The Tom Bass Prize was created to raise the awareness of figurative sculpture in the general community and also support Australian sculptors – emerging and established. This important and prestigious Prize is a celebration of the human form and its influence on today’s sculptors. The Prize is an acknowledgement of the influence Bass had as one of Australia’s pre-eminent public sculptors.

It is a biennial Prize, first held in 2016 to commemorate Tom Bass AM (1916 – 2010) centenary year.

In John McDonald’s words “No artist has done more to shape the face of public art in Australia than Tom Bass. Both as a sculptor, and as an inspirational teacher of sculpture.”

We do not do it because we are attached to the figurative.  Nor do we do it because it is traditional though we do respect the innate value of tradition...Why is it necessary for us to go to the natural form in such an intense way? Because it is the accumulation of that knowledge of natural form as a primary source of our creative work.  The alternative to that is to imitate the things that others have done, or to follow fashion.” – Tom Bass