Between October 28 and November 9, Bondi’s iconic coastal path offered a novel way to exercise your art appreciation – and your legs! And it’s heading to Perth next.
Let’s be honest; trudging through a stuffy gallery isn’t everyone’s idea of fun. But when the artworks are dotted along two kilometres of Sydney’s most spectacular coastline, when you get to stroll under a cloud-less spring sky, when kids are allowed to play, run and squeal rather than be bored senseless, and when glittering beaches greet you at either end, the prospect infinitely improves.
For two weeks every year Sculpture by the Sea transforms the coastal path between Bondi and Tamarama into a visual playground, showcasing more than 100 sculptures by artists from Australia and abroad. Having just wound down its 18th year, the event is not exactly secret – it’s one of the world’s largest temporary sculpture parks. So whether you’re a Bondi local or considering Sydney for an interstate escape, it’s well worth noting on your calendar for 2015.
From coves and caves to sand and shallows, the popular coastal path is indeed a beautiful backdrop befitting these inspired installations. But it’s more than excellent views, great weather and lively community spirit. Sydney’s coast becomes a context that facilitates unique and varied engagement – whether cultivating awareness, encouraging hands-on interaction or transfixing from afar.
The natural landscape creates an impact that would be unachievable elsewhere. Structures bob in the breeze, catch the sun, cast striking shadows and are illuminated at night. Those nestled in native flora, perched precariously on overhangs, or concealed in sandstone crevices quickly become a game of ‘spot the sculpture’, fostering a surprising and playful experience for visitors both young and old.
It’s not often you’ll see a rhino chilling out at Tamarama beach or an immense bottle-cap installation slumped across craggy cliffs, so dedicate a whole day to exploring, and do so at your leisure. There are pop-up eateries along the way and plenty of vantage points to simply sit and enjoy the scenery, ideally with a sugar cane mocktail in hand.
Sculpture by the Sea is a not-for-profit event, but some spare change thrown in the donations bucket never goes astray, and catalogues are available for anyone interested in acquiring a piece. Who knows, you might walk away one sculpture richer.
By Suzanne Chellingworth
The Bondi exhibition ran between October 28 and November 9. Dates for the 2015 exhibition are yet to be confirmed. The Perth exhibition will run between March 6 and 23 2015 at Cottesloe Beach.
Bondi to Tamarama coastal walk, Sydney w: www.sculpturebythesea.com/Home.aspx t: 02 8399 0233 e: firstname.lastname@example.org