Akira Kamada is a sculptor and installation artist whose central concern is the impact of human behaviour on the natural environment, and on our overall social fabric, combined with an artistic respect and reverence for the beauty of natural materials.
Born in Japan in 1955, Kamada studied photography and painting before immigrating to Australia in 1987. While working as a landscape gardener, specialising in contemporary Japanese garden design, he studied ceramics and sculpture, and began exhibiting in group shows and public exhibitions from the early 2000s.
In 2003 he was commissioned by the Art Gallery of NSW to design and construct four contemporary Japanese gardens in conjunction with the Japanese seasons exhibition, and in 2005 he was invited to join Art of Flowers and Art and About at Government House. Over this period however, he began to focus more on creating large sculptures, working mostly with recycled timber. He received a Highly Commended award at the Thursday Plantation 9th East Coast Sculpture Show in 2004.
Kamada first entered Sculpture by the Sea Bondi in 2006 and in 2008, received the Clitheroe Foundation Emerging Artists’ Mentor Program Scholarship. He has exhibited regularly in most major sculpture shows around Sydney and the east coast since then, winning awards at Sculpture in the Vineyards, the North Sydney Art Prize, the Warringah Art Prize, Sculpture in the Glen, the Jervis Bay & Basin Arts Festival, the Killalea Sculpture Show, and Sculpture by the Sea Bondi, as well as being commissioned to create a piece for Scenic World in Katoomba in 2016. He has been a finalist in the Sculpture by the Sea Bondi show six times, and the Cottesloe show four.
His pieces are featured in collections at Thursday Plantation, Western Sydney University (Campbelltown and Penrith campuses), Transfeld Holdings, Sydney Office, the Encounters Sculpture Walk on Granite Island, South Australia, and in numerous private collections in Tokyo, New York, Sydney, Wollombi and Cottesloe. In recent years however, he has begun focusing on more ephemeral, site-specific pieces and installations.
Kamada moved from Sydney to the Jervis Bay area in 2014, where he combines his artistic practice with building a life in the bush. He also enjoys running regular sculpture workshops on his bush property, in schools and at larger sculpture shows.
2020 SWELL ARTWORK – Yura Yura, Akira Kamada
Yura Yura is a Japanese onomatopoeia describing something rolling or floating in water. Our waterways & ocean currents have long been a means of transportation. They facilitated fishing & trade for our First Nations People for thousands of years; more recently they brought explorers, colonizers, immigrants & refugees, & again, trade. Today they provide leisure as well as livelihood. Representing our watery pathways, of the past & present this work is located to allow it to interact with the elements: the sun, the moon, the winds & the salt air.
Come and see for yourself at SWELL Sculpture Festival, Pacific Parade, Currumbin 11-20 September.