Tuesday, December 16, 2008

William Eicholtz

Eicholtz’s Jumbuck
polymer cement and bronze with rhinestones 1.6 m

Stonehurst Cedar Creek, 2008

Price: $23,000

‘Eicholtz’s Jumbuck’ is a bejewelled and monolithic interpretation of the iconic Australian ram. He stands, handsomely, as a contemporary symbol for the bounty of the land and the diversity of Antipodean culture. His deciduous autumnal fleece of European oak leaves belies the impact of his hoof print on the Australian culture, ostentatiously bringing his European prosperity into the Australian landscape. He speaks of a different heritage and legacy. His cement leaves are blown aside to reveal a bounty of crystal acorns; an unexpected produce like no other harvested from this land. He is the merino on whose back we ride through the lineage of rural and cultural boom. He is the ovine central image of Australian art, from Tom Roberts’ ‘Shearing the Rams’ to Les Kossatz’s iconic sculptures, but reinterpreted in a post-modern context. This merino glances at us through rhinestone eyes, with a glittering, knowing irony. He is aware of his place in history and acknowledges it sheepishly.

‘Eicholtz’s Jumbuck’ is 1.6 metres high. It is made from a hardwearing polymer cement worked over a polystyrene core, and studded with plastic rhinestone acorns set in cast bronze caps. These materials are ideal for permanent outdoor display. This sculpture requires little maintenance, and will benignly sit in its garden surrounds. Like ‘Shrek’, the New Zealand merino discovered sheltering in a cave in 2004, shaggy and ensconced in five years of unshorn fleece, this iconic Australian image is rediscovered and brought into contemporary conscience. He sits as a curious sentinel, at odds with his present but acknowledging his history and looking to the future.

ABC TV documentary 2008 featuring Melbourne based sculptor William Eicholtz and his idiocyncratic works. Fast paced and amusing, follow the creation of a commissioned public sculpture and the wacky studio world he works in. This upload is purely for private viewing and not to be sold in any form. It is provided here free of charge. Broadcast quality version available from ABC TV Australia.