‘Limitless’ possibilities for Gold Coast sculptor Ian Haggerty

Born in Edinburgh, Ian Haggerty spent half a decade in the British army before he moved with his family to Canada and studied figurative sculpture at the Dundas Valley School of Art. But since 2003, he’s called Queensland home. You will have heard about Ian’s art even if you haven’t heard of the artist behind it.

He’s a well-known and accomplished sculptor with a traditional, realist style working predominantly in bronze, resin, clay polymer and concrete. He’s best known for his new large scale steel silhouette style sculptures, portraying military scenes which embrace the ANZAC spirit and the sacrifice of the fallen.

Ian is the artist behind the well publicist installation at Bond University marking the institution’s 30th anniversary. It’s a 6.5m sculpture in stainless steel that features the names of every Bond graduate since inception.

Ian says the ‘Limitless’ installation is the highlight of his career.

“I am very honoured to have been chosen from a number of other very worthy sculptors,” he said.

“The idea for me was to physically represent / demonstrate the limitless possibilities created by education and the Bond community, by showing that there is no age, gender, race or religious barrier to the educated human mind.”

Ian says that’s why the sculpture has a world globe at its centre with four wings representing the four pillars of learning. It also has all the past students’ names engraved on the wings… over 26,000 of them.

“Each past student sharing in the Bond community, but also reflecting their name and achievements on to the world and sharing in the responsibility that they have to the world and each other,” Ian said.

“As a local Artist, I also felt the whole creation should be kept very local to the Gold Coast, therefore I decided to secure a local fabrication company to undertake the meticulous amount of detail to be undertaken for this creation. I chose Atlas Stainless Supplies for the stainless metal work and Mastercuts Technologies for the name etching, both companies are from Burleigh, it was truly a collaborative effort by all parties.”

Not surprisingly the response from students and the public has been “overwhelming” with people telling Ian the sculpture looks stunning during the day but really comes to life at night, with underwater lights and reflections dancing all around the university’s arch.

While Ian now has eight pieces installed across the Gold Coast, sculpting is Ian’s passion, not his day job; “I only create 2-3 sculptures per year,” he said.

Ian’s been lucky enough to work as an artist around the world, as well as living in Germany, UK and Canada. He says he genuinely believes Australia and in particular the Gold Coast is a very special place to live and work.

“Especially with the Gold Coast having a young and vibrant beach culture,” he said, “which is in direct contrast to the very historical European culture, which has art, sculptures, architecture and age in abundance and all readily available for all to see and interact with.”

“However, over the last ten years or so the Gold Coast has also achieved a certain flair for the arts , the city is growing at a rapid rate and with that growth the beach culture is becoming somewhat diluted, people are now seeing a different side to the Goldie, i.e. a renaissance of the arts on the coast, which is evident by the numbers of art events held annually and the increasing locations for artistic expression.”

Where to see Ian’s sculptures on the Gold Coast:

Don McSween Park, Miami Beach. ‘Sealion and Pup (Sealed with a Kiss)’

Pimpama State Secondary College. ‘Endless Shadows’ marathon runners for new gym building plus Department of Veteran Affairs Commission ANZAC sculptures.

Oxenford State School. Depart of Veteran Affairs Commission for three ANZAC commemorative sculptures.

Bond University | 30th anniversary sculpture ‘Limitless’.

Elsie Laver Park, Mudgeeraba | ’100’ ANZAC 100th year anniversary sculpture for Mudgeeraba and Robina RSL.

This piece was originally published in Art NewsFlash July 2019.

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