Cottesloe is abuzz with excitement this month with the arrival of the wonderful Sculpture by the Sea exhibition, now in its 14th year.
Don’t drive down Marine Parade if you are in a hurry. With more than 200,000 visitors expected before the exhibition closes on March 19, the roads are crowded with bumper-to-bumper cars and pedestrians in festive mode.
There is so much to see that it’s worth returning two or three times.
At the far end of the groyne is a shining silver aluminium work, the Elder, five metres tall, by local artist Ron Gomboc, priced at $88,000.
On the beach at the northern end of the exhibition is a long, curved timber fence, from thDanish group Gjode & Partnere Arkitekter. You have to go down to the water’s edge to get the full experience: a vast semi-circle of mirrors, with crowds of viewers laughing at their multiple reflections.
One of the most popular sculptures is Spirit, by April Pine, whose Pause is now part of the Town of Cottesloe’s collection: the black see-through surfer who stands with his board on the grass near the Dutch Inn groyne.
This year her work is all white – a life-size man with a dog on a lead, surrounded by a bevy of playful dogs, all made of powder-coated aluminium. Price: $18,750 for the man, and from $7650 to $12,200 for each dog.
Most striking piece is local artist Geoff Overheu’s brilliant red glider, 13 metres long, looking as if it is about to dive into the sand. Made of aluminium, steel and polyester, it is called Final Approach, and is priced at $45,000.
Nearby on the beach is “Damien Hirst Looking For Sharks”, by Danger Dave and Christian Rager from Portugal and Victoria. It consists of a very large snorkeller’s head, complete with mask and snorkel, with startled eyes looking through the mask half-filled with water.
There are 72 sculptures on display by a total of 76 artists: 28 West Australians, 15 from interstate and 33 from overseas, including 12 from Japan.
Ivan Black from England has made a clever wind-powered kinetic sculpture in vivid orange aluminium and stainless steel, a tall pole topped with 10 moving mini-sails which silently move in all directions at the slightest puff of wind. Price: $50,000.
David Handley, founding director of Sculpture by the Sea, said about 500 individual sculptors had exhibited at Cottesloe since 2005.
“Thanks to the Tourism WA Invited Artist program, the exhibition has become an established event on the international sculpture calendar, with Cottesloe now a destination targetd for sculptors around the globe,” he said.
Photographs: Karen Edel