Wednesday, 13 November 2013

GUEST POST: Elizabeth Little takes a wander through Sculpture by the Sea

Carl Billingsley, red center 

Sculpture by the Sea has hit the foreshores of the eastern suburbs. This year there are again over 100 artists exhibiting works that range from serious to the seriously funny, and everything in between. There are works with environmental themes, such as Alison McDonald’s ‘blanket’ Flow made from plastic bottle tops and Marina DeBris’ Aquarium of the pacific gyre which displays in a glass case on Tamarama a variety of ‘sea creatures’ fashioned from litter found on the beach. Sally Kidall makes a political statement as well as an artistic one in  Nomadic City : Lest we forget, a collection of small tents on bamboo rafts.

Other works take inspiration from the ocean and surrounding cliffs. These include the Coral Collective’s Coral which consists of interlocking pieces of the cliffs that mimic the formation of coral, Lucy Humphrey’s Horizon, which appears to be a giant crystal ball that reflects and upends the view of ocean and sky; Maggie McFadyen & Griffen Lim make the most of the stunning view with Time Frame, a series of yellow metal frames that draw attention to the natural environment. Carl Billingsley’s Red Center  places what looks like hundered (if not thousands) of  red & yellow survey flags in a  large circle on Tamarama beach. These flags are immediately recognisable as miniature surf life saving flags. And as every Australian knows, the only safe place to swim is between the flags. In A Shared Weight Elyssa Sykes Smith has created two figures from wooden offcuts, who help support the weight of the cliff at Bondi.

In St Mark’s Park there are whimsical works, including Chen Wenling’s Rainbow, a red man doing an impressive back bend, and Qian Sihua’s Bubble no. 5, a large red head that blows an equally large red bubble. The Drapes’ Room Without A view made me laugh out loud. The piece is a typical portaloo with a not so typical soundscape. The portaloo has been locked from the outside (every Australian’s nightmare?) and  we overhear the one sided telephone conversations of the person trapped inside, as they try to contact friends and family in a vain attempt at escape.

As always, Sculpture by the Sea exhibits a range of figurative and abstract works, from Australian and international artists. It would be hard not to find something that you liked here, even if it is only that spectacular view. 
Carl Billingsley, red center 
Lucy Humphrey , Horizon 

Mikaela Castledine, East of the Mulberry Tree – the legend of the ten red crows 
Sally Kidall , Nomadic City : Lest we forget 

Keld Moselhelm, tryptich  

Orest Keywan, Provincadeserta  

Phil Price, Snake  

Coral Collective, Coral  

Coral Collective, Coral 

Margarita Sampson, The great Bondi Sharehouse  

Elyssa Sykes Smith, A Shared Weight  

Alison McDonald , flow  

Alison McDonald , flow  

Robert Barnstoe , Once Removed 

QianSihua , Bubble no. 5 

Andrew Rogers, Folded 3, 2012

Chen Wenling , Rainbow 

Marcus Tatton, husk 

The Drapes , Room without a View 

Lucy Barker , What Once Was 

Marina DeBris, Aquarium of the pacific gyre 

Maggie McFadyen & Griffen Lim, Time Frame 
Elizabeth Little has a B. Art Theory (Hons)and M Art Admin, COFA UNSW. She lives and works in Sydney.

All images supplied by the writer.

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