Sculptures by the sea – Cottesloe beach
The super popular Sculptures by the sea at Cottesloe beach in WA made a welcome return this year. New Zealand-born, Fremantle based artist Tuinna Blackie has been awarded the EY People’s Choice Prize of $5,000 after visitors to Sculpture by the Sea, Cottesloe voted her sculpture, ‘The Boab’, as their favourite out of 70 artworks by Western Australian, interstate and international artists.
‘The Boab’ is a magical large-scale stainless steel structure sited by the water’s edge reflecting the sun, surf and sky.
Sculptures by the sea – Kid’s Choice
Children and adults were drawn to the bright, colourful figure of Japanese artist Savako’s artwork titled ‘Dream of Cyprus’, voted most popular by children. The strange figure, standing 3.5m-tall overlooks the beach from the grass above the water. ‘Dream of Cyprus’ is immediately visible, with its fun shapes and vibrant colours. This sculpture appeals to the more than 2,000 children who have visited the exhibition in 2021 with schools or their families.
Cottesloe sculptures weekend is often my first port of call on my regular WA visits. Bathed in the dazzling West Australian sun Cottesloe Beach hosts their annual Sculpture by the Sea exhibition. The last one I attended in person was the 14th annual event where 73 artists from 18 countries (including Australia) were displaying their incredible creations in this spectacular coastal setting.
Beautiful Cottesloe Beach, with its white sand and the turquoise Indian Ocean is a very popular spot for locals. The exhibition spans from the sea wall along the sand towards North Cottesloe. It then spills the surrounding grassed areas creating a beautiful sculpture park.
Cottesloe sculptures – supported by local business
This annual exhibition has a number of sponsors who enable it to happen. The main sponsor is the huge mining company Rio Tinto. The event is also supported by Australia council for the arts. At weekends the beach is packed.
The sculptures are a part of the landscape and not really fenced off and so people sit next to them and mingle with them. It’s pretty difficult to take a picture without some one in it. Luckily this often adds extra interest to the shot! The sculpture of the giant snorkelling face looking as if was rising out of the sand, was by Danger Dave and Christian Rager. It was called Damien Hirst Looking for Sharks. A small snack scoffing child photo bombed our picture as he sheltered from the sun under the huge swimming goggles.
The People’s Choice Prize is part of the visitor experience at Sculpture by the Sea,
and $5,000 is awarded to the artist who has created the most popular sculpture, as voted by the visitors to the exhibition.
Cottesloe sculptures – and the winner is?
This year’s first prize went to the sculpture which also happened to be my favourite. B. Jane Cowie’s Swirling Surround. It was a dome of brightly coloured plastic fish swimming in a circular shoal. This multi coloured piece sparkled in the sun, and you could also climb into the middle of it. Anything interactive is always guarantees extra attention!
Another dramatic piece was Final Approach, by Geoff Overheu in collaboration with the Beverley Soaring Society, who I imagine have something to do with gliders. It looked like a real red glider was plunging into the beach. The bright red of the plane really looked incredible with the backdrop of that stunning white, blue sand/sky/sea combo. Despite its realism, the beach goers around it however looked fairly unconcerned.
In Awe by Rebecca Rose used coloured oars to create a stunning piece which also made patterns on the sand which attracted plenty of attention.
A really amusing creation is the digitally illuminated ‘in-the-road’ sign, Get a Haircut, Get a Job. The brain child of Karl de Waal, it skips the usual ‘road ahead closed’ or ‘reduce speed now, messages’ and instead gives out helpful advice to passers by! the helpful sign dishes out a series of pieces of advice. Love it!
I do wish the real signs would make a bit more of an effort.
Cottesloe sculptures – creative imagination in spades!
I loved the indigenous face Great Southern Noongar by Australian artist Janine McAullay Bott. Janine makes rough hewn woven fibre sculptures of animals and people, dedicated to visualising and honouring Noongar culture. The funny spiky haired face just looked so interesting and curious – like he knew things.
Lurid green blobs hung pendulously from a bar entitled Desire of Gravity. They made me think of the unpleasant consequences of not wearing a sports bra during vigorous exercise. There really were so many intriguing and entertaining pieces that I couldn’t include them all here.
The Cottesloe Sculptures are funny, clever, inventive and ingenious. If I get the chance next year – I will be back, a great day out!
More WA adventures here GOLD RUSH!