Matthew Harding’s design proposal was an eloquent interpretation of the brief, a considered response exhibiting technical and thematic complexity.
Trained in the visual arts, construction industries and craft traditions, Harding is an innovative Australian artist engaged in a diverse practice of sculpture, public art and design. He is known for pushing the boundaries of materials and processes, producing sculptural forms in stone, wood, metal, glass and ephemeral media. While diverse in materials and processes, Harding’s works demonstrate a common theme and investigation into the experiential aspect of form and materiality. He creates objects to be interacted with, touched, sat on, objects that reflect and morph; objects which have a vital and poetic relationship to the environment they are in and the people who interact with them. Furthermore, Harding’s work has been noted for an inherent dialectic investigation into dualistic relationships and tension; of growth to decay, strength to fragility, nature to humanity.
In a career spanning three decades Harding has produced a substantial body of work across a wide range of artistic disciplines that includes over 40 significant public sculpture commissions both here and abroad. He has received several grants, fellowships and awards including ‘People Choice Award’ McClelland National Sculpture Survey, 2010; the ‘Helen Lempriere Scholarship’, Sculpture by the Sea, 2010; the ‘Concept and Innovation Award’ The Australian International Furniture Fair, 2007; ‘The Inaugural Studio SEM Scholarship, 2005; Rosalie Gascoigne Award, 2005; Wyndham City Council Acquisitive Award and the ‘Popular Choice Award’ for the Helen Lempriere National Sculpture Award, 2004; an artsACT Creative Fellowship, Canberra Act, 2003, ‘First Prize’ in the Inaugural ‘Outside’ site-specific Sculpture Symposium, Alice Springs, NT, 2001 and, in 1998, Harding was a recipient of the Churchill Fellowship and was a recipient of the McClelland Award in 2014.