Matthew Harding was an internationally recognized Australian artist having completed well over 50 major public sculptures here and abroad
Matthew Harding was an internationally recognized Australian artist engaged in a diverse practice spanning sculpture, public art and design. From his workshop in the Central Highlands of Victoria Harding designed and fabricated large-scale works exploring structure, natural geometries and the presence of form in the landscape. His work is inspired by a keen interest in science, mathematics, engineering and a desire to learn through the process of making.
Harding first studied painting and printmaking at the Hunter St School of Art, Newcastle (1984-5) and in 1995 he received his Bachelor of Visual Arts (1st class honours) from the School of Art, ANU, Canberra. His initial trade experience coupled with visual arts training has led to many crossovers in media and areas of practice.
In 2014 Harding was awarded the prestigious McClelland Award for Sculpture for his suspended work ‘Void’. He had been selected as a finalist in numerous national sculpture surveys including the McClelland National Sculpture Survey and Award (2007, 2010, Peoples Choice Award 2010, 2014, 2014 winner); the National Sculpture Prize (National Gallery of Australia, Canberra 2003); the Helen Lempriere National Sculpture Award (2003, 2004, 2006, 2008, Wyndham City Council Acquisitive Award and Popular Choice Award 2004) and Sculpture by the Sea (1999, 2002, 2006, 2008, 2010, 2011, 2013 recipient: Helen Lempriere Scholarship 2010).
Harding had been producing large-scale civic sculpture since 1985 and has completed numerous significant commissions for federal, local and overseas government, corporations, hospitals, universities and public spaces. Harding was currently working on commissions for Miami and Singapore. Recent works include, 8m diameter ‘Pipedream’ for Maribyrnong, City Council; ‘Understory’ for the Old Treasury Office Tower, Perth; a 14m high iconic entry sculpture ‘567’ in Collins St, Melbourne; ‘Seeds of Friendship’ the Australian Turkish Friendship Memorial, commissioned to mark the 100 year anniversary of ANZAC, The Domain, Melbourne; ‘From Ship to Shore’, Newcastle city foreshore; ‘Fruition’ 2x corten steel pod forms situated in Royal Park, Melbourne; the ACT Veterans Memorial (2010) and ACT Memorial (2006) MONA sculptural entrance facade (2011) Hobart, Tasmania.
He lectured at the Australian National University and University of Launceston and participated in cross-cultural symposia and collaborations in Japan, Canada, Cambodia, New Zealand, Sweden and Easter Island. In 1998 he was the recipient of a Churchill fellowship.
Harding’s work is part of several public and corporate collections nationally and internationally, including the National Gallery of Australia; Artbank; Australian National University, ACT; The Boston Museum of Fine Art and Cincinnati Museum of Fine Art , USA; The Royal Collection, England; Inami Sculpture Park, Japan; Vanuatu Parliament, Vanuatu and Wing Tai Holdings, Singapore.