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Visual arts teacher celebrated on national stage

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Victorian artist and Chisholm visual arts teacher Shane Nicholas has taken out the $15,000 Tom Bass Art Prize 2020 for figurative sculpture. Shane’s life-size entry in the national award is titled Scanned Figure with Arms Outstretched and is based on a 3D scan of his own body. It is made from plant-based PLA plastic derived from corn syrup and was constructed using a large-scale 3D printer, with its distortions caused by errors in the 3D scanning process. 

Shane’s journey into the art world started after he left high school early. The curriculum was not capturing his attention, and he found himself exploring his creative side, focusing on painting.  This led Shane to study a Diploma of Visual Arts and develop fundamental skills in painting, printmaking, sculpture, and design.  

“My time at TAFE are some of the fondest days, surrounded by a community of like-minded individuals, learning fundamental skills, techniques and industry knowledge,” he says. “By having learnt the practical skills at TAFE, it allowed me to hit the ground running in the Bachelor of Fine Arts with a course structure that provides less guidance.”

While working as an exhibiting artist and teacher, he returned to university to complete his Master of Fine Arts. “I needed to re-connect with education and sought out the connection of people with common interests that allows for the generation of ideas.”   

During his Master’s degree, Shane produced a collection of works that includes Scanned Figure with Arms Outstretched, which took the prize ahead of artists from throughout Australia.

And his advice to budding artists? “Keep doing, work hard, roll with the punches, and don’t rest on your laurels. If your work is exciting for you, it will be exciting for someone else.”

To connect and follow Shane’s work, visit  

A: PO Box 684, Dandenong
T: 1300 244 746
FB: ChisholmInstitute
INSTA: chisholm_institute 

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