Amy Basha is a senior award winning Weekend Notes writer with close to 60,000 article views.
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A celebration of art, sea and sky
Thursday October 18th dawned bright and sunny out at Bondi Beach. It was a perfect day to celebrate the 16th anniversary of Sculpture by the Sea along the Bondi to Tamarama coastal walk, David Handley's brainchild.
Showcasing 113 artists with sculptures from 77 Australian and 36 international artists it's the largest annual free outdoor sculpture exhibition in the world. International artists participate from diverse countries such as Iceland, Japan, Germany, South Korean and the United States.
In search of contemporary slavery documents by Hyeong Taek Chang
In 1997, Sculpture by the Sea was a one day event that has today grown into an international affair spanning over two weeks from October 18 to November 4th. This year over 500,000 visitors are expected to come see the exhibit, leisurely walking along the coastline, enjoying unique sculptures alongside breathtaking natural seaside views.
Don't forget to enjoy the view. View by Dave Mercer
David Handley welcomed the crowd, thanking distinguished guest NSW Premier Barry O'Farrell, the sponsors, the artists and the support of the State government. "It is wonderful to see Sculpture by the Sea flourish because our promising early years were followed by hard times as the previous State government ignored the potential of Sculpture by the Sea and its popularity with the people of this state." Handley finished his speech thanking the volunteers, council and park staff and stating, "People of Sydney this show is for you. Welcome, come along and enjoy."
Premier Barry O'Farrell also spoke of the importance to the community of Sculpture by the Sea, the excellent international reputation around the world the exhibition enjoys and how, "the government works with the community to support good ideas. "
Mayor Sally Betts opened her speech by acknowledging the Eora Aborginal ancestors of the land. She highlighted of the importance of tourism to Waverly, "the cliffs, beaches and parks are the best in the world. David Handley turned this event from a tiny one day event to what it is today, part of our image. People think about Waverly, they think about Sculpture by the Sea. "
NSW Premier Barry O'Farrell at the opening ceremony of Sculpture by the Sea
American artist Peter Lundberg was on hand to received the annual $70,000 Balnaves Foundation Sculpture Prize for his work titled Barrel Roll. Lundberg fashions his primal sculptures by casting concrete into forms dug into the earth. "This is a tremendous honour," Lundberg said as he received his award. "It's just great to be part of this exceptional exhibition. " After the exhibition his artwork will be displayed at the Botanic Garden along side previous winners of the prize. "I'm sure my sculpture will be happy in your garden," he said.
Peter Lundberg spoke about the process of creating his incredible sculptures. He uses nature as his primary inspiration and is always on, "a continual search to understand the beauty that surrounds us. Creating artwork is a very spiritual journey for me; it's something that I feel in my gut." He loves being in Australia, has felt it's a tremendous cultural exchange and takes inspiration here from the sky, the sea and the land.
Peter Lundberg with his awarding winning sculpture Barrel Roll
I spoke with the affable and friendly David Handley after the ceremony and he shared that what he likes most about Sculpture by the Sea is the public response, "the ability the exhibition has to inspire and capture the imagination." Interestingly Handley is not involved in choosing the artists, that is left up to a panel of judges and the criteria for the artists is incredibly open ."They look for creativity, quality, safety and no negative impact on the environment. The exhibition sets the stage for artists to play on," Handley says. "Sculpture by the Sea projects an international image and I'm happy that the world understands what a vibrant, multi cultural and sophisticated city Sydney is. "
Another eye and ear catching instillation is mengenang (memory). Set up at the entrance to Marks Park Tamarama bamboo wind chimes whistle in the air with bird feathers adorning the top of the poles. Mengenang has a very deep meaning; the artists from Cave Urban created the 222 bamboo 'bird scarers' as a reflection on the 222 lives lost in the Bali bombings. The bamboo poles are musically tuned to D Minor, to make uplifiting musical notes that change as you walk through the exhibition. The best time to go through is early morning or late afternoon when there is a gentle breeze.