Life Balance

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Artist: Ralph Tikerpae
Title: Life Balance
Installed: 1999
Materials: River Red Gum
Location: Wagga Wagga Civic Precinct

Located between the Civic Theatre and the Library, Life Balance depicts a male figure lifting a mermaid in the air. Carved from a single piece of River Red Gum and weighing over three tonnes, the five-metre high sculpture stands out against the cool grey façade of the Civic Centre building.

Initially the sculpture was to represent the connection between the Murrumbidgee River and the Wagga community, however during the making of the work, the concept developed into a broader statement concerning our desire and the constant striving for balance in our lives. Tikerpae’s work strips the object of all unnecessary detail, to paring it down to the minimum and the essential – to reach the essence of human emotion.

Ralph Tikerpae is a Wyalong based artist in regional New South Wales. A sculptor and painter, Tikerpae works with a variety of mediums, however he particularly enjoys working with pre-loved meial and clay. Tikerpae studied in Newcastle, New South Wales before moving out west. Tikerpae revels in the freedom that living on the edge of Mallee country gives him with access to sculptural materials and space.

Tikerpae has exhibited in Orange, Armidale, Wollongong, Forbes, Wagga Wagga and Bondi for Sculpture by the Sea.