Australia born 1957
Melbourne-based Bruce Armstrong is a painter, sculptor and printmaker. He trained at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, graduating in 1981. Armstrong’s best-known public commission is a colossal 23-metre high version of Eagle – a recurrent theme for the artist – located in Wurundjeri Way, a thoroughfare in Melbourne’s Docklands precinct.
Inspired by the monumental animal sculpture of ancient Middle Eastern and other cultures, Armstrong works primarily in wood, carving massive blocks of red gum or cypress using a chainsaw for much of the process. His manner is expressionist and often his sculpture is painted as were wood and stone carvings in antiquity.
Armstrong’s eagle imagery references Australian Aboriginal mythology and specifically the spirit creator Bunjil who is depicted as a wedge-tailed eagle. Speaking generally, the artist describes his mythic birds, bears and other creatures ‘as metaphors for different states of mind’.