Saturday, December 3, 2011

Sculptures by the Sea

We took advantage of a break from the rain and enjoyed a sunny November day at one of the most popular exhibitions held in Sydney - Sculptures By the Sea.  More than one hundred exhibits are installed along one of the most panoramic coastal walks in this city between Tamarama and Bondi Beach.  We drive to Coogee and start the walk there because finding parking close to this exhibition will be challenging. 

It is a beautiful day.  We admire the views and enjoy the warmth of the sun, which we haven’t seen much of this spring. 

There are as many people enjoying a swim or lying along the many beaches we pass, as there are people on the path enjoying the exhibition.  This is a great celebration of the outdoor life that Sydneysiders love so much.  It must be pretty challenging for the artists as the exhibits must withstand being outdoors drenched by frequent rain, roasted by the sun and weather beaten by the rough coastal winds that blow along these parts.

One of the favourites with the visitors appear to be the red boy series, presented by one of China’s leading contemporary sculptors – Chen Wenling.  I read that he grew up making toys out of clay because his family were too poor to buy him toys.  Yet, he counts himself lucky as is parents encouraged his autistics abilities and he went on to study at some of China’s leading universities!  A reminder to all of us that artistic talent must be nurtured, encouraged and given opportunities to flourish!

IMG_5874-5Red is an auspicious and symbolic colour in China and Chen has chosen this to depict the nostalgia of our childhood and to question the meaning of our adult life.

Another crowd favourite appears to be the giant tap where people line up to take their turn, posing as if they were having a shower.  The exhibit is titled, “Who left the tap running?” and is positioned over the ocean which is meant to be a giant sink!  The artists explains that it is a humorous way to generate discussion about climate change and rising sea levels and his exhibit has already won him a $10K Sydney Water and Environmental prize!


As we stop to admire the sculptures we wonder if the natural beauty of our surroundings are competing for attention with the man-made sculptures we have come to see.  The sculptures of course have been designed for an exact spot in this outdoor gallery but the permanent occupants of this space such as the weathered windswept rock seen below is just as beautiful as the red boy or the Easter Island replicas.  IMG_5898-12


I would certainly recommend you spend a day by this fabulous cliff edge walk and enjoy the show that sculptors from around the world have put on for you!  Here are a few more photos from this entertaining day out!

“Creativity is inventing, experimenting, growing, taking risks, breaking rules, making mistakes, and having fun.” — Mary Lou Cook

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