Teachers are key to the atelier learning experience. Several of our staff are former top students of Tom Bass. All our teachers have a wide range of experience and knowledge of techniques and above all, the ability to encourage and guide students to achieve their goals.
Teachers take all term classes as well as selected Workshops. Other special workshops are given by guest sculptors with established practices in their specialist field.
Karen teaches the Monday EVE Workshop, Saturday AM Workshop and the ‘Sculpture In a Day, Soapstone Carving Workshops’.
Karen began sculpture at the original Broadway Studio with Tom Bass, which provided a rich learning environment and where she was drawn to the wonderful shapes and forms of the life figure. Whilst looking after and bringing up her young family, Karen attended many workshops and Life Studies with Tom Bass at Broadway and then from 2003 at the Erskineville Studio, where she began exploring public sculpture.
During this immersive sculpture period for Karen, a number of commissions were produced. These commissions included, working as one of a group of sculptors led by Tom Bass, to create a public sculpture ‘The Rainbow Serpent’ for Erskineville Public School. Following this was another group commission with Cootamundra Council, Australian Cricket Captains Walk (Jubilee Park, Cootamundra). Karen completed two busts of Australian Test Cricket Captains – Jack Blackham and Bill Brown. These busts were sculpted using historical references and researching reference materials to capture their period features.
In 2011, Karen completed a commission for Holy Cross College Ryde, a small Celtic Cross, which was cast, multiplied and then displayed in each of the school’s new class rooms. In 2015 Karen was then commissioned to scale the Celtic Cross to 1.4 m for the new Learning Centre at Holy Cross College Ryde.
Karen was accepted in the 2012 TBSSS Emerging Sculptor Program. This was an intensive and immersive year of studio work, mentoring and producing work for an end of year group exhibition.
Karen continues to make sculpture from her home studio and also teaches workshops at TBSSS.
Wendy Black is a senior teacher at the Tom Bass Sculpture Studio School and teaches the Wednesday AM and Wednesday PM classes. In Term 3, 2022, Wendy will also be teaching the Thursday AM and Thursday PM classes.
Wendy divides her time between teaching commitments, sculpture commissions, group exhibitions and family. In recent years Wendy has been a finalist in a number of sculpture prizes including North Sydney Art Prize 2015. She has been awarded the People’s Choice for her wire critters at Sculptures at Killalea, Sculpture in the Garden and Harbour Sculpture. Wendy has contributed to a number of public commissions including the Australian Cricket Captains’ Walk (Jubilee Park, Cootamundra) and Sir Don Bradman for the Sunbury Art Project, Hume Council, Victoria. Her latest commission is for University of Queensland of Margaret Mittelheuser, alumni and benefactor.
Wendy has been the curator of Clara Street Gallery, an intimate space within the Tom Bass Sculpture Studio since 2014. She has also been on the Tom Bass Prize team for 2016 and 2018 and site curator for both exhibitions.
As a collaborator on ongoing projects with the Tom Bass Sculpture Studio School, Wendy brings understanding and experience when engaging with the needs of the student, client and community.
Christine has been teaching at Tom Bass Sculpture Studio School since 2012, she teaches the Tuesday EVE and Wednesday EVE classes.
Christine was increasingly drawn to the world of painting, drawing and sculpture after earlier having followed a professional path. She experienced 3 months in Sienna, Italy, studying painting and language then gained a diploma from the Julian Ashton Art School in Sydney and studied at the Warringah Print Workshop . In the 80s and 90s, she then came under the tutelage of Tom Bass doing his master classes in sculpture and focusing on the life study and she continued study with Tom until his passing in 2010.
In recent years, Christine has completed numerous sculpture commissions, including portraits.
Her work was selected as a finalist in the Inaugural Tom Bass Prize for Figurative Sculpture.
She became involved with the running of the Tom Bass Sculpture Studio School, when it incorporated in 2003. She has contributed to the curation of several exhibitions at the TBSSS Exhibition Space and organised the Annual Studio Open Day for a number of years.
Christine feels indebted to Tom Bass, particularly in that he passed on a respect for sculptural tradition and the knowledge and the understanding this brings. Tom’s work dealt intensively with the human condition in all its forms but he was always aware of the impact of change. This resulted in an intriguing confluence of the traditional and the modem in his work.
Christine is interested in exploring basic, familiar forms from an ‘abstract’ viewpoint in her sculptures.
Her own work currently features cement casting and also assemblage and she is able to offer this way of working to interested students.
Ingrid Morley has been a special guest teacher for a number of years at TBSSS. In 2022, Ingrid will be teaching the Term 1 Life Study and a Life Study intensive in Sep / Oct.
Ingrid, was a student at the TBSSS for close to three years towards the end of the 80’s, this atelier style training in the “Life Class” then formed her early philosophy as an artist – “ to develop an endless library of possibilities, where poetry and engineering meet in a timeless dialogue”. As director of Ingrid Morley Sculpture Studio from the late 1990’s and lecturer of Sculpture with the Sydney University’s Centre for Continuing Education for 15 years, Ingrid now has a workshop based near Jenolan Caves in the Central Tablelands of NSW.
Ingrid was awarded an Australia/China Council residency for Sculpture in 2006 and a Travelling grant for the same year, this was a major marker in a shift in Ingrid’s work which combined her traditional art making practice with a contemporary amalgamation of poetry and unusual materials. In 2011 she received a Highly Commended for both work in an Urban Environment, Powerhouse Museum, Sydney and at the University of Western Sydney’s Sculpture Award Exhibition. In 2014 she won the Public Acquisition Prize in Forbes, NSW, re-engaging the public with the burnt out site of the old Forbes Hotel and The North Sydney Major Award for her sculpture “Lost and Found” in 2015 and completed an Artists in Residence at Hill End, part of a Bathurst Regional Gallery’s initiative, in the same year. Since 2015 Ingrid has completed a large outdoor commissioned work for Columbia Aged Care in Oberon, regional NSW and won numerous awards for her work since, including the Swell major award for sculpture in Queensland, and Harbour Sculpture in Sydney in 2017.
Ingrid has featured in Solo shows in Australia, China and France and featured in the well-known Sculpture by the Sea, Bondi exhibitions for many years, amongst group shows in regional Australia and Defiance Gallery, Sydney.
Ingrid is represented by Defiance Gallery, Sydney
Arielle has been a teacher at TBSSS since 2019. She currently teaches the Thursday EVE class.
Arielle primarily sculpts the figure in clay and plaster, but also enjoys working in resin and glass. Her work is an examination and celebration of the human form and the potential for emotional expression inherent in the figure. She was a finalist in the Tom Bass Prize for Figurative Sculpture in 2018, and has also taken part in various group shows at the Clara Street Gallery.
Arielle initially trained as a photographer, and has studied at both the National Art School, where she completed her undergraduate degree, as well as Sydney College of the Arts, where she obtained a Masters of Fine Art. She also has a Diploma in Art Therapy and works as a florist.
Jenny Pollak has been a Life Study guest teacher at TBSSS since 2017. In 2022, Jenny will be teaching the Life Study in Term 2 and 4.
Jenny is a full time practising artist working primarily in sculpture, photography and video installation. She has held many one person shows and taken part in numerous group exhibitions and artist residencies.
In 2009 she received an Australia Council New Work Grant, allowing her to create several new bodies of work as Artist in Residence at the Royal Botanic Gardens.
In 2011 she won the Facade Project, a National Public Art Award at the Visual Art Centre, La Trobe University, Bendigo; and the People’s Choice Award in the exhibition Lovelace, at the Powerhouse Museum. She has also won the Hunters Hill sculpture Prize twice and the Fairfield City Festival of the Arts sculpture prize three times.
In 2011, the National Gallery of Canberra acquired her ceramic work New World Order – Terra Australis.
Between 1999 and 2002 Jenny taught life sculpture at the Workshop Arts Centre, Willoughby.
Monika Scarrabelotti has been teaching at TBSSS since July 2018. Monika teaches the Thursday AM and Thursday PM classes, although is taking Term 3, 2022 off to travel overseas. Monika also teaches the Life Study and Life Drawing classes at TBSSS.
Monika began teaching with the sculpture department at the National Art School in 2017. She received a Bachelor of Fine Art in sculpture at NAS in 2013 and recently completed the Masters of Fine Art program at the same school. Specializing in the figure, Monika has spent the last few years fine-tuning skills in traditional and contemporary techniques of clay modeling, ceramic sculpture, mold making and casting.
In the years between studying Monika spent substantial periods of time traveling in Europe and Asia to develop her artistic practice and pursue a further understanding of art history and sculpture around the world. During her travels in 2015 she participated in land art and sculptural installations in Berlin, Germany for various art, music and lifestyle festivals. In early 2017 Monika was selected as one of eight finalists in Gosford Regional Gallery’s Emerging Art Prize, resulting in a huge debut solo exhibition titled The Sensuality of the Sculpted Figure.
In September 2017 she participated alongside high profile artists such as David Eastwood, Alan Jones and Robert Hague, in the unique and exclusive exhibition 9 Hours Underground. Curated by artist agent Kate Smith, the exhibition was held deep beneath the Sydney Opera House, in a beautiful and atmospheric cave.
Monika’s work was received with huge enthusiasm and sold out in the first night at the NAS Post Graduate Show in November 2017. In December 2017 she was invited to participate in a ceramics residency with Art Est in Leichhardt, resulting in the exhibition Future Masters.
More recently Monika was accepted as a finalist in the 2018 Tom Bass Figurative Sculpture Art Prize, where she also taught several life drawing classes amongst the sculptures in Juniper Hall. Other highlights of Monika’s budding career include working with sculptor and lecturer Jim Croke on a recreation of Rayner Hoff’s destroyed sculpture The Crucifixion of Civilisation (originally intended for the Hyde Park War Memorial) for the Rayner Hoff: Art and Life exhibition and book launch in early 2017.
When not teaching Monika devotes her time to working in the studio. Influenced by neoclassical sculpture, and the tumultuous works of Rodin, Monika’s sculpture is an exploration of sensuality, emotion and the human condition.
Michael was a senior teacher at Tom Bass Sculpture Studio School from 2000 – 2021.
Originally trained in Architecture (University of Sydney) then graphic design (National Art School), Michael spent ten years working as a corporate and freelance graphic designer before going into art education, teaching high school art for over twenty-five years at the prestigious Saint Ignatius¹ College Riverview. Concurrently Michael taught life drawing for over ten years (Chatswood College) as well as the life study at TBSSS, combining his love for teaching, drawing as well as form.
He was awarded Masters in Art Education (UNSW. Hons.) in 1997. In that same year he commenced study under Tom Bass
Michael is a figurative sculptor. He has worked professionally as a sculptor since 1998, exhibiting annually and completing several important community commissions: St Leonard¹s Church, Sydney (Lectionary); Saint Ignatius¹ College (various relief and free-standing sculptures in the Chapel); the Rainbow Serpent for Erskineville Public School Sydney (in collaboration with the Tom Bass Sculpture Studio). Most recent commissions include portraits of the Australian Cricket Captains Walk (Jubilee Park, Cootamundra and Sunbury Victoria); Matthew Talbot for St Vincent de Paul Society (Nowra); Mary MacKillop Church (Arncliffe) and Charles Borromeo, (Ryde).
Daniel Dominguez is a figurative sculptor, modelling chiefly in clay and casting into plaster and bronze. Following a formative training under Tom Bass in the 1990s, he went on to work in the tradition of his beloved master, completing civic sculpture for community organisations across the country (for much of the last 30 years). In addition, Daniel has exhibited his bronze editions extensively through commercial galleries and is often in demand for private commissioned work, most notably portrait sculpture.
In recent years he has also set up a drawing school, believing drawing to be the essential grammar behind the visual language of sculpture. Daniel has taught on and off at TBSSS for a number of years, most recently he taught on the workshop program, 2016 – 2018.
Bernice Lowe’s artistic practice spans over twenty years with study undertaken at the Tom Bass Sculpture Studio School, Julian Ashton Art School, Sydney Community College and the Red Cedar Workshops.
In 1989 Bernice Lowe discovered Tom Bass and his Sculpture School, Tom’s “ l’atelier” studio school was then situated in Broadway. The meeting was a pivotal moment igniting Lowe’s passion for sculpture. She studied under Tom for several years and then went on to become a teacher at TBSSS in 2005 until December 2018, when she relocated to Canberra. Bernice now divides her time between sculpture and a busy acupuncture clinic.
She has a deep appreciation of classical sculpture; it is from this discipline that Bernice finds inspiration for more abstract and contemporary sculptures. Rhythm, gesture and movement are dynamics expressed in Lowe’s sculptural works. Her work explores the sublime and haptic world of form and harmony, her sculptures invite the eyes and the senses in from the mundane to stop, linger a while and to just enjoy……
BeomJin (BJ) Kim
BJ commenced as an assistant and casual teacher at the Tom Bass Sculpture Studio School in 2016.
In 2005, BJ left studies in architecture at the University of Sydney when he discovered Tom and the magic of the School, being particularly drawn to the tactile and emotional aspects of sculpture. He has been studying and making sculpture under Tom (2005-2009) and his fellow teachers since that time. In 2012, BJ participated in the School’s Emerging Sculptors Program and in 2016, he completed a Masters of Studio Art at the University of Sydney, a course focused on contemporary art practice.
BJ has completed a number of commissions, including a bust of Herbie Collins for the Australian Cricket Captains Walk (Jubilee Park, Cootamundra) and “flying horse” a kinetic work for the Meringo Stud Farm. BJ’s work “do Geese see God?” was a finalist and highly commended in the 2009 Waterhouse Natural History Art Prize.
Whilst maintaining a love of the life study and the classical tradition, BJ enjoys working across genres and media. In his recent works, he has been exploring sculpture that plays with the nature of energy.