Last weekend I finally managed to head to Cottesloe Beach to see the Sculptures by the Sea exhibition. Every year the beach and groyne are dotted with sculptures made by local and international artists. I really love this exhibition as it adds a dash of unexpected art to an area that is normally reserved for beachy-sporty-types. Of course, Cottesloe beach is located in the super rich western suburbs and so most people who swim here most likely own more sculptures in their own back yards. But the exhibition does provide easy access to sculpture for people who wouldn’t normally dare go near it.
I headed to Cottesloe at 8am, hoping to beat the Sunday morning crowds. Clearly lots of people had the same idea as me and it was already quite busy by the time I arrived. Having parked in a 30 minute parking zone I had a limited time to explore before the eager rangers stuck a parking ticket on my car.
In general, the sculptures were interesting and it was fabulous to wander in between them, spotting those that blended into the background. However in recent years it seems there is pressure to create pieces that are ‘talking points’ rather than just lovely pieces of art. Instead of creating works that sit magically with the natural landscape, there seems to be a push to create pieces that stand out and just look odd. I’m all for contemporary art, but I also think there is so much potential for creating something that goes beyond being a marketing tool for the exhibition.
There were some nice works (I really enjoyed some ‘Twister-esque’ windmills on poles and the red flamingos were nicely built) and it was a great 30 minutes. But I didn’t feel like I was missing much when I headed back to my car when my time was up.