Its that time of year again when arty culture vultures venture to the sea in broad daylight, covered neck to ankle from the harmful sun, to experience Sydney’s Sculpture by the Sea. Weather proof installations and sculptures are scattered along the coastal park, the cliff walk, rock ledges and Tamarama beach so all can appreciate large scale public art in the changeable and volatile beauty of the natural coastal environment. Every hotel lobby and resort landscape needs freestanding art in a significant location.
The are many that respond beautifully to, or create a dialogue with the natural setting and others that simply look like an atelier studio conceived gallery piece that has been shipped over from an invited international established sculptor. I am inspired by the former. The early morning fog on the day I went, created eery pics and reduced the contrast and shadows. That is the beauty of this annual exhibition, the time of day and light quality will alter the experience.
Personal interpretation and response to pieces can vary greatly, and I love overhearing others’ observations. For me, a lot of them this year seemed to have a strong environmental or global warming theme. Take the world made of plastic junk washed up on the rocks, the lost iceberg stranded eons from Antarctica or the environmental self-sufficient refugee, green house tents on bamboo rafts above. . . . Or enrich them with your own meaning. The tent one, “nomadic City: Lest We Forget” by Sally Kidall, has such a beauty and strength in it’s stillness, patience and communal-tribe inuendo. I want to return and find them repositioned.
Tombstones, today’s communication technology already dead and buried, ready to be discarded for the latest, will never become one with the earth and rock below, as the irony suggests. The soil directly below this park was once a refuse tip, and beneath that is the same sandstone forming the works. “What Once Was” by Lucy Barker.
A three years old’s “Dream Cloud” of fun.
One of my favourites, “Diminish and Ascend” by David McCracken, so esoterically poetic in it’s many metaphors for life, the self, ego, aspiration, transcendence and enlightenment. I also have a thing for stairs.
Just a simple celebratory form, reflecting all around it and embracing the big empty void above and sea beyond. “The Cheshire Grin” by Matthew Harding. I feel so uplifted by this piece.
Finishing on one of the simplest and incredibly effective, alluring and enthralling ideas. Watching this little upside down world of the ever changing environment beyond, captured for a moment in this liquid filled sphere. Our precious ocean and air momentarily captured inside Lucy Humphrey’s globe, called “Horizon”. A deserving winner of the Helen Lempriere Scholarship award. I could stare at this for hours. Must go back for sunrise or sunset.
Like this? See Burning man
Photos by Justin Condon