BATHURST sculptor Stephen Hogan has achieved immortality in Mudgee after winning the major award at the town's Sculptures in the Garden competition.
More than 270 works were on display this year, but it was Hogan's sculpture, Tribal Totems, that took out the $25,000 Sculptures in the Garden and Mid-Western Regional Council Acquisition Prize.
That means the sculpture will become part of the Mid-Western Regional Council public art collection on the banks of the Cudgegong River in the centre of the town.
Hogan said the win represents a major step forward in his career.
"I built this sculpture specifically for this location and competition," he said.
"It's the largest, most challenging piece I've made to date and I'm so pleased it was well-received and has found a permanent home in Mudgee.
"I wanted to create a sculpture that was a strong reminder that no matter where we stand on the planet, there were people and cultures and gentler footprints here before us.
"We need to respect that and we need to look after it."
Hogan commended the Sculptures in the Garden team for their efforts.
"The Norton-Knight family and their team of volunteers have created an amazing event at Rosby that has become one of the strongest sculpture shows in Australia," he said.
"I can't thank them enough for the opportunity they provide to the sculpture community."