Adriaan Vanderlugt was born in the Netherlands and grew up in Canada. Upon graduating from High School in 1962, his art career began in a Graphic Design Studio in Hamilton, Ontario. He exhibited his first sculpture in a juried exhibition in 1970 in Hamilton and won awards in the Ontario Craft Foundation ’75. Adriaan had three alphabet designs accepted in a Lettergraphics International Alphabet Design competition in the USA in 1976.
In 1977, he emigrated to Australia and now lives in the Whitsundays with his Australian wife, Denise.
His first sculpture exhibition in Australia was in Gosford in 1983 and his work has been included in many group showings since. He has also held a number of individual exhibitions. Adriaan was invited to be part of the 1986 ‘Australian Fortnight’ in Dallas, Texas, USA and was a guest artist at the Trans Tasman Wood Exhibition in Sydney in 1991.
Adriaan has been carving bone, stone, wood, marble and metal for over five decades and his sculptures of animals, birds and fish are held in collections around the world. In 1997 he was commissioned to create the furniture for the new chapel on Hayman Island.
For the Centenary of Federation Celebrations in 2001, he created a number of public sculptures for the Mackay Whitsunday Region. His sculptures have been included in four ‘Strand Ephemera’ and two ‘Fringe Ephemera’ Exhibitions in Townsville. He also exhibited two sculptures at the ‘12th Thursday Plantation East Coast Sculpture Show’ in Ballina in 2007. His first entry in the SWELL Sculpture Festival was in 2009 and his sculpture ‘Five White Shorebirds’ was acquired by the Gold Coast City Council and installed at Rainbow Bay in Coolangatta. He has had entries in five subsequent SWELL Sculpture Festivals.
In 2012 Adriaan was commissioned to create public sculptures in western Queensland, with Five ‘Woolbale’ Sheep for the town of Quilpie and a 3.5m Bottle Tree at the Living Arts Centre in Blackall. Then from 2013 to 2018, he installed a group of seven wood wildlife sculptures outside of the Mackay Entertainment Centre.
In 2018-2019 Reef Ecologic hosted a project to install Australia’s first underwater sculptures in the Great Barrier Reef and Adriaan was asked to create two of the six sculptures proposed. A 4m wide Manta Ray was installed at Manta Ray Bay and a 4m long Maori Wrasse was placed in Blue Pearl Bay, both in the Whitsundays.
A private commission in 2019, was to recreate the well known sculpture of the ‘Musicians of Bremen’ for an Animal Rescue practice. This resulted in a 2.8m tall scrap metal sculpture placed at the entrance of the property in Preston, near Proserpine.
As an Art Consultant, Adriaan was helpful in revitalising the Streetscape of Proserpine in the 80’s and 90’s and was involved in creating the ‘Green Room” at the Proserpine Hospital. For six years, Adriaan wrote a weekly Art Column in the Whitsunday Coast Guardian for which in 2005, he received a Mackay Regional ‘Arts-is-in Award’ for recognition of his media coverage of the arts.
In 2003 he was honoured with an Australia Centenary Medal ‘for distinguished service to the arts’.
In December of 2013 Adriaan was filmed for an Episode for the TV Show ‘Colour In Your Life’ hosted by Graeme Stevenson which has since been distributed worldwide.
2018 North East Tasmania Bakhap Award for Sculpture, Finalist 2015-17 Fringe Ephemera, Invited Artist, Townsville Qld 2015-16 Paxtons Portrait Prize, Mackay Qld 2015 AIMS Open Day Australia Institute of Marine Science, Townsville Qld 2013-15-17-18 Outdoor Sculptures, Mackay Entertainment Centre Qld 2013 ART with ALTITUDE Skygate, Brisbane Airport Corporation Qld 2012 Heartland Festival, Invited Artist and Judge, Blackall Qld 2011 Art on Show Awards, Mackay Qld 2011 Ephemera in the Mist, Paluma Qld 2010 Gold Coast Arts Festival, Invited Artist, Gold Coast Qld 2009-10-11-12-13-14 SWELL Sculpture Festival, Currumbin Qld 2008 Arts West, Public Artwork, Longreach Qld 2007-10-12 Percival Portrait Award, Perc Tucker Regional Gallery, Townsville 2007 Thursday Plantation, 12th Sculpture Show, Ballina NSW 2006 Percival Vestments, Perc Tucker Regional Gallery, Townsville Qld 2005-07-11-13 Strand Ephemera, Townsville Qld 2005-07 Mount Gambier Sculpture Symposium, Mount Gambier SA 2005-06-07-08 Whitsunday Boat Show Marine Art, Airlie Beach Qld 2005 Whitsunday Great Walks for the Art + Environment, Artspace Mackay 2001 Coast to Coal Sculptures, Sarina, Clermont, Moranbah, Nebo, Mackay 2001 Whitsunday Centenary of Federation Sculpture Symposium, Airlie Beach 2001 Dame Mary Durack Awards, Queensland Museum, Brisbane Qld 1997-98-99-2000 All Nature Art Exhibition, Mt. Coot-tha Gardens, Brisbane 1996 Ramsar National Wetlands Exhibition, Brisbane Exhibition Centre Qld 1996 GBRUMPA Exhibition, Perc Tucker Regional Gallery, Townsville Qld 1995 Wildlife in Art, Currumbin Sanctuary Qld 1994 Birds, Animals, the Landscape, Art Galleries Schubert, Main Beach Qld 1992-93-94 Wildlife in Art, Queensland Museum, Brisbane Qld 1992 Visual Arts Exhibition, Sculpture Award, Sarina Qld 1991 Trans Tasman Wood Exhibition, Guest Artist, Sydney NSW 1988-91 National Woodwork Exhibition, Melbourne Vic 1988 Whitsunday Focus World Expo ’88, Brisbane Qld 1987 to 2011 Art Whitsunday Annual Exhibitions, ‘Award Winner’ Airlie Beach 1986-88 Grafton House Galleries, Cairns Qld 1986 Australian Fortnight, Neiman Marcus, Dallas, Texas USA 1985-89 Barry Stern Galleries, Sydney NSW 1983 Beyond the Bowl, Bucketty, via Gosford NSW 1976 New Local Art, Flamborough Gallery, Waterdown, Canada 1975 Ontario Crafts ’75 ‘Award Winner’ Niagara and Toronto, Canada 1970 CKOC Radio Art Exhibition, Hamilton Art Gallery, Hamilton, Canada
2018 ‘Langford Reef’ Marine Research Project, Whitsunday Qld 2012 ‘Sculptor in Residence’, Quilpie Qld 2012 ‘Artist in Residence’, Blackall Qld 2009 Villa Botanica ‘Artist in Residence’ Airlie Beach Qld 2008 Peninsula Apartments ‘Around the Pool’, Airlie Beach Qld 2007 Artspace Mackay ‘Nature Transmogrified’, Mackay Qld 2006 Pinnacles Gallery ‘Nature Transmogrified’, Thuringowa Qld 1996 Perc Tucker Regional Gallery ‘Pun Intended’, Townsville Qld 1995 Hayman Island Resort Qld 1995 Chengody Gallery, Airlie Beach Qld 1995 Upstairs Gallery, Cairns Qld 1990 Great Barrier Reef Aquarium, Townsville Qld