Update, September 28: Sculpture by the Sea's planned return from October 22 has been postponed. Organisers are working towards staging the exhibition later this spring, or early next year. Find out more here.
No global crisis can prevent the world’s largest totally free outdoor sculpture exhibition from bringing some much-needed artistic sunshine to Bondi. Despite all the hullabaloo of the last few months, north of 400 artists threw their hat in the surf to present their attention-grabbing concept for this year’s Sculpture by the Sea.
Just over a quarter of that number have been selected for the final line-up, with the return of the coastal glow-up set to transform the Bondi to Tamarama walk from October 22 until November 8, offering a much-needed combo of ocean spray and artistic yay.
Even with international borders closed for the foreseeable future, the annual exhibition still attracted entries from all over the globe, with 15 countries represented in the final show. That includes shipping in sculptures from future bubble buddy New Zealand, as well as exhibitors from Japan, Norway, France, Greece, China and more, plus representatives of every Australian state and territory.
Aussie exhibitors include Tasmanian Marcus Tatton and local Sydney artist Linda Bowden. Born in Zimbabwe and working from her Erskineville studio, Bowden has exhibited 11 times in the Bondi show and twice at Cottesloe since first taking part in 2000, scooping up five awards across that time. “2020 marks 20 years of my involvement with Sculpture by the Sea,” she says. “My excitement at being selected to exhibit remains undiluted. As a sculptor, this is the most important event for me and my career, with the incredible opportunity for hundreds of thousands of people to see my work.”
Tatton says the annual event is an excellent forum for bringing the imagination of artists from all over the world to Sydney’s shores. “Exhibited in its best light on the shores of Bondi and Tamarama, today’s insightful 3D art is given a great opportunity to communicate directly with the widest possible cosmopolitan audience. As an artist from afar, I’m grateful to be selected and look forward to towing my sculpture up the Hume Highway again to exhibit on the Bondi coastal walk.”
Last year’s $70,000 Aqualand Sculpture Award-winner Morgan Jones, a Kiwi, will be shipping in a new work of art from across the ditch. “It’s not only the chance to show my sculpture in such a spectacular setting to such a disparate and huge audience that makes it an opportunity like no other, but also the fact that the far younger than me crew make me feel so welcome.”
Founding director David Handley says it was extremely exciting to see so many artists respond to the Sculpture by the Sea call-out despite the hectic start to the year. “All year artists have been reaching out to ask if the exhibition is going ahead and, now the artists have been selected, we’re thrilled to move closer towards our Bondi exhibition opening.”
Can’t wait to soak up outdoor inspiration? Check out this awesome street art.