Stephen Ralph’s sculptures invite us to recognise the power of art to take us beyond the immediate concerns of our own existence. As the moral philosopher and novelist Iris Murdoch argued, beauty enables one “to pierce the veil of selfish consciousness and join the world as it really is”. Ralph’s sculptures are the products of taking consolation in the beauty of art and nature. Their honest treatment […] is surely the result of art’s ability to clarify our sense of reality, and to remind us of our miniscule part in it.
Dr Georgina Cole

Stephen Ralph is something of a journeyman in his approach to sculptural practice. Blending working worlds from the trades, art and design history, Ralph has a rich field of references that drive his repertoire unlimited by his extraordinary ability in seemingly all materials and sculptural techniques, from earlier scholar’s rocks loosely modelled in clay supported by hardwood bases of exquisite craftsmanship through to his cast and turned totemic composites in concrete and wood that draw upon the surrealist exquisite corpse and, more recently, his carved marble and cast lead anatomies that resonate as votive offerings for rebuilding the self.

Stephen Ralph (b. 1966, Boorlo/Perth; l. Gadigal Country/Sydney) has had a consistent studio practice since graduating in sculpture from the National Art School, Sydney, in the early 1990s. He has exhibited continuously since then in public, commercial and artist-run-initiatives in Sydney and Melbourne. In 1998, he co-founded Stone Villa Inc, a prominent artist collective and studio complex in Sydney that continues today. He has been represented by The Commercial since 2012.


Key exhibitions

  • Stephen Ralph: Life is long, The Commercial, Sydney, 2021
  • Rock, Paper, Scissors, curated by Catherine Benz, Delmar Gallery, Trinity Grammar School, Sydney, 2019
  • Stephen Ralph: Stardust, The Commercial, Sydney, 2018
  • Stephen Ralph, Installation Contemporary, curated by Glenn Barkley, Sydney Contemporary, Carriageworks, Sydney, 2015
  • Assembly - Contemporary Ceramics (Sarah crowEST, Richard Grigg, Katie Lee, Andrew McQualter, Sanné Mestrom, Stephen Ralph, Jake Walker), curated by Kay Abude, Margaret Lawrence Gallery, Victorian College of the Arts, Melbourne, 2014
  • Figure and Ground, curated by Melissa Loughnan and Jane O’Neill, Utopian Slumps, Melbourne, 2012
  • Rough Trade (Jay Balbi, Adam Cullen, Callum Morton, Stephen Ralph, Tony Schwensen, Rodney Spooner), curated by Jane Gallagher at Plimsoll Gallery, Hobart, 1998


Key readings



Gadens Lawyers, Sydney
State Library of Queensland, Brisbane




» View available works by Stephen Ralph