New sculpture garden opens at UWS

Date: 17/05/2002

The beginning of a new sculpture garden has just opened at the University of Western Sydney, Hawkesbury campus.

The first art piece, a giant pear weighing around 300 kilograms and made of carved, aerated concrete, has been unveiled for students, staff and the local community to enjoy.

Local sculptor Ms Chris Sadd, from Maraylya, first had the idea for sculptures on the campus because "many other places of significance, such as museums, universities and memorial parks have sculptures", she says.

"I feel that Hawkesbury campus is a significant place so I wanted to create some sculptures to reflect that significance and heritage," Chris says.

"The idea is to have sculptures dotted around the horticulture grounds to represent horticulture in the past and the present. My aim is to complement the existing beautiful surrounds with modern art pieces.

"These objects relate to what horticulture does and are a symbol of what goes on in this area."

A technical officer for the School of Science, Food and Horticulture at UWS, Chris' creative impulses for sculpture were ignited as a teenager. She also completed a local sculpture course a few years ago.

"I've worked here for 10 years and I wanted to give something back to a friendly place that means something special to me. I also thought it would be a great way to express my creative interests.

"I've always been interested in three dimensional art and this is a great way to celebrate our horticultural heritage at Hawkesbury."

The botanical heritage is apparent by the many old trees at Hawkesbury campus - the Washington Navels, Callery pears and the oldest pear tree on campus - the Packham pear tree under which the pear sculpture is 'planted'.

"This pear sculpture is a tribute to the Packham pear tree," Chris explains.

"The Packham tree is 80 years old this year. It's like an old friend that has always been there - our octagenarian friend.

"As the autumn colours form on the tree's leaves, the pear will take on those colours too, so the art will change to reflect the seasons. It's also such a soft, feminine shape - it makes a welcoming sight as you walk into horticulture."

Referring to the sculpture as female, Chris adds, "Now we just need to find a name for her, maybe 'Pearsephone'!"

The sculpture also features a created 'shadow' in opposition to the sculpture in texture, colour and form. Where the pear is smooth, three dimensional and white, the 'shadow' is coarse, two-dimensional and black, and yet the two complement each other and work as a 'pair'.

When complete, the sculpture garden will feature up to a dozen different sculptures created by Chris. Other pieces currently being sculpted include vegetables, seedpods and insects.


Media contact: Suzie Vlaming, 9678 7429 or 0414 308 701, email

Click on for photo of the sculpture unveiling by Centre for Horticulture and Plant Sciences Director, Professor Robert Spooner-Hart and sculptor Chris Sadd.

Click on for photo of the sculptor Chris Sadd.