I had planned to spend last Sunday with my friend Marion from SY Zenna. But on Saturday, my friend Helen of SY Novae told me I must see Sculpture By The Sea and that Sunday was the last day to view it.
So I thought to myself ‘I’ll just pop on down to Bondi Beach in the morning for a few minutes, take a quick look at the sculptures, and then meet up with Marion for lunch.
But when I arrived, I quickly realized that one does not just ‘pop on down to Bondi Beach for a few minutes’. First, there are the surfers which I could watch forever …I see surfing lessons in my future.
Then there are all those great murals on the boardwalk. You can see my entire collection here, but the one that really stuck with me was the mural by ‘BMD’ (the Andrew J Steel 1/2) and Andrea, an 11 year old artist battling acute lymphoblastic leukemia. With the support of Make-A-Wish and Google, Andrea had a solo exhibition of her artwork at the Museum of Contemporary Art and got to paint with Andrew. But really, I think Andrew thought he was the lucky one because he got to hang out with Andrea.
So after walking about 250 meters in 1 hour at Bondi, I rushed to the start of the Sculptures by the Sea which I had hoped to fully consume in my remaining 1/2 hour before heading to Marion’s for lunch.
I picked up the brochure at the start of the walk and immediately knew there was no way that I was going to see 107 sculptures along a very crowded, narrow 1.2 km seaside walkway in a 1/2 hour.
Perhaps I should have checked out the Sculpture by the Sea website for details before setting out on this foolish adventure. But I kind of like to just show up when I am touring about and I was here now and I just had to see the sculptures.
Marion was completely understanding when I called her and we agreed to postpone our lunch until Tuesday.
The going was very slow given the MASSIVE crowds. After sailing for 6 months in remote islands where we were often one of a handful of visiting boats, it was totally overwhelming to be among so many people. But I can see why everyone wanted to be there, the sculptures framed by the beautiful coastal walkway were breathtaking
It took about 1.5 hours to see the first 22 sculptures along the coast. Then it was into Marks Park to see many more.
While in the park, I overheard that Sculpture by the Sea had been extended for 1 more day. I confirmed this at a nearby information booth. Given that Monday would a sunny work day (unless one is still enjoying a sailbatical) I decided to head home and return the following day to view the remaining sculptures.
Am so glad that I did. Monday was a glorious day. I almost had the place to myself and hours to meander.
I have included a few of my favorites from the event above. You can see all of my favorites here. But the top three for me were the ones that kept me coming back because of their statements.
The first was Minden Jó Lesz 1953 (all shall be well) by Kathleen Berney recalling a journey from Budapest to Bondi. “The work represents the artist, child of refugee boat people, on a slippery dip in this exact location in 1953, Childhood memories slide in and out of consciousness”. I included two images taken on different days because I liked them both.
The second was The Bottles by RCM Collective portraying “human-sized ‘Spray and Wipe’ cleaning agents becoming marine life. The work animates the disconnection between the consumer waste and the natural environment.”
Watching young and old alike interact with this and other artworks was an added bonus for me.
The third was Intervention by Mike Van Dam which reminds us of the impact man can have on marine life, for evil or for good. In the early 1970s, due to negative human impact, “there were estimated to be only 200 humpback whales left. Now, with help from us, there are more that 20,000.” Hopefully, we will see those numbers continue to rise.
For Jo’s Monday Walk9 Thumbs Up!