Sculpture by the Sea on Cottesloe Beach
As part of our involvement with local community events, we have supported the annual Sculpture by the Sea exhibitions in Cottesloe for some 10 years, contributing many volunteer hours selling catalogues in marquees. The Town of Cottesloe is a major sponsor of the event and each year sculptures from the exhibition are added to its beautiful collection on permanent public display for the enjoyment of all of us.
This year, the Town of Cottesloe purchased sea anemone by New Zealand artist Rebecca Rose and lucky country by the WA artist Norton Flavel. This evocative work is a shiny, mirroring, floating ball on a chain attached to a massive leg iron buried in sand at the edge of the water – a powerful symbol of our Australian origins with ball and chain on the ‘Fatal Shore’ clinging to the edge of the continent. As you move close to the suspended ball, you see yourself reflected within the environment – you become part of the sculpture, part of its precarious existence dependent on the whims of wind and shifting sand.
Many of the sculptures were created from recycled objects and reference environmental concerns – a particularly poignant and in fact prescient work was the tempest with its fragmented human shapes made from pieces of timber flung against the trees on the grassy terraced slope – a powerful evocation of the destructive winds of Cyclone Olwyn that washed away half of Cottesloe Beach and forced the organisers to dismantle, relocate or totally remove some sculptures.
This additional work requiring heavy machinery made the funding of the event even more challenging. Therefore the organisers are very appreciative of the support from volunteers and they show their appreciation by providing us every year with the excellent red and white wines all Coastcarers enjoy at their AGMs and Christmas Parties. In addition, this year we were given the subtly beautiful, multi-facetted Miniature Colours of the Skies by Lake Grace artist Kerrie Argent known for her stunning creations from recycled materials. The lucky winner of the lots drawn at a presentation in the Art Gallery of WA was our long time member Jan Beissel. Robyn Benken and I were present at the draw, we accepted the gift for Jan and expressed our thanks to the organisers.
And it wasn’t just the humans who appreciated the sculptures – our local osprey was enjoying them as well!