the Pump House after a tour of the Park, which she had known since the Festival Garden days in 1951. Her distinguished career encompassed a lifelong interest in and an extraordinary knowledge of public parks and gardens and their history, and she had characteristically asked to see for herself something of the work going on in the Park under the Heritage Lottery scheme. In contrast to our previous award-winning works, this year’s was a controversial piece, which Dame Jennifer took in her stride with great equanimity.
2001 Wilhelmina Baldwin
The weather was extremely cooperative the evening of the Friends of Battersea Park’s Sixth annual sculpture award ceremony: sculpture, speakers and guests alike were bathed in limpid, late summer sunlight.The winning entry, ‘Nor’Stand,’ by 36-year-old Royal College of Art graduate Wilhelmina Baldwin, was chosen from three finalists. It is a 12-foot-high construction composed of knitting wool dipped in plastic polymer, draped over a steel frame.
A whimsical piece, it presided over the festivities like a good-natured, mythical bird. Indeed, Baldwin, a Battersea resident who walks in the park almost every day, says the park herons were the inspiration for the piece. “A lot of my work is intuitive, balancing gravity against anti-gravity; and herons do that making their nests!” she said.Philip Wright, chairman of the Friends of Battersea Park, said, “As far as we know we are the only ‘Friends’ in the country which gives a sculpture award. We hope the selection of this fine piece by Wilhelmina Baldwin will be as beneficial to her as it has been for the past five recipients.”
The renowned local sculptor Ian Walters presented the £1,000 prize. He praised the winning entry, saying, “I think it has a true monumentality and relates extremely well to its verdant surroundings”. Walters, in his address to the Friends, launched into a robust defense of figurative art, saying sculpture should resonate with human experience and the human heart; he drew cries of “Hear, Hear!” when he attacked what he called the “puerile nonsense” now parading itself as contemporary, “installation” art. His words that sunlit evening proved unwittingly prophetic. The next day, September 11th, the world darkened terribly: and, confronted with tragedy and atrocity, it isn’t “conceptual” or “installation” art that most of us now feel we need, but art which speaks to human emotion, be it sorrow, exaltation, or even playfulness.
2000 Kieran Doyle
Celebrations for the fiftieth edition of the Review coincide with the 5th Open-Air Sculpture Award, which was held on a golden evening on Monday 11th September. The Friends were honoured by the presence of the Mayor and Mayoress of Wandsworth, Councillor John Garrett and Mrs Marion Garrett. Wandsworth Borough Council continues to provide the spectacular setting in front of the Pump House where the winning sculpture remains in situ for one year.
We were also delighted that Walter Menteth, the distinguished architect, who has recently won a Housing Design Award and 2000 Civic Trust Award for his work in Battersea, had agreed to present the prize cheque for £1,000 to the winner.Our winner this year is Kieran Coyle from Northern Ireland, a 27-year old graduate of the Royal College of Art Sculpture School. His work “Dual Nature”, made of aluminium strengthened with steel rods, symbolises evolution with a suggestion of both male and female forms. It took a year to complete in the college foundry, and Kieran believes that the fluidity of molten aluminium has allowed him to achieve a naturalistic form.
This piece, like most of his work, has elements concerned with evolution, the fantastic and man’s imagination.The four previous prize winners have gone on to achieve great success and we hope our choice of this exciting work will be equally beneficial to him.
1999 Steve Bunn
1998 Si Sapsford
Model of Perfection, presented by Lord Foster OM
1997 Thomas R Ostenberg
Above Conflict presented by Dr Alan Borg CBE
1996 Beth Cullen
After Foucault presented by Lord Snowdon
Coming soon, Past winners …