As you might imagine, creating a piece for Sculpture by the Sea is an entirely different experience for its artists. Now in its 25th year, the outdoor exhibition runs along a 2km-long Bondi to Tamarama coastal walk from Friday, October 20 to Monday, November 6. It showcases over 100 sculptures and artworks, including piece ‘On Line Clothes Swap’ by Lucy Barker.
“Creating a work for Sculpture by the Sea is different because of a few factors,” says Barker. “The sheer number of people that will potentially interact with your work means that every tiny details needs to be thought through and planned out.”
Barker also says the extreme weather conditions, particularly the wind, need to be taken into consideration. And finally, the dramatic coastal location means everything is dwarfed in the landscape of Bondi and Tamarama, she says.
Barker’s piece represents a desire to find more sustainable ways to live. She says it’s an experiment in bringing people together and a reflection on art being a potential agent for social change.
“The audience is invited to give and take pre-loved clothes by hanging them on the hills hoist clothes line,” says Barker. “The idea is that audiences themselves will complete the artwork. We all purse way too many clothes and don’t wear them nearly enough. I am providing a way to cut back on shopping while still being able to acquire new items.”
Barker hopes her work will inspire people to change their behaviour and help the planet, while connecting with like-minded people and having fun in the process.
Sam Hopkins’ stainless steel and granite piece called ‘Distorted Perception’ explore material manipulation. He describes it as a balance of fabrication and nature taking its course through the metal inflation process.
“Exhibiting alongside some of the best sculptors in Australia and internationally pushes you to bring the best out of your practice,” he says. “The addition of freighting across the country [Hopkins is WA-based] and at time, harsh coastal weather conditions add further design challenges and considerations into your process.”
Hopkins hopes visitors play with the distortions and reflections in the piece’s mirrored surface. He also hopes they visit it at different times of the day, as it reflects its natural surroundings and adapts based on the hour and weather.
Finally, another artwork to check out is Stephen King’s ‘Crooked Men from Hurricane Gully’. Its artist statement reads: “A storm came up out of Hurricane Gully and felled over a million trees, no-one died so it didn’t make the news. These trees came from Bruce and Sal’s place.”
King says creating the piece for Sculpture by the Sea was no different of a process for him, and that he hopes visitors walk around it and see its shapes changing.
“I see three figures carrying a coffin,” he says. “A coffin of carbon saved from the atmosphere and a coffin of damage that was done to a young Aboriginal woman raped and incarcerated without justice. I see other things too.”