Sculpture By the Sea

Sculpture by the Sea 2013

November 9, 2013
Bert Flugelman, Semaphore, 2000, Sculpture by the Sea, Bondi 2013. Image from Instagram.

It was not the best of times, it was not worst of times. The 17th annual Sculpture by the Sea (SxS) features the usual mix of pieces that might be described as ‘serious’ sculpture, and others that are little more than gimmicks. It has become a familiar recipe but seems to go down well with … More


Sculpture by the Sea, Aarhus

June 15, 2013
Bjorn Godwin and Jette Gejl, The Garden of Natural Delights (After Bosch), Sculpture by the Sea, Aarhus, 2013

For the third time in six years Australia’s most popular exhibition has been transplanted to the coast of Jutland, drawing enormous crowds. Sculpture by the Sea first came to Denmark’s second city, Aarhus, in 2009, at the behest of Crown Prince Frederik and his Australian bride, Crown Princess Mary. Had the Danish Royal Family been … More


Sculpture by the Sea 2012

October 27, 2012
Sir Anthony Caro, Eastern 1983/85, Bondi, 2012

Sculpture by the Sea owes much of its appeal to its outdoor setting but the exposed location brings its own hazards. There have been years in which the narrow walking trail from Bondi to Tamarama was nothing but a procession of dueling umbrellas. This year the installation was impeded by strong winds that made it … More


Sunset over Cottesloe

March 13, 2012
Paul Caporn, dump, Cottesloe 2012

As half of the Sydney art world celebrated the launch of Art Month, and the other half clinked glasses at a valedictory show of Margaret Olley’s work, I was on Cottesloe Beach watching the sun set over the Indian Ocean. It was the eighth incarnation of Sculpture by the Sea in Western Australia, and I … More


Sculpture by the Sea 2011

November 12, 2011
Simon McGrath, Who left the tap running?, Sculpture By The Sea, Bondi 2011

To see what Sculpture by the Sea is really all about, one needs to go on a weekend, when the walk between Bondi and Tamarama is teeming with people. For most exhibitions this is the worst scenario for viewing works, but with SXS the open-air setting means that no piece is ever rendered inaccessible. The … More


Somewhere around the rainbow

June 25, 2011
Chen Wen Ling’s red boy stands shivering on the beach at Aarhus

All second cities see the capital as a den of iniquity. Listening to a cab driver in Aarhus hold forth on the horrors of Copenhagen, I thought for a minute he was describing Mexico City. Crime, pollution, overcrowding, traffic – apparently Copenhagen has it all. This was news for me, who had always been impressed … More


Sculpture by the Sea, Denmark 2011

June 24, 2011
Phil Price, Nucleus. Photo Anders Hede

Spend a day walking around Copenhagen and it becomes apparent that the Danes are crazy about sculpture. The immaculate buildings of the ‘Golden Age’ (roughly 1800-50) are encrusted with heads, figures and other forms of sculptural decoration. There are statues galore, and the Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek – one of the most elegant museums in Europe … More


Sculpture by the Sea, Bondi 2010

November 6, 2010
Anthony Caro's Erl King

In one of her detective stories Dorothy Sayers wisely observes: “For some reason, the word ‘artistic’ produces the most alarming reactions in those who know anything about art.” As such, it would be inadequate and belittling to describe Sculpture by the Sea as one of Sydney’s most eagerly awaited ‘artistic’ events. This annual sculpture-fest is an … More


Tom Bass Sculpture by the Sea

March 13, 2010
Jean-Marc Rivalland, breaking wave, 2010, Sculpture by the Sea, Cottesloe

Last week the Australia Council revealed the startling statistic that “over 16 million Australians are actively participating in the arts.” According to a recent survey, 22 percent of the population is engaged in making art or craft, while 900,000 people are writing poems. At this point, you may be wondering why our public sphere does … More


Sculpture by the Sea & The Miniature Show

November 14, 2009
Jan King, Abyssinia, slate, steel, Sculpture by the Sea, Bondi, 2009

Sculpture by the Sea is thirteen years old and – judging by its current incarnation – still in the throes of puberty. Aside from long-running institutions such as the Archibald, or the Mosman Art Prize, most annual competitions and group exhibitions never last for a decade. The most dramatic example must be the one-and-only Melbourne … More


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