The little seaside town 10 minutes down the road from me just hosted its 3rd ‘Sculptures by the Sea’ event. It was simply wonderful, and began with sandy shoes scattered in the grass- hands up who hates sand in the house or bed after a walk on the beach? There were dozens of pairs, of all different types of shoes, re-purposed from the local op shops.
The Spring weather was glorious, and it was lovely to just stroll around the parks and break wall, marvelling at the local creativity and talent. I was in such a relaxed daze though that I barely registered any artists’ names, so can’t give credit where it’s due; my apologies.
That big old kangaroo had a good story though: a social worker told the artist she advised angry young boys in her care to take up a kangaroo stance, and send their fury down their tails into the ground behind them (an Indigenous strategy).
My favourite aspect was the emphasis on recycled and found materials being re-purposed; the weaving with discarded nets or fishing line took my breath away (I can barely sew on a button).
There were many pieces I didn’t take photos of, including a giant geometric bamboo installation you could walk inside, but this whimsical line of swimming costumes blowing gently in the breeze was my favourite. Plus that view hey?
Some sculptures were more esoteric or political than literal, and I’m always fascinated at the rationale behind artists’ work; feral cats are a huge problem here in Australia, and while I’m a domestic cat lover, I certainly appreciated these cutout shapes of our native animals, covered in real feral cat fur:
There was a mob of these chicken wire wallabies, but I only captured two; the twist in the bodies really brings them alive for me:
The sizes of artworks varied greatly, and this dingo (obviously made by the same artist as the kangaroo, with old motorcycle parts) was taller than a horse:
Our strained relationship with the environment, plus the future of our entire species on this planet, were constant themes, and it IS hard nowadays as an artist to not reflect on this challenge constantly:
All these sculptures were ‘fish traps’, reminding the viewer that we are on a one-way path to big trouble if we don’t change our ways… my household stopped eating tuna a long time ago, once ’18’ realised that his younger half-brothers may not actually get to eat ANY tuna once they grow up, as all stocks will have disappeared at the current rate of consumption.
And then more beautiful weaving, from giant sails, swaying in the wind beside the river, to tiny baskets, embedded in a wooden shelter in the park:
It was a wonderful outing, with families, couples, and friends strolling around, enjoying the creative display in a delightful natural setting, rather than an art gallery. We could also gaze at the Spring sky, plus the rolling ocean and tidal river- who could ask for more?
I hope wherever you are, you make time to walk in Nature on your weekend, and perhaps find a sculpture park to enjoy? If we do get another chance at life after this one, I’m determined to come back as a sculptor (if I have any say in the matter anyway!)
Which one was your favourite? Here’s mine again, with found plastic & fishing line as embroidery:
In gratitude for visual arts, Spring, and fresh beachside air, G xO