CSU student a finalist in national sculpture prize exhibition

Monday 26 Mar 2018

A Charles Sturt University (CSU) accounting student has a sculpture displayed in one of Australia’s most significant sculpture exhibitions.

The Piano Teacher (below) by Ms Hanli Uys (pictured left), a first-year Bachelor of Accounting student in the CSU School of Accounting and Finance in Bathurst, is one of only 45 works on display as a finalist in the Tom Bass Prize for Figurative Sculpture in Sydney.

The Tom Bass Prize is the first Australian national prize for figurative sculpture.

“It's very exciting to be a part of the exhibition, and I’m glad to represent the University wherever I show my artworks,” Ms Uys said.

Originally from South Africa and currently living in Orange, NSW, Ms Uys began studying sculpture in 2010. She completed the Certificate II Visual Arts and Contemporary Crafts course at Bathurst TAFE and studied under Paddy Robinson, Nicole Welch, Ruth Stone and Hui Selwood. Ms Stone encouraged Ms Uys to apply to the National Art School, Darlinghurst, Sydney, where she commenced study in 2014.

Ms Uys explained that the concept for the sculpture arose after she reconnected with her piano teacher after following her studies.

“What began as a technical exercise rapidly morphed into an exploration of the nonverbal dialogue between artist, sitter and viewer,” she said.

“The work is created using a waste mould. What this means is that once the bust is sculpted in clay, it is cast using a plaster mould and both the original clay and the plaster mould are destroyed.

“The clay original is first coated in plaster so that a shell is formed around it. An opening is left at the bottom, where the sculpture stops, and after the original clay is removed from the mould, plaster or anther casting material, is poured into this hole. Once the casting material has set, you remove the mould and finish the sculpture, fixing anything that wasn’t reproduced to your liking.”

On the seeming incongruence of a sculptor studying accounting Ms Uys said, “I need to earn money to support my sculpture practice!

“I would like to continue to exhibit locally, and internationally, and I also hope to start up a students’ Arts Council at the University with the same capacity to support creative and performing arts students as the Sports Council has for sporting students.”

Ms Uys has greater ambitions for her artwork.

“Drawing is a really important part of my practice and something I’ve been doing much longer than sculpture. I think my desire to sculpt really came out of enjoying that observational challenge and wanting to push it into a third dimension,” Ms Uys said.

Ms Uys has exhibited her artwork at the Library Stairwell Gallery at the National Art School and the National Art School Gallery proper in Darlinghurst, Sydney. She has also exhibited extensively in Orange at the Orange Regional Gallery, the Cornerstore Gallery, the Orange Regional Conservatorium, and at The Barracks in Peisley Street, as well as at the Bathurst TAFE graduate exhibition in 2010, and the 2018 Australian National Field Days at Borenore near Orange.

The exhibition closed on Sunday 25 March. More of Ms Uys’s work can be viewed online:




More information on the Tom Bass Prize here: http://www.tombassprize.com/.


Media contact: Bruce Andrews, 0418 669 362

Media Note:

Contact CSU Media to arrange interviews with Ms Hanli Uys.

Photo above: The Piano Teacher (2017), plaster, 26cm x 17cm x 22 cm, photo by Daniel Cooke, photographer.