MICHAEL LE GRAND
Michael Le Grand is one of Australia’s best-known contemporary sculptors
Le Grand enrolled in a Diploma of Art at the Victoria College of Arts (VCA) in 1972, developing his lifelong love of welded steel sculpture. In 1975 he was awarded the Visual Arts Board Travel Grant by the Australia Council. In London, he attended the prestigious St Martin’s School of Art, London (1976-1977 Certificate of Advanced Studies). There he became involved with the British ‘sculptural revolution’ led by Anthony Caro and Philip King.
In 1977 Le Grand was awarded an ANU Creative Arts Fellowship and later taught at the University from 1980 until he retired in 2007 as Head of Sculpture. He is currently Emeritus Fellow of the University.
Le Grand’s signature component – the use of coloured high gloss auto paint - emerged in the early 1990s, creating both a sensuous quality and facilitating opportunities for the play of light and chiaroscuro.
Michael has had a number of solo exhibitions here and overseas and participated in major sculpture exhibitions in Australia including theMildura Sculpture Triennale, the Australian Sculpture Triennale, the McClelland Sculpture Survey and Award (2003, 2007, 2010 and 2012)and Sculpture by the Sea Bondi since 1997 as well as Sculpture by the Sea in Cottesloe Perth and Aarhus, Denmark. In 2010, Michael was awarded the Helen Lempriere Sculpture Award by Sculpture by the Sea. He was joint winner of the first Sculpture by the Sea major award in 1997.
Michael Le Grand’s sculptures can be found in many collections around Australia.
My work is about the arrangement of material and working with things in space. I like the material to dictate to me what it wants in the first instance. Then I start to identify possibilities - relationships that I wish to exploit or to develop in the work. When that happens, I begin to apply my will - to make something that sets up challenges.
Once you decide on a certain course of action you are committed to that. But the things you leave behind - the other good ideas - become the foundation for subsequent works. I take a lot of photographs of the work as it is evolving, to arrest in my memory banks opportunities that I might have seen.
I do lie awake at night sometimes thinking of how to resolve issues. I have learnt that you can’t will something into existence. So I take the opportunity to go backwards, to reflect on things I have done, before I move forward.