The 19th edition of Sculpture by the Sea has emerged along the cliffs of Bondi and Tamarama. Since its inception in 1997, the exhibition has come to signal the start of summer, summoning us to the coast and one of Sydney’s most-striking seascapes. Stretching from Bondi to the sands of Tamarama Beach, the sculpture walk includes more than 100 works created by artists from 19 countries.
Each year, works in the exhibition range from the ethereal and oceanic, to the slightly absurd, interactive or dramatic. “We’re looking for really enticing work,” says Dr Michael Hill, one of four on the Sculpture by the Sea curatorial panel. "It’s an outdoor exhibition, and works need to withstand seaside weather conditions.”
The winner of the exhibition’s prize is a spherical corten steel structure by German artist Jorg Plickat entitled Divided Planet. Caitlin Roseby, Matthew Asimakis and Clarence Lee’s half gate is a towering set of mirrored panels, reflecting a vast sky and sea. A giant conch shell entitled Acoustic Chamber by Davin Nurimba and Arissara Reed guards one section of cliff, emitting a deep, echoing ocean sound as the wind whistles through its centre. On Tamarama Beach, The Bottles by Victoria’s RCM artist collective is made up of giant spray bottles that actually spray mist. Sydney based Louis Pratt’s molded coal and adhesive bust King Coal sports a backwards cap as he reclines, arms folded, into the waves.
“The work always exceeds my expectations,” says Hill who has been on the curatorial panel for many iterations of Sculpture by the Sea. “The exhibition evolves each year just naturally, due to the younger artists coming forward. We do try and maintain an age mix, and to encourage the people of tomorrow to be involved.”
Sculpture by the Sea runs until November 8 along the Bondi to Tamarama coastal walk.