The historic donation of a major gift of artworks to the Deakin University Art Collection from leading contemporary artist Andrew Rogers underscores the importance of the University’s philanthropic efforts, according to Vice-Chancellor Professor Iain Martin.
The gift, valued at $3.7 million, is the largest-ever individual donation to the Deakin Art Collection and is the most significant donation of work from a living Australian sculptor.
Mr Rogers is Melbourne-based and has an international following. His sculptures grace many plazas and buildings around the world. His body of work includes 51 massive stone structures which comprise his global ‘Rhythms of Life’ land art project – the largest contemporary land art undertaking in the world.
Professor Martin said Mr Rogers’ generous donation comprises a selection of works spanning 32 years.
“Andrew Rogers is one of Australia’s most distinguished and internationally recognised contemporary sculptors, and he has generously donated to Deakin a combined 88 artworks and seven research items to the value of $3.7 million,” he said.
“This is the most significant gift received by our Art Collection in its 45-year history, and it highlights the importance of Deakin’s efforts to grow philanthropic support at the University. Gifts such as this help us unlock the potential of students, empowering them to make a difference in the world. Our donors enable the creation, dissemination and application of knowledge through their generosity.
“Deakin’s focus on growing philanthropic support must continue to ensure this new gift, as well as the rest of our Art Collection, is preserved for the benefit of the University and its communities for many generations to come. All of us can help the next generation by giving back to the university and its community. Together we can change lives and build Australia’s capacity.”
Deakin’s Art Collection is highly visible across the University’s four campuses and business centres, with more than 1000 artworks on display. Deakin recently held a retrospective of Mr Rogers’ works, and many of the smaller sculptures will soon be on display across the University.
Mr Rogers said he was particularly interested in contributing to the University and helping with the education of future generations.
“There is strong synergy with the ideas and disciplines involved in my work and many facets of University education – mathematics, arts, sciences, philosophy, history and heritage. The intent of giving a major body of sculptures to Deakin is that students for many years will have the opportunity to see and interact with and be stimulated by the forms,” he said.
The gift contains two large contemporary forms which were exhibited in a collateral event to the 57th Venice Biennale in Italy in 2017. They are now prominently exhibited at the entrance to the Deakin University Art Gallery at the Burwood Campus.
A large marble relief called Many Lives and weighing approximately 1 ton, will be displayed as part of the new Specialised Indoor Exercise and Sport Science Teaching building at the entrance to the University. The gift also includes 14 spectacular large-format photographs of his ‘Rhythms of Life’ geoglyphs which document his unprecedented artistic endeavour.
Works from this gift will be on display in the Recent Acquisitions exhibition, showing at the Deakin University Art Gallery from 30 October until 5 December 2019.