Monday, November 15, 2010
Just so Sydney...
When visitors to Sydney ask me what they should see and do, the cliff top walk from Bondi Beach to Coogee, along the western edge of the Pacific Ocean, is always one of my recommendations. It's wonderful at any time of the year, but in October and early November when the stretch of the walkway between Bondi and Tamarama becomes the venue for Sculpture by the Sea, it's a great Sydney celebration. Yesterday was the last day for this year's display, and it coincided with the first really hot and sunny day of summer. People came in their thousands...
I was pleased my friend Christina and I had started early - mostly to avoid the worst of the heat of the sun - and were walking north from Tamarama, in the opposite direction from most of the crowd.
There were over a hundred sculptures exhibited, the majority of them from Australia, but with significant representation from Japan, some from India, and a scattering from other countries. There were also invited participants who are already world-renowned sculptors, such as, this year, Sir Anthony Caro. One of the wonderful thing about this exhibition, apart of course from the superb location, is the scale of most of the works. It's rare you have the opportunity to see so much work on such a grand scale, and yet not be overwhelmed by it. I was particularly delighted by the works that seemed at one with their location, like the giant chook (complete with interior eggs) settling into the sand in the centre of Tamarama beach
Tae-Geun Yang (South Korea) Sitting Hen
[This one's for Bells]
and the archway which seemed to frame the transition from the rocks to the sea
Vlase Nikoleski (Australia) Monument for Small Changes
At the end of the walk and viewing you can vote for your favourite sculpture. The arch above was my friend Christina's choice. I had great difficulty choosing between David Horton's Jarrett in London whose shapes suited the rocky edge of Tamarama
and the delicate silvery Leaf Vessel by invited New Zealand artist Virginia King.
I eventually voted for this leafy form whose shadow linked it to the land, but whose shape echoed the boats and surfboards on the ocean below.
This combination of sculpture and beach and rocks and sea, free to anyone of any age who wishes to visit, casually dressed, slathered in sunscreen, chatting, picnicking, eating ice-cream, seems to be just so Sydney.