Sculpture by the Sea, Bondi will celebrate 25 years as the world’s largest, free-to-the-public outdoor sculpture exhibition when the exhibition returns to the 2km Bondi to Tamarama coastal walk on 20 October, 2023.
To mark this significant milestone, the exhibition’s long standing Principal Sponsor Aqualand announced that the prestigious Aqualand Sculpture Award’s value will be increased from $70,000 to $100,000 for this year. The Aqualand Sculpture Award is an acquisitive award that is recognised as the most generous sculpture award in the Southern Hemisphere and one of the most sought after art awards in the world. The recipient will be announced on 20 October 2023 and the artwork gifted by Aqualand for permanent public placement in Sydney.
Managing Director of Aqualand Group, Jin Lin, said, “It’s with great excitement that Aqualand continues our partnership with Sculpture by the Sea, Bondi as Principal Sponsor for the eighth year running. We’re honoured to support such an iconic public event in Australia’s arts and culture calendar and congratulate David Handley and his team on reaching the 25th year of the world’s largest sculpture exhibition.
“We’re delighted to announce that we’ll continue our annual tradition of donating the Aqualand Sculpture Award to one truly talented artist, and in honour of the event’s significant milestone, we’ll increase this award to $100,000 this year.
“As a long-time supporter of local arts and cultural organisations, we see great synergy between Aqualand and Sculpture by the Sea, Bondi through an aligned vision and values. Supporting and celebrating Australian arts and fostering exceptional talent is important to us, and we’re thrilled to sponsor this unique and internationally acclaimed exhibition, which nurtures emerging creative talent,” he added.
David Handley AM, the Founding CEO & Artistic Director of Sculpture by the Sea, said, “Thank you to each of the artists, all of our staff, volunteers, sponsors and donors for what has been a wonderful journey so far. The involvement of many thousands of people has made the 25 exhibitions possible. We look forward to celebrating 25 exhibitions later this year and thank Aqualand for kicking off the celebrations with this announcement of the $100,000 Aqualand Sculpture Award.”
Sculpture by the Sea, Bondi began in 1997 as a one-day exhibition run by volunteers working out of the Founding Director’s lounge room featuring works by 64 artists and attended by 25,000 visitors. In 1998, Sculpture by the Sea was commissioned to create five exhibitions around Australia for the Sydney Olympics Arts Festival ‘A Sea Change’, in Darwin, Noosa, Albany, the Tasman Peninsula and Bondi. The five exhibitions featured a combined 271 sculptures visited by an estimated 240,000 people.
The not-for-profit organisation behind Sculpture by the Sea, Bondi expanded to Western Australia, with the launch of the annual Sculpture by the Sea, Cottesloe on the famous white sands of Cottesloe beach in 2005. In 2022, the Snowy Valleys Sculpture Trail was launched as a major permanent outdoor public collection stretching over 150km in the Snowy Valleys region of southern NSW. The project was conceived in partnership with the local communities to aid in the socio-economic recovery of the Snowy Valleys after the 2019-20 Black Summer bushfires.*
Sculpture by the Sea, Bondi has a special place in the hearts of Crown Prince Frederik and Crown Princess Mary of Denmark after they visited shortly after meeting during the Sydney Olympics in 2000. The Crown Prince Couple introduced the idea of Sculpture by the Sea to the City of Aarhus and became the Exhibition Patrons for the four biannual Sculpture by the Sea, Aarhus exhibitions held from 2009 – 2015. In 2011, the couple wowed crowds as they revisited Sculpture by the Sea, Bondi as part of an official visit to Sydney.
Now celebrating 25 years, Sculpture by the Sea, Bondi has been the world’s largest free-to-the-public outdoor sculpture exhibition for over two decades, exhibiting 2,488 sculptures by more than 1,000 artists from 51 countries. It is visited by up to half a million people each year. Most of Australia’s leading sculptors of the last 30 years have exhibited numerous times including May Barrie, Bert Flugelman AM, Inge King AM, Stephen King, Michael Le Grand, Ron Robertson-Swann OAM, Michaelie Crawford & Julie Turpin, and Ken Unsworth AM. The exhibitions international profile has resulted in some of the biggest international names in sculpture exhibiting, including: Sir Anthony Caro, Phillip King CBE (England), Sui Jian Guo, Chen Wenling (China), Kozo Nishino (Japan), Fletcher Benton (USA) and David Černý (Czech Republic).
Sculpture by the Sea, Bondi will run from 20 October – 6 November 2023.
For more information, visit https://sculpturebythesea.com/bondi/artists-and-awards/artist-submissions/
*The Snowy Valleys Sculpture Trail has been cofunded by the Australian and NSW governments under the Bushfire Local Economic Recovery Fund.