Tom Bass


Ethos – emblem of a Utopian vision

13th May, 2020

Commissioned by architect Roy Simpson as he was creating Civic Square in Canberra in 1959 , Tom Bass conceived and sculpted Ethos as an emblem of the Utopian vision inherent in Simpson’s confident assertion of Modernist architectural style. In this film, CMAG Senior Curator Virginia Rigney with Architect and Heritage Consultant David Hobbes tell the great story…

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Occasional Prayers

26th September, 2019

During the 80’s and 90’s Tom had a regular practice in meditation.  As a result of this he began to write  poems which were prayers about the everyday challenges he faced.  He began to gather these into a book which he called Occasional Prayers published in 1998. To quote Tom: I began to write my prayers in…

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Who is Tom Bass – film

25th September, 2018

We are delighted to make available a film made about Tom Bass as part of the 2016 Centenary Celebrations This beautiful film was made to celebrate some of the Public Sculptures made by Tom Bass Featured are The P&O Fountain The AMP Sculpture Ethos Civic Square Canberra The National Library Lintel Sculpture The Herald Sculpture…

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Annual Studio Exhibition – Tom Bass Sculpture Studio School

20th September, 2018

The 45th Annual Exhibition of the Studio Welcome to this exhibition celebrating 20 years in Erskineville

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Tom Bass Prize for Figurative Sculpture 2018

25th February, 2018

The 2018 finalists’ exhibition features 45 artists from across Australia – a showcase of representational, abstract, innovative and contemporary works inspired by the human form. Image above: Kym Frame, Women Afoot, Hand made paper, banana fibre, methyl cellulose, perspex LED lights, 240 x 240cm.                       …

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100 year Anniversary

5th December, 2015

Tom Bass’ life is celebrated in 2016 with his 100th Anniversary Memories With a long history of both public sculpture and teaching, Tom Bass has had a significant impact on public art and sculpture education. We would like to hear from anyone who has memories or impressions of the sculptures or the experience of Tom as a…

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Tom Bass Memorial Address 2015

10th April, 2015

Presented by Kim Mahood Now available including Q&A 2015 Tom Bass Memorial Address Reviewed by Margo Hoekstra Kim Mahood’s entrance into Sydney in the early 80’s to develop her art is remembered with a tinge of the romance  akin to another world that you only read about in books about the stories of artists in…

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The Herald Sculpture

25th June, 2014

The Herald Sculpture       The Herald Sculpture – 1956-1959 (copper deposit) Sydney Morning Herald Building, Sydney, NSW   One of Tom Bass’ earliest civic sculptures was the Herald Sculpture which used to be located on the main entrance of the head office on Broadway and has since been lost to public viewing in…

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Tom Bass Memorial Address 2013 goes Live

4th November, 2013

  When Sculpture Bites the building We are please to announce the release of the film of the 2013 Tom Bass Memorial Address with Professor Richard Goodwin Tom Bass Memorial Address 2013             For more films about Tom Bass from the period in 1998 when the school in Broadway move…

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Films about Tom Bass

11th September, 2013

There are several new videos with Tom Bass, and about Tom Bass in production. A recent and exciting development is that the well know documentary film maker Mike Rubbo has edited several films. In one he interviews Tom Bass about becoming and artist Tom Bass becomes a Sculptor In a second film Mike Rubbo interviews him about Teaching Tom Bass-…

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Tom Bass Memorial Address 2013

11th April, 2013

When Sculpture bites the Building Presented by Professor Richard Goodwin Date:     18th June 2013 6.30 pm Venue:   Cell Block Theatre,   National Art School    Forbes St., Darlinghurst Cost:      Free/ Donations welcome Richard Goodwin is a world recognised and multiple award winning Sculptor and Architect.  He is a specialist in art, architecture and urban design and Professor…

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2012 Tom Bass Memorial Address

22nd June, 2012

The second Tom Bass Memorial Address was presented on Saturday, June 16th 2012, at 7 pm by Glenda Cloughley at the ATYP (Australian Theatre for Young People) in Walsh Bay, NSW   Glenda talked about the role of ETHOS  as a focus for the community and about the prophetic role of sculpture as Tom understood…

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Tom Bass Memorial Address

28th May, 2012

The second Tom Bass Memorial Address will be presented on Saturday, June 16th 2012, at 7 pm – by Glenda Cloughley Venue:  ATYP (Australian Theatre for Young People) – Pier 4/5 Hickson Rd, Walsh Bay, NSW 2000. The Topic will be Public Sculpture: its role in engendering creativity in the community The role of public…

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Ethos turns 50

30th November, 2011

A CHORUS OF WOMEN INVITES YOU TO A CEREMONY,  STORIES AND SONGS IN COMMUNITY CELEBRATION OF THE 50TH BIRTHDAY OF ETHOS, CANBERRA’S FIRST PUBLIC ART WORK Stories from Tom Bass’s wife Margo Hoekstra and his friend Glenda Cloughley plus ABC TV news coverage from the stormy unveiling of Ethos on 15 December 1961 In the…

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Sculpture by the Sea 2011

3rd November, 2011

This sculpture has just been installed on Marks Park for the 2011 Sculpture by the Sea. It was fabricated by Lenard Sabol from a model made by Tom Bass in the early 70’s as part of a series of sculptures in which he explored form and material, after a trip to America in 1969. The…

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2011 Tom Bass Memorial Lecture

17th June, 2011

Thank you Deborah Beck for your presentation of the Inaugural Tom Bass Memorial Lecture at the National Art School. The Lecture was held in the historic Cell Block Theatre on June 7 and relayed the history of the the sculpture school from the time of Rayner Hoff through to Tom Bass’ connections with the school…

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Tom Bass Memorial Lecture

21st March, 2011

Deborah Beck will present the Inaugural Tom Bass Memorial Lecture at the National Art School Cell Block Theatre (cnr Forbes and Burton St Darlinghurst) on Tuesday 6.30 pm, 7th June 2011. Tom Bass was a student at the NAS as part of the post WWII Commonwealth Reconstruction Scheme. He studied sculpture under Lyndon Dadwell. This…

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Tom Bass Inaugural Memorial Lecture June 2011

20th February, 2011

The Tom Bass Sculpture Studio School was founded by Tom in 1974 on Broadway in Sydney. The school moved to Erskinville in 1998 and continues to teach the fundamentals of sculpture. Every year around Tom’s birthday there is an Open Studio day. This will be held on Sunday June 5th at the School. In…

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A trip to Orange

28th January, 2011

      Monday 31st January sees Tom’s Ecstatic Head I travel to Orange to be part of Sculpture Inside at the Orange Regional Gallery, 4 – 13 February 2011. Now extended by a week to Sunday 20th February 2011. An exhibition of sculpture, works on paper and photographs will be presented by Sculpture by…

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Sculpture by the Sea 2010 Bondi exhibition

7th January, 2011

Tom Bass’ last totemic sculpture is featuring in the Sculpture by the Sea 2010 Bondi exhibition It is (no 62) on the grass platform next to the steps from Mark’s Lane along Mark’s Park. Tom Bass designed People Power in 2007. People power can effect change in our society and win the kind of David and Goliath…

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An Essay on Sculpture by Tom Bass

10th November, 2010

“In Australia there is an abundance of light space. We need sculpture to occupy and define those spaces and reflect our light. This light has been likened to the light of Greece which their sculpture reflected so splendidly. I see Sculpture by the Sea as a positive sign that sculpture will take its proper place in the activities and the dynamic ferment of the life of the whole community….”

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The legacy of Tom Bass…

28th October, 2010

The legacy of Tom Bass lives on in his work, teaching and those who have been inspired by him. Sculpture by the Sea is exhibiting several of Tom Bass’ sculptures during the 2010 SXS Exhibition at Bondi, Sydney. There will be more updates about this at the end of October. The Tom Bass Sculpture Studio School…

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12th October, 2010

6TH JUNE 1916 – 26TH FEBRUARY 2010 “THE MOULD IS BROKEN” After an incredibly productive life as a sculptor, teacher, father, friend and husband, Tom Bass passed away following a brief illness at the age of 93. To his family and friends his passing is a deep loss though he has left us all enriched…

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Tom Bass passed away, aged 94, on 26 Feb 2010

3rd March, 2010

The family has requested donations to the Tom Bass Fund to help promote sculpture, instead of flowers.The donation is tax deductible. Visit for more information.

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Maquette or not ‘make it’

5th June, 2009

See photographs from the exhibition: The maquette holds within it all the design elements needed for the making of a sculpture.  It is like the architect’s or engineer’s drawings which are explicit and detailed and can be used to make the larger construction required. The process of arriving at the maquette includes defining the ideas and…

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Tom bass ~ Maquettes

5th June, 2009

The Board of the Tom Bass Sculpture Studio School invites you to 23 May – 18 july 2009 Wednesday – Saturday, 11am – 5.30pm Exhibition & Birthday celebration Friday 12 June 2009 6-8pm RSVP essential Exhibition talks (FREE ) Saturday 13 June, 1pm and 3pm & Saturday 11 July, 1 pm and 3pm 1a Clara…

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Open Studio, Sunday 19 April 2009, 2-4pm

16th April, 2009

Bring the family and watch sculpture students in action as you explore the magic behind one of Sydney’s most unique venues; the Tom Bass Sculpture Studio School. Listen to artists and students talk about their works while visiting the first exhibition 8 Sculptors at The Exhibition Space.  Meet Raymond Hawkins of Into the Blue Creative Walks at…

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Tom Bass AM honoured by The University of Sydney

16th April, 2009

Tom Bass AM, Australia’s most prolific public sculptor was honoured at a graduation ceremony in April by The University of Sydney with the degree of Doctor of Visual Arts (honoris causa). Awarded in recognition of Bass’ excellence as a sculptor and teacher it marks a fifty-six year association with the University. The University holds three…

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Bass in conversation at the National Library of Australia

8th September, 2008

The end of August (2008) represented a hectic time for Tom Bass as he attended the official unveiling of Cootamundra’s Captains’ Walk (Stage II) and Bradman Dinner.  In between the events Bass presented a fascinating discussion on the National Library ‘Lintel Sculpture (1967-68) commissioned by the National Capital Development Commission (NCDC) for the National Library of Australia. With Genevieve…

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Open Studio & Tom Bass Birthday celebration Sunday 15 June

2nd June, 2008

The Tom Bass Sculpture Studio School will be hosting its annual OPEN STUDIO on Sunday 15 June from 1pm – 3pm.  Tour the Sculpture School and talk with students as they work on their latest projects.  From 2pm, Tom Bass will talk about the history of the Sculpture School and how it has evolved over…

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Tom Bass in conversation at the National Library of Australia

2nd June, 2008

To mark the 40th Anniversary of the National Library of Australia’s building, Tom Bass and Genevieve Carson will talk about Bass’ role in creating one of his most important works ‘Lintel Sculpture’ for Canberra’s (then) first prestige building. View archival film footage of the monumental 70ft (21.3metre) copper sculpture in progress along with photographs from Bass’ private collection. Event…

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Annual Student Exhibition 2007

7th December, 2007

Join Tom Bass for the 34th Annual Student Exhibition on Sunday 9 December from 6-8pm at the Tom Bass Sculpture Studio School (1A Clara Street, Erskineville).  To be opened by distinguished Sydney sculptor Orest Keywan.  

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Report from the opening.

3rd December, 2007

The trip to Bathurst was a success with an enthusiastic turn-up at the opening and at the Artist talk. The first thing Tom did when he entered the exhibition was to rearrange the sculpture called Isosceles Abstract and it certainly looks a lot better in this position – very ‘alive’ as Tom said. I would…

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Tom attending the Bathurst opening

29th November, 2007

On Friday 30th November, I will be taking Tom Bass to Bathurst for the opening of the Tom Bass Retrospective at the Bathurst Regional Art Gallery. In November – December 2006 this exhibition was held at the Sydney Opera House over a 6 week period and it is exciting to think this wonderful exhibition will…

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News on

15th November, 2007

The news on will be entered via this blog. We will profile events of interest to followers of Tom’s career, and the Tom Bass Sculpture Studio School, as well as featured works, discussions about issues to do with Tom’s work and other miscellaneous items. We encourage our readers to participate and contribute to the information…

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