Having been to all of the Sculptures by the Sea Cottesloe exhibitions I thought I might be a bit jaded by now. Who was I kidding? As soon as I rounded the corner on the morning of the launch and saw the TV crews setting up the same giddy feeling kicked in.
In the shade of the Cottesloe Beach pine trees the morning began with a welcome to country by Richard Wally, who reminded us that ‘respect in our culture is our greatest asset’ (I hope I spelt your name correctly).
Founding Director David Handley OAM explained that 13 years on the exhibition ‘is now a teenager’ and ‘one of the largest free to public open air art exhibitions in the world’. Like those before it, this year is a truly international affair with artists from China, Finland, Czech Republic, Japan, South Korea and New Zealand alongside Australian artists including over 30 WA sculptors.
The first award went to Green Life by Milan Kuzica from the Czech Republic, it was made from oak and coloured wood. Given Perth’s love of a nickname I’m fairly sure it won’t be long before it’s referred to as ‘the asparagus’ or maybe it’s just me (sorry Milan, I mean it as a term of endearment).
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The second award made possible by Rio Tinto went to the Column of Sound by Harsha Vardhan Durugadda from India, who almost missed out on receiving his award. In his speech he explained that he was ‘just walking past’ when ‘someone told me I should hang around’. It was an absolute delight to see his raw excitement. When I finally found this one at the top of the beach I over heard some punters referring to it as ‘the mushroom’ … see Milan you’re in good company.
The WA Sculptor Scholarship went to Leaden Hearts by Denise Pepper from WA. Sadly I couldn’t take a photo of her entry as it is situated down on the beach. however this will be rectified on March 15 and 16th when the access mats will be down. If you or anyone you know has ability issues you’ll be delighted to hear the Access Day has been repeated. Last year around 140 wheelchair users were able to get down onto the sculptures on the sand. I for one think this is an utterly brilliant initiative.
If you’re wondering about the photo of Horizon at the top of the page, it’s my pick for EY People’s Choice Prize along with Untitled Coral by Alessandra Rossi, which is inspired by coral bleaching. The little girl was constantly surrounded by school children all working out if she was taller than them. Big Boy by Zadok Ben-David also seems to be proving popular.
For more photos go to The Ponder Room.
After four hours on the beach I finally made my way home and as I wrote this post I pondered about some tips that would make it easier for you:
- Go early and have breakfast you’ll need the sustenance to get though all 78 sculptures;
- Buy a catalogue;
- Make sure you check out the smaller sculptures inside as well;
- Make sure you place a dollar or two into one of the donation bucket.
- For more information go to Sculptures by the Sea