The Henry Lawson Festival is delighted to announce that the 2018 Festival will mark the 23rd year that artist Michael Mandelc has produced the 'Drover's Wife' statuettes.
These fine art castings in bronze are created individually each year by Michael using the traditional lost wax method. Originally commissioned by Ms Mardie Bucknell the award is based on one of Henry Lawson’s notable works while the form is inspired by the wife of drover during Michael’s time on a cattle station in far north Queensland. It is a most coveted, limited edition award unique to the Grenfell Henry Lawson Festival. This year’s statuettes will be awarded for art, photography, verse and short story.
Michael is an internationally collected artist whose career spans over twenty-five years. Initially he learnt technique and his approach to sculpture from two of Henry Moore's assistants, Alan Ingham and Stephen Walker O.A. Previously, Alan Ingham was the sculptor who created the original statuettes of the Festival, until his passing.
Michael currently works out of his studio in Lightning Ridge after a long time in the Blue Mountains. Old family roots and early work link Michael to Lightning Ridge, its surrounding semi-arid landscape and community. Both the fragility and the relentless nature of the desert regions continue to inspire him and we can expect a great deal of new work since his recent move. Commissioned work includes such projects as Phantom Falls for the new Blue Mountains Cultural Centre foyer, the twin crosses for St Mary’s Cathedral, Sydney along with other notable work for the 2000 Olympics and the AGNSW to mention a few.