"THE symbolic nature of H2O is pivotal to life and death on the driest continent on earth," said Bonny Hills artist Steve James of his entry to Aquasculpture.
The theme of the sculpture competition calls for artists to reveal how the imprint we leave on our earth will change the world our children live in.
The competition and Water Week (this week) aims to educate the community on how our everyday activities are impacting on our environment.
The exhibition is also part of Confluence - a month of public art across the Hastings.
Steve entered Aquasculpture two years ago with a profound piece showing a mermaid resting in the palm of an aquatic hand. She had a net full of bottles and refuse tangled around her tail.
Steve said H2O reflected the chemical symbol and shows a live fish, a dead fish revolving around water/oxygen.
Steve began his artistic career some 28 years ago. School wasn't one of his strongest points and a friend told him the local community hall was running free pottery classes.
"I went down there and threw some clay and really got into it," Steve said.
"I did my apprenticeship at a gallery in Victoria. What I don't know about art keeps me going. Being able to create something that's not been done before in form or colour."
Steve has Bonny Hills Pottery and is soon to open his own gallery locally. He produces functional pottery and sculptures on commission.
"For this year's Aquasculpture work I would like to thank my dad Graeme for all his welding work and John Gemmel of Camden Haven Metal Fabrications for his patience."
Steve can be contacted at Bonny Hills Pottery on 6585 4426.
Aquasculpture was launched at the Town Green Port Macquarie on last Saturday. Works will be on display until this Saturday.
Although Steve's entry didn't figure in the prizes this year (announced Sunday) this year's judge, Anne Ferguson, described the standard of entries as 'amazingly skilful' and wonderful interpretations of the relationship we all have with the environment, and the effects we have on it.
"All of the works I have seen have been totally original. This is just a fantastic exhibition," Ms Ferguson said.
Rick Reynolds took out the AquaSculpture prize for the second year running with his artwork ‘Catch'. He has also recently won a sculptural award at Byron Bay. (More on Page 8)