Bulletin Articles: May Barrie & Sculpture by the Sea

May Barrie’ work, ‘Time & Tide’ Granite Monolith II has won the newly established Balnaves Foundation Sculpture Prize of $60,000 at this year’s Sculpture by the Sea. 

 By Katherine Harrington

 On hearing the news, May said, "I know it's a good work and now I'm glad that other people agree. I'm surprised and pleased to have been given this award - I hope I'm not dreaming this...."

 Carved from Moruya granite, the work was begun in 1995 when May was 77 and completed the following year. She is a guest artist, and her granite sculpture which measures (2 x 3 x 1m)  was lifted by crane and put onto a truck for transport to Bondi from her home south of Wollongong; all at the expense of Sculpture by the Sea.

 This years judges and curatorial panel included: Deborah Edwards, Senior Curator, Australian Art, AGNSW; Rosemary Foot AO, Collector; and Dr Michael Hill, Author and Lecturer, National Art School.

 May was born in Western Australia in 1918 and has been a sculptor for over 60 years. She received a Diploma in Sculpture from the National Art School (1938-41) at a time, as her friend, June Bennett said “not many fathers would have allowed or encouraged their daughters to embark on such a course”.

 A few years after graduating she took off abroad to Holland and South Africa, (Cont. from P 3) and again later in the 70’s to study and tour Europe, UK, Afganistan, Turkey, Greece, Uzbekestan, Tunisia, Thailand among other countries. Her work has been exhibited since 1947 and she has received numerous public and private commissions. Her work can be found at the University of Wollongong, the ANU, the Australian Buddhist Vihara, Katoomba; St Luke’s Church, Liverpool and St Peters Church, Cremorne among other institutions. May Barrie is one of The Sculptors Society’s oldest members.

 Sculpture by the Sea this year is also exhibiting three more of our member’s work including:  Ian Scott’s Waiting, Senden Blackwood’s irinami and Belinda Villani’s Tribute to a Horse.


    Ian Scott, Waiting, Bronze (150x90x38cm)
    Photo: courtesy Sculpture by the Sea, S.Burns (c)


    Belinda Villani, Tribute to a Horse, woven rattan, steel (250x90x250cm)
    Photo: courtesy Sculpture by the Sea, S.Burns (c)


    Senden Blackwood,irinami, basalt, steel (165x75x45cm)
    Photo: Courtesy Sculpture by the Sea, S.Burns (c)


    May Barrie, Time & Tide Granite Monolith II (2 x 3 x 1m)
    Photo:  Courtesy of Sculpture by the Sea 2009 (c)