A daydreamer, fascinated with objects and artistic pursuits, artist Carol Crawford has always been influenced by her family. The daughter of two Holocaust survivors, Crawford’s Jewish identity is integral to her work.
This shines through with her latest sculpture, Rivkah, which has been named a finalist in this year’s Woollahra Small Sculpture Prize.
Rivkah, a very personal sculpture, was hand carved over several months from late 2019 to early 2020. What’s fascinating about Rivkah is the change in the stone as the daylight changes, much like, Crawford says, our own moods.
Carved from Italian alabaster, Crawford said Rivkah conveys a feeling of soothing, softness and nurturing.
“Rivkah was inspired by a feeling of warmth, nurturing, compassion and love,” Crawford explained.
This year is the 20th anniversary of the Woollahra Small Sculpture Prize which makes the nomination even more special for Crawford.
“It’s the biggest thrill,” she said. “It is a very prestigious sculpture prize which has a long history and is also very highly contested.”
The personal nature of the sculpture all comes down to her family history.
“I name my sculptures using ‘family’ names, family friends of my parents (my so-called ‘aunts and uncles’ as we had very few surviving relatives).
I also use Yiddish names that I feel connects with a particular sculpture,” Crawford explained. “Rivkah was one of my relatives on my father’s side, and is also my daughters’ Hebrew name.”
Works by the 52 finalists, which were selected from a record 844 entries, are in the inaugural exhibition at the new Woollahra Gallery at Redleaf which opened this week.
The 20th Woollahra Small Sculpture Prize is open to the public until December 5, 2021.