Sculpture in the Park

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Forest Birdsong Gary Christian

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Coal Andreas Buisman

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Plume No2 Didier Balez & Paulineke Polkamp

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Nascentias Blades of Grass Sallie Portnoy

It’s a long stretch from November to November for Sculpture By The Sea.  Today I got some mid-session sculpture in the park at the Wollongong Botanic Gardens.  It was good to see some home-grown sculpture and for the first year, well put together. I’m sure it will only get bigger each year as more sculptors get wind.  Anyway, it was a lovely day for it, brilliant blue skies, overwhelming scent of honey, and very few crowds with a spectacular backdrop of Mount Kiera. I love this time of the year.

It was beautiful to capture some nature shots between – spiders hung delicately against the sky, the brilliant green mossy ponds and spears of grass trees piercing the sky – I think Felix Allens work Forests of Ancient Illawarra – his coal laden steel poles felt right – they seem to reference the area, the site and the history in an interesting way.

The Clearing Catriona Stanton

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Path

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Not a sculpture!

Spider

Spider

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Mossy Pond

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Forests of Ancient Illawarra Felix Allen

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Collocation Hale and Farrell

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The Architecture of Diversity: Illawarra 400

It Was You I Saw Up Ahead

It Was You I Saw Up Ahead Tamsin Salehian

 

Into the Future Ralph Tikerpae

Into the Future Ralph Tikerpae

The Illumina-trope David Hashimoto & Gabrielle Bates

The Illumina-trope David Hashimoto & Gabrielle Bates

Solsitice Bench Trent Jansen

Solsitice Bench Trent Jansen

King Coal Louis Pratt THE WINNER

King Coal Louis Pratt

People by the Sculpture by the Sea 2015

Dogs 20151Each year Sculpture by the Sea at Bondi Beach gets a little more crowded. The works hold different people for different reasons. A couple of years back there seemed to be an abundance of animal themed works, another year environmental, lots of big red things, and this year had a distinct people focus. After reviewing an abundance of photos from two trips this year,  more shots for my dogs of Bondi collection and various hit and miss snaps, the ones I really like are the people interacting with the works and even better the people oblivious to the monumental pieces around them.

 

P1050217The walk from Tamarama to Bondi is spectacular, a backdrop of sea and rock. This year two pods of dolphins were launching themselves into the air and spinning on show whilst the crowd moved around the edge. I took a lot of sculptureless shots this year once again.

Here’s a clip of this years winner, Jorg Pickat.

 

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Lost Dogs at Bondi SXS 2013

Red Centre: Carl Billingsley Photo: Clyde Yee

Red Centre: Carl Billingsley Photo: Clyde Yee

The pilgrimage to Bondi’s Sculpture by the Sea is a highlight of the year for me.  It’s not just the sculpture, it’s the surrounds and the people and of course the dogs.  For more than 10 years I’ve been taking snaps and for the last few years my painting pal Jane has allowed me to couch-surf close to Bondi so we can make repeat visits.  It always starts with a late afternoon – the first glimpse of that turquoise water on a usually hot afternoon at Bondi Beach and then we take in each sculpture along the rocky edge -looking out for whales off the coast, snapping photos and talking art.  By sunset we are usually at Tamarama Beach where the sculptures end.  From there we press on even further to beautiful Bronte for an al fresco dinner then returning home exhausted,  for wine, a de-brief and art DVD’s.

by Marielthomas

by Marielthomas

Stephen King's well deserved winning piece Fallout photo Clyde Yee

Stephen King’s well deserved winning piece Fallout photo Clyde Yee

 

 

 

 

 

And in the morning we start again for a whole day this time ending with beer and chips at Bondi.  This year I lost my camera after the first afternoon so all my snaps of Bondi dogs and late afternoon shots are gone. I did get some hit and miss photos on my camera phone so I at least have some but this year I was impressed by others so I’ve decided to share those.  I’ve come to realise there are so many wonderful photographs already out there. I especially love this one of Rex -perfectly positioned under Fritz’s work Dream.

Rex by myeyeinlofi

Rex by myeyeinlofi

Photos of Lucy Humphry’s and Matthew Hardings work have inspired us for next year to ease off on the wine Thursday night so we can catch sculptures at sunrise.   Mmm.. things we do for art! 

Elyssa, who I fondly remember as a sweet girl with a rat -now a fabulous sculptor. Photo Jarrad Seng

Elyssa, who I fondly remember as a sweet girl with a rat -now a fabulous sculptor.
Photo Jarrad Seng

Please visit Sculpture by the Sea site to see more wonderful images by better photographers than me.

My ordinary IPhone photo

My ordinary IPhone photo

Thank you Bert Flugelman a passionate sculptor, a great legacy Photo Clyde Yee

Thank you Bert Flugelman a passionate sculptor, a great legacy
Photo Clyde Yee

David McCracken photo by Clyde Yee

David McCracken photo by Clyde Yee

Matthew Harding The Cheshire's Grin tribute to Bert Flugelman Photo by Stephanie Burns

Matthew Harding The Cheshire’s Grin tribute to Bert Flugelman Photo by Stephanie Burns

by deegee88

by deegee88

by pieces_of_lu

by pieces_of_lu

Big Red Things By The Sea

Quin Sihua: Bubble No5 Photo by Clyde Yee

Quin Sihua: Bubble No5 Photo by Clyde Yee

Ron Robertson-Swann: Inner Sanctum 2011, my photo

Ron Robertson-Swann: Inner Sanctum 2011, my photo

It’s no secret I love Sculpture by the Sea at Bondi and have blogged about it each year. Recently it went on tour to Arhus in Denmark and when I saw this image Bubble No 5 , earlier in the week it reminded me of big red things and blue, blue skies.

Dave Mercer: View TM 2012

Dave Mercer: View TM 2012

It’s winter here in Sydney Australia and after a bout of rain clear crisp skies have emerged.

Chen Wenling: Childhood Morning Cottosloe Photo Clyde Yee

Chen Wenling: Childhood Morning Cottosloe Photo Clyde Yee

Chen Wenling: Childhood Horizon Photo Samantha Burns

Chen Wenling: Childhood Horizon Photo Samantha Burns

Kate Fennell: Wallpapered Photo Jack Bett

Kate Fennell: Wallpapered Photo Jack Bett

Chen Wenlings larger than life figures are always popular with children and can’t help make you smile.  The work here Childhood Morning was stolen (and later recovered) from Cottosloe Beach in Western Australia.

Chen Wenling: Games Photo Jarrad Seng

Chen Wenling: Games Photo Jarrad Seng

These images have inspired me to take a large calligraphy brush, dip it in brilliant red gouache and write their story.

My photo The Nail

My photo The Nail

Kashel Robertson-Swann: Little Lady 2011 Photo Helen Liu

Kashel Robertson-Swann: Little Lady 2011 Photo Helen Liu

David Horton: Jarrett in London 2010 Photo Roger D'Souza

David Horton: Jarrett in London 2010 Photo Roger D’Souza

Philip Spelman: Carmen 2011 Photo Samantha Burns

Philip Spelman: Carmen 2011 Photo Samantha Burns

Philip Harry Koch: Budgie Cottosloe Photo Clyde Yee

Philip Harry Koch: Budgie Cottosloe Photo Clyde Yee

Subodh Kerkar: The Chilly Photo Clyde Yee

Subodh Kerkar: The Chilly Photo Clyde Yee

Sir Anthony Caro: Aurora 2011 Photo Clyde Yee

Sir Anthony Caro: Aurora 2011 Photo Clyde Yee

Dillon McEwan: Car Cutter 2007 Photo Jamie Williams

Dillon McEwan: Car Cutter 2007 Photo Jamie Williams

Haruyuki Uchida: Gravity Circle 2007 Photo Jack Brett

Haruyuki Uchida: Gravity Circle 2007 Photo Jack Brett

Richard Tipping: Go Photo Clyde Yee

Richard Tipping: Go Photo Clyde Yee

The Wingman

Lawrence Hargrave sculpture that sits overlooking Wollongong from the escarpment

Lawrence Hargrave sculpture that sits overlooking Wollongong from the escarpment

Bert Flugelman had a beautiful studio amongst lyrebirds in the rainforest. It was sad news today to hear of this wonderful Australian sculptor’s passing yesterday at the age of 90.  He has left us beautiful works that are part of the Australian landscape.

Bert

Cones at National Gallery of Australia Sculpture Garden

One of my favourites is the work in the sculpture garden of the National Gallery in Canberra that is so familiar. The Australian bush is highly reflected in these wonderful stainless steel forms and people and birds are engaged by their distorted reflections.

Flugelman with Wingman by Guy Warren UOW Collection

Flugelman with Wingman by Guy Warren UOW Collection

His friend Guy Warren had won the Archibald  Prize in 1985 with a portrait “Flugelman with Wingman” and the work hangs in the library foyer at the University of Wollongong, commanding and inspiring.

Guy and Bert shared the wonderful commonality of Jamberoo, the little lush town where I had been only a few days ago with my artist friend.  The majority of his work so solidly metal and constructed had its roots in the organic and the love of the bush.

Tetrapus from Bondi Sculpture by the Sea

Tetrapus from Bondi Sculpture by the Sea

The Dogs of Bondi

Brett Whilteley drew 15 great dog pisses of Paris.  Sculpture by the Sea at Bondi had the tell-tale mark at the base of the odd sculpture.

For me, it’s part of it. The furry critics decide the fate.  Each year I photograph dogs at the event. The dogs of Bondi are unique – there are the walked variety and the loose variety. Both have their merits.

I think I see them a bit like the Dog Children of San Francisco, maybe drawings, maybe a series, maybe not.

Either way I like the fit between dog, sculpture and owner, it’s just another aspect of the event that makes it unique.

Art Clinging to the Edge


Quite some time ago I read a book Edge of the Sacred by Dr David Tacey on the Australian identity. How we all cling to the edge but our hearts yearn for a connection to the centre, the desert.

 

Not this weekend. It was Sculpture by the Sea at Bondi 2012 and the Central Desert seemed a world away.

Ironically the first work approaching from Bondi Beach was a collaborative Aboriginal work   – a giant crocodile constructed from ghost nets and it seemed to set the tone for this year which hosted a menagerie of assorted creatures.  The same collective Ghostnets Australia, also produced the white dog.

Rod McRae’s The Tent of Wonders delivered a message of our treatment of the planet poignantly displayed, carnival-like for our amusement and terror.

 

The sculpture interspersed with pets, joggers, children and art critics ( the photo below in no way suggests this is an art critic) also attracted the wildlife and crows protested themselves over the placement of foreign shapes in their world. The immensity of the works were quickly dismissed by a sudden spout and a flick of a massive white  flipper of a whale just a hundred or so meters away. A mother and baby danced around the headland and left heading south like us to Tamarama Beach.  Not far from that spot away from the sculptures was another artwork, a giant carved whale (or maybe shark) etched into the stone by the original owners of this land on the edge of the cliff. No marker or attention drawn in order to keep the sanctity of the work and this site protected.

 

A reminder of our place in the world, clinging to the edge.

 

 

Shaking Off the Sand

This is now my third post about Sculpture by the Sea Bondi.  I thought I’d just about got it out of my system by now but once again serendipity takes over.  It is a tenuous link between the thick & sparse landscapes of JR Walker, Maitland and old beach chairs but that’s what happened.  It continues to happen all the time.

It began with a proposed trip to Maitland Regional Gallery to see John R Walker. The lack of suitable accommodation meant the trip was then turned into a sculpture by the sea 2 day event. I’ve been at the Sculpture by the Sea for almost 15 years. There is nothing harder than choosing a favourite. The difficulty comes from a variety of reasons – Bert Flugelman, Sir Anthony Caro, Stephen King, Dave Horton, May Barrie names that ooze sculpture, masters of their materials so varied and then the small unobtrusive works that connect with place so well. For me that was Lucy Barker this year and her webbed benches.

It reminded me of Aunty Bette who would paint her toenails bright red on a banana lounge, while sipping fluffy ducks and eating red-wrapped Nestle’s chocolate. Days of childhood memories where shorts had pom-pom fringing. The work was titled “Sea Change” and the smell of my slapped on sunscreen and salty Bondi breeze brought those days closer.

Today I stumbled across Lucy Barker’s website by accident. I wanted to thank the folks at Maitland Regional Gallery for the info on JR Walker. There I saw an exhibition coming up for Lucy’s work.

Say “AAargh…..!”




Yesterday I blogged about sculptural pieces in Sculpture by the Sea at Bondi.  Gradually my attention and photos turned from sculpture to the people. What an amazing event that brings people world-wide, free and is sometimes the only interaction with art. People that would never admire the work by going to a gallery, suddenly are looking for angles to take the right shots -rock-hopping to get the light or reflection.

For me it was the cultural aspect. Looking at works in isolation is only half the story.  It was obvious that works with people or animals drew in the bulk of the crowd. We humans want to see other humans. I wanted to photograph humans looking at sculptures that looked like humans.

It was the cultural mix that was so impressive about this year. The royal couple have taken it to Denmark and I think that has expanded the mix but the fact it is free, families can bring children and a swim at the end of it all, or in our case a cold beer at Bondi Pavillion.

 My last shot of the day was taken in a flash. I was part embarrassed and part proud. I happen to glance up when exiting the Icebergs at Bondi and kneeling above us a moslem in prayer.  Not wanting to draw attention I snapped this shot. It only reinforces the fact that art has a way of bringing all cultures together.

Please Don’t Touch!

Trying to choose the right image to go with this post was difficult.  Sculpture by the Sea at Bondi is an amazing spectacle -the coastline is phenomenal and the sculpture mostly amazing but I think this sums it up.  Gary Deirmendjian’s “do not….”. Each year the little black signs sit in front of colossal works quietly asking  the impossible.  How can you not touch a piece of pink fleshy angaston marble and feel the cool underside on a stinking hot day?  How can children not be drawn into  Chen Wenling’s lap of his grinning brilliant red giant?  Some just didn’t care, in fact “Surf in Fantasia” by Akiho Tata, three large granite pieces just meant that an old surfer could flake out didn’t feel like he was the only object on view.  

Probably the best by far didn’t need to be touched to connect with people.  There was a queue to take a snap with Jane Gillings “Provenance” a giant gilt frame filled with passers-by.   As I said it’s hard to choose but I love the shot of this giant nail firmly wedged in the rocks and vivid against the blue. In the distance a fisherman oblivious of what’s around him.