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Thursday, 27 June, 2002, 12:42 GMT 13:42 UK
Winning sculpture on display
Benedict Carpenter with a model of his sculpture
Benedict Carpenter with a model of his sculpture
The winning work of the first Jerwood Sculpture Prize has been unveiled at Witley Court in Worcestershire, home of the Jerwood Sculpture Park.

Universal Object, by 26-year-old Benedict Carpenter, was unveiled on Thursday.


It could be an elephant or an ant

Benedict Carpenter
The park was officially opened in 2000 in association with English Heritage. One of the objects of the 20,000 prize was to commission a sculpture for the site.

Mr Carpenter's large bronze sculpture is is one metre high and nearly three metres long.

It is an ambiguous figurative form inspired by the famous ink blot Rorschach tests designed to trigger associations in psychological experiments.

Sketch of Universal Object by the sculptor
Carpenter has sketched how he sees the work in the park
The form of the sculpture is intended to draw on the individual associations of the viewer, but the artist believes it refuses to settle down as one specific object or another.

He has said "it could be an elephant or an ant", and has cited a number of other potential sources for the form, including marine biology and Hans Bellmer's Surrealist dolls.

Mr Carpenter was the youngest of the eight sculptors shortlisted for the 2001 prize, which was open to artists under 35.

Commission

He studied sculpture at Chelsea College of Art and the Royal College of Art, from which he graduated in 1999.

He completed a public commission in New York State in 1999, and was represented in the Natural Dependency exhibition at the Jerwood Space.

The judges for the 2001 prize included the Curator of the Jerwood Sculpture Park Rosemary Barnett, Peter Murray, Director of the Yorkshire Sculpture Park and Glynn Williams, Professor of Sculpture at the Royal College of Art.

For the 2002 competition, which will be open to any sculptor who has graduated in the past 15 years, the prize money has been increased to 25,000.

See also:

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