Thank You 2017 and preparing for Cottesloe 2018

Posted: December 18, 2017 / News

Lucy Humphrey, Horizon, Sculpture by the Sea, Cottesloe 2017. Photo Jessica Wyld.


As soon as our Bondi exhibition is de-installed we shift our focus to the last months of preparation for Sculpture by the Sea, Cottesloe. One show follows the other with each exhibition each year being so different to the last.

It has been a really enjoyable 2017 staging our March Cottesloe exhibition and our recent Bondi show. Sure there have been considerable challenges, especially on the fundraising front, but what stays strongest  in mind are those sculptures which resonated strongest with me; the stories of the artists whose careers have taken the next big step; and the sense of community and happiness the exhibitions bring.  The weekend evening stroll along Cottesloe beach of thousands of people, like one giant passeggiata in an Italian village, is very special.  It feels as though everyone in Perth is out and about enjoying sculptures in the relative cool of the evening as the sun sets over the Indian Ocean, yet somehow it does not feel crowded and the bonhomie is palpable.  This is reason alone to fly to Perth when Sculpture by the Sea, Cottesloe is on from 2 – 19 March next year.

During our Bondi exhibition this year I had the opportunity to walk among the weekend visitors a few more times than usual and was taken by just how engaged people were with the sculptures that spoke loudest to them.  It was very nice to be a fly on the wall and it felt good to know all of the work by the artists and our staff had created this response.  After staging the Bondi show for 21 years this remains a truly wonderful feeling.

Congratulations to those artists exhibiting with us for the first time and especially those whose sculptures had a transformative impact on their careers.  Two that stand out are David Ball from Mittagong in New South Wales, recipient of the Aqualand Sculpture Award, and Harsha Durugadda from India who received the Rio Tinto Sculpture Award.  We are delighted to work with the artists, Aqualand and Rio Tinto and respectively the Sydney Harbour Federation Trust and the City of Busselton to have these sculptures on permanent public placement.

It is almost every week we receive an enquiry from somewhere in the world to stage a new exhibition.  ‘Sculpture at Barangaroo’ held for the second time in August this year and a new permanent sculpture trail being launched on Granite Island this week in Victor Harbor, South Australia are two new and different exhibition models that give us the flexibility to respond to serious enquiries with a variety of exhibition models.  We look forward to showing you images of the sculptures leased from artists for ‘Sculpture Encounters at Granit Island’ in the coming days. As substantial as these two new projects are they are not the behemoth ofSculpture by the Sea and in comparison feel almost relaxing to produce. Of course there is a lot of hard work by the artists and our staff, just not so many artists and staff.

Thank you to everyone who has exhibited, worked and supported us during 2017.  We look forward to 2018 and hope you enjoy our exhibitions.

Wish best wishes for a happy and healthy summer holiday and a wonderful 2018,

David Handley


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