The Bernard Noble Sculpture Foundation awarded its inaugural Noble Sculpture Prize to Toby Christian for 'Snowball'.
Toby Christian (b. 1983) studied at the Lincoln College of Art and Design (2002-03) and at the Wimbledon College of Art (2004-07). In 1997, Toby had solo exhibitions at the House Gallery, London and at Kate and Narrow, London and was nominee for both the Idris Pearce and 4 New Sensations prizes. Toby's work can be seen at www.tobychristian.com.
'Snowball' is carved from a block of white Carrara marble. The work aims to address issues such as the temporal aspect of outdoor sculpture, the status of the handmade within contemporary fine art and truth to materials.
'Snowball', like much of Toby's other work, serves to remind us that, in some sense, we are all frequently in the business of creating, making or moulding, even when pursuing the most mundane of activities. Using marble to reference these activities brings them a certain sense of rejuvenation and ennobles the almost generic objects that Toby chooses to sculpt (a snowball, a peeled potato, a pebble, a grain of salt, a rock...). There is something resonant about the surface quality of a stone or block of marble that gives it a certain honesty and integrity: what you see on the outside, you get on the inside. Like a snowball, a piece of marble carries its core right to its surface.
The jurors enjoyed the twin ironies of the freezing of a snowball's fleeting nature in stone and of a snowball set in Italy's sunny clime. The marble snowball sculpture will reference the stone quarries one passes on the way to Colletta and the chiselled medieval rocks from which Colletta itself was built