Now in its 25th year (yes, really!), Sculpture by the Sea is on from Friday, October 20 to Monday, November 6. The exhibition runs along Bondi to Tamarama coastal walk and has become one of the world’s largest free outdoor sculpture exhibitions.
Sculpture by the Sea 2023 will showcase 100 sculptures and artworks along the 2km coastal walk, with works by six of the artists who created pieces for the first-ever show in 1997: Paul Bacon, Stephen King, James Rogers, John Petrie and Margarita Sampson.
Others exhibiting this year include acclaimed Chinese artists Chen Wenling and Shen Lieyi, artists from Japan and Ukrainian artist Nazar Bilyk, as well as long-time Sculpture by the Sea artists Philip Spelman, Ron Gomboc and Lucy Barker.
One highlight of the exhibition is a piece originally part of the 2006 exhibition, but now back. Called ‘Hot with a Chance of a late storm’, the piece is by internationally renowned art collective Glue Society and James Dive and will be set up on Tamarama Beach.
This year, however, the exhibition’s long-standing main sponsor Aqualand has increased the value of its first prize from $70,000 to $100,000. The Aqualand Sculpture Award was already the most generous sculpture award in Australia. The recipient of this year’s award will be announced on October 20, 2023, with the artwork gifted by Aqualand for permanent public placement in Sydney.
“We’re honoured to support such an iconic public event in Australia’s arts and culture calendar and congratulate David Handley [Sculpture by the Sea founder and CEO] and his team on reaching the 25th year of the world’s largest sculpture exhibition,” said Managing Director of Aqualand Group, Jin Lin.
Throughout Sculpture by the Sea’s two-plus decades, the exhibition has shown 2,488 sculptures by more than 1,000 artists from 50 countries. It’s now visited by up to half a million people each year.