Brothers by design

Orange sculptors get ready for Sculptures in The Gardens

Life & Style
Carl and Eden Plaisted with their just painted sculpture, Flux, which will be on display at Sculptures in the Garden at Mudgee.

Carl and Eden Plaisted with their just painted sculpture, Flux, which will be on display at Sculptures in the Garden at Mudgee.


Eden and Carl Plaisted grew up on a dairy farm in the Adelaide Hills. Now the country NSW artists have a business named in honour of a cheeky cow.


IT WAS, by any measure, a gamble.

After a holiday in Bali, the Plaisted brothers packed up their lives in Sydney, bought a house in Orange ... and started designing high-end sculptures.

But they didn't forget their roots in the Adelaide Hills of South Australia: their business, 908 art & design, is named in honour of dairy cow 908 from their childhood - a free spirit known to wander and seek out greener pastures, sometimes even on the other side of the fence.

"It's all happened rather quickly," said Carl, who conceded luck had played a part in their success since they moved to Orange 18 months ago.

"We never expected to be so established at this point.

"We thought we would be selling our designs at markets and the like to get our name known for quite a while before being featured in a gallery in Sydney and putting together our first solo exhibition."

The brothers are flat out finalising a number of sculptures for their first exhibition show at M Contemporary gallery in inner-Sydney Darlinghurst, starting October 22.

The exhibition title, Fractus, refers to the notion of "fractal" introduced by French mathematician Benoit Mandelbrot in 1983, which itself comes from the Latin term fractus, meaning irregular or fragmented.

Eden and Carl have drawn on their history in dance (Carl spent 13 years as a principal dancer in the Sydney Dance Company and Eden taught ballroom and Latin American dance) as inspiration for this recent body of work.

Eden's experience in musical theatre training at the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA) and four years at UNSW Art & Design also play into the brothers' designs.

They say rhythm, movement, repetition and dynamism feature heavily in their creations.

The brothers are also interested in the concepts of entropy and regeneration.

They often take broken and discarded material and give it new life or take an item which is meticulously fashioned and char it (a process known as shousugiban).

A recent chance meeting with an Orange local who does building demolitions yielded an array of high quality timbers which have gone on to be used in a number of designs.

Designed and manufactured for Mudgee's Sculptures in the Garden by Eden and Carl Plaisted, Flux is made from mild steel.

Designed and manufactured for Mudgee's Sculptures in the Garden by Eden and Carl Plaisted, Flux is made from mild steel.

Their sculpture at last year's Sculptures in the Garden at Mudgee was made from aged, reclaimed 80-year-old Manly Wharf ironwood from a work site - the product, once again, of a chance meeting.

That sculpture, known as Luopan, sits proudly in the brothers' hallway at their home in Orange.

In among all this, they've also just put the finishing touches to a shiny, geometric sphere-type sculpture (called Flux) which has been accepted for display at Sculptures in the Garden at Mudgee this month.

Flux, made from mild steel, is covered in ecopoxy sealer, which gives it its shiny silver finish.

This will be the second year the brothers are among the exhibitors (from across country NSW) at Mudgee's Sculptures in the Garden.

The art event takes place annually in the beautiful vineyards and gardens of Rosby in Mudgee.

With the format being updated this year to comply with COVIDSafe guidelines, the opening event will still be held on the weekend of October 10 and 11.

What's different this year is it's been extended for the following two weeks, closing on October 25, to ensure the number of visitors on site at any one time meets the public health requirements.

Tickets are required for this year's event and are available online at

Sculptures in the Garden aims to give artists an opportunity to exhibit their works and showcase them alongside local, regional, metropolitan and interstate artists, while also going in the running for a number of the acquisition and non-acquisition prizes.

The total prize value for 2020 is more than $50,000 and includes the top prize of $25,000 for the Sculptures in the Garden and Mid-Western Regional Council's acquisition prize.

There are also three new prizes this year: the $5000 Emerging Artist Acquisition Prize; the $5000 Artistic Merit Acquisition Prize, and the $2500 Artistic Merit Prize for Small Sculpture. All of these new acquisitive prizes will be permanently displayed at the new Mudgee Hospital.

Sculptures in the Garden also raises funds through gate entry fees and catering for the NSW/ACT branch of Guide Dogs Australia, a partnership that has raised $160,000 during the past 10 years.

Have you signed up to The Land's free daily newsletter? Register below to make sure you are up to date with everything that's important to NSW agriculture.


From the front page

Sponsored by