Rio Tinto gifts sculpture to the City of Busselton

25 August 2017

Rio Tinto gifts sculpture to the City of Busselton

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Rio Tinto yesterday formally gifted the 2017 Sculpture by the Sea, Cottesloe Rio Tinto Sculpture Award winning artwork to the City of Busselton.

The 2017 acquisitive award winner, Column of Sound by Harsha Vardhan Durugadda, has been installed at the Busselton foreshore, alongside the previously gifted sculpture from the 2016 exhibition.

As principal partner of the annual exhibition, Rio Tinto sponsors the $50,000 major award – the most generous award for a sculpture in Western Australia. This is awarded to an exhibiting artist and their sculpture is gifted for permanent public display in Western Australia.


Pictured: The Column of Sound on display along the Busselton foreshore.

Unveiling the sculpture this afternoon, Rio Tinto Iron Ore chief executive Chris Salisbury said “As part of our partnership with Sculpture by the Sea, Cottesloe, this is the second of three sculptures that will be gifted to the City.

“We are pleased to be able to extend placemaking opportunities like this to Busselton, Rio Tinto’s largest regional FIFO hub.”

City of Busselton mayor Grant Henley was delighted to receive the sculpture on behalf of the City. “The Column of Sound now has a permanent place in one of the state’s most attractive beachfront locations – the Busselton foreshore.

“The City is proud to signify its ongoing partnership with Rio Tinto with this piece of art work becoming an attractive, artistic feature as part of the Busselton foreshore redevelopment.”

Rio Tinto has committed $900,000 to a three-year partnership with Sculpture by the Sea, Cottesloe until 2018. 

Rio Tinto celebrates ten years of regional FIFO from Busselton in 2017, reflecting the long-term commitment to the South West.

About the sculpture

New Delhi-based artist Harsha Vardhan Durugadda won the prestigious $50,000 Rio Tinto Sculpture Award at the 2017 Sculpture by the Sea, Cottesloe exhibition. The award is the most generous award for a sculpture in Western Australia.

Durugadda’s winning work, Column of Sound, in made of marble and mild steel and stands eight feet tall, The sculpture depicts sound as marble slices stored between two steel hemispheres. The sculpture signifies the idea of translating sound wave into a three-dimensional sculpture. The column was created after recording audio from the vicinity of the sculpture’s site.

The 2016 winning sculpture, Parallel Thinking Space by Dale Miles was gifted to Busselton in March 2017. It has been installed in front of the Busselton library.