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“Without incident, the special-ops ‘clean-up’ team stormed the beach”

Sydney November 2015 (12 photos)

The 19th annual Sculpture by the Sea exhibition at Bondi has come and gone. This free public event, ran from 22 October to 8 November, and included 107 main exhibiting artists from 19 countries around the world. It was held along the 1.2km coastal walk between Bondi Beach and Tamarama Beach. I went on the final days to take a look at the sculptures.

THE BOTTLES, by RCM Collective.

Statement: A sculptural portrait of human-sized “Spray and Wipe” cleaning agents becoming marine life. The work animates a disconnection between consumer waste and the natural environment.

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These things actually worked.

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“What, you’ve never seen a talking bottle before?”

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“Noah realised too late he built these too small”

VOYAGERS I and II, by Margarita Sampson.

Statement: Like us, these shaman creatures are walking into their future, carrying precious cargo.

Inside the “face” and “body” of each of these “arks” was a small garden.

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“Put your hands in the air like you just don’t care”

CITY DREAMS, by Gao Xiaowu.

Statement: Dream and reality, paradoxical yet ambiguous. Humanity has sought this eluding question, as civilisation has for eternity.

Before anyone strains their eyes too much, I have applied a bit of blur and copy/paste over my numerous reflections on the stainless steel.


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“A helping hand.”

INTERVENTION (2014), by Mike Van Dam.

Statement: In the early 70s there were estimated to be fewer than 200 humpback whales left. Now, with help from us, there are more than 20,000.

A victory for nature and conservation, depicted in art form.

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“Because I’m (still) happy…”

FUN!, by Naidee Changmoh.

Statement: The cartoon form is used to create the artworks and they express the artist’s positive thinking. The work gives the feeling of peace and simplicity.

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This guy made me smile. We saw him before in a more characteristic stance in Sculpture by the Sea 2014 .

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“The Vortex.”

SPACE TIME CONTINUUM V4, by Clayton Thompson.

Statement: If something from our past is altered drastically enough, the new future timeline would be the future of that past.

This year there was a bit of rain which is no surprise as it is thunderstorm season. On the last Friday, I was waiting for the gourmet fish and chip shop in Bondi to open at noon. I looked up and noticed a huge bank of clouds approaching. I checked the weather reports on my phone and got the shock of my life. I skipped lunch and practically ran to my car about 2.5kms away. Soon after a supercell thunderstorm hit Bondi. I came back hours later and took this photo.

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This is Part 2 of 7 of my Sculpture by the Sea Bondi 2015 series.

Sculpture by the Sea, Bondi 2015 Part 1

Sculpture by the Sea, Bondi 2015 Part 3

Sculpture by the Sea, Bondi 2015 Part 4

Sculpture by the Sea, Bondi 2015 Part 5

Sculpture by the Sea, Bondi 2015 Part 6

Leica Etcetera, Photography Etcetera

Sculpture by the Sea, Bondi 2015 (2)

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83 thoughts on “Sculpture by the Sea, Bondi 2015 (2)

    • Giant household objects make an interesting change in perspective. Very fortunately, as I approached to push one of the handles, I saw someone else doing it and saw the jet of water. πŸ™‚ These were popular.

  1. KG says:

    πŸ˜† πŸ˜› Thanks for the heads up about the reflections πŸ˜‰

    Its always a pleasure to read your writings along with your beautiful photographs LD

  2. I let out a big sigh at the end. A satisfying one. The one says:”I can’t hold my breath any longer” and I didn’t even realize that I was holding my breath πŸ˜‰ Great photos and words, as always.

  3. These are stunning shots, as always. “Because I’m (still) happy…” sculpture made me smile, too. “The work gives the feeling of peace and simplicity.”, indeed. It’s very comforting, especially for this horrendous week… Thank you so much, Dragon!

    • Thanks. They all worked. Some were set to jets whilst others were more like showers. I saw a few people stand right in front of the nozzles and just spray themselves. πŸ™‚ These would be good to have in the garden on those really hot summer days.

  4. del tutto sorprendenti! ma lo scopo dell’arte moderna Γ¨ quello di sorprendere o di laciare un messaggio? a volte Γ¨ davvero difficile decodificarlo…certo che quelli che stanno a testa in giΓΉ avranno poi un gran male alla testa ha ha…Le tue foto come sempre sono grandiose! Ho amato moltissimo anche l’introduzione.E’ sempre piacevole passare da qui
    buona serata

  5. I love the spray bottles! But…I’ll bet they are more than a little disconcerting when you get up in their “faces.”
    Cool that you cover this festival and others. I will never visit your part of the world and yet it is beginning to feel somewhat familiar. Thanks.

    • One of the sponsors is Sydney Water. Free water and bottle refills at several stations for the public. So I’m guessing the water from the giant bottles was drinkable too as it would all have been from the same supply. I saw a lot of children and adults deliberately spray themselves – kind of like a cold shower in a way. πŸ™‚

    • Thank you. Going at different times of the day for the first time this year really made me appreciate the effect of the ambient light on the sculptures. I even saw some night photos on instagram.

      CITY DREAMS was hidden in the grasses – easy to miss if you were walking in the direction from Bondi to Tamarama. So, you’re coming back next year??? πŸ™‚

  6. So many of my favourites in one post! I think you’re spoiling me, Draco πŸ˜‰

    The shots of Space Time Continuum are gorgeous, both with and without the storm clouds. Also, did you ever get some splashback damage from The Bottles? XD

    • I’m guessing you had quite a few favourites, Sandy. πŸ™‚
      Those clouds made a dramatic backdrop to the sculptures, but I’m glad I wasn’t caught in that storm. I got sprayed a little but more by dissipated mist than a direct stream. Although some people seemed to enjoy spraying themselves repeatedly.

  7. How fascinating those voyagers 1 and 2 are with the small gardens in their heads and it tugged at my heart to see the helping hand and realise there are some good stories about conservation and bringing an almost extinct species back from the brink. That sky is formidable. You’ve had some bad storms your way.

    • Each year, many of the sculptures have a deeper message to them. It’s interesting where the artists get their inspiration from. There’s a lot of creativity about.

      Storms in November, and 42C temperatures yesterday. It’s going to be a hot Summer.

      • Such a great display of talent and creativity and it is all free, what an amazing country we live in. Yes hot here too and tomorrow we head inland for Sydney and the weather is in the 40’s.Thank goodness I have aircon in the car…

  8. The FUN kid is my all time favorite! Guess he reflects my inner (sometimes outer too!) state perfectly πŸ™‚ those creatures with gardens in their heads had a great impression on me – I’m still contemplating over the concept. Beautiful photos!

  9. The clouds in the post thunderstorm picture still look quite ominous. Great texture though. And I thought the squirt bottle sculptures were wonderful. More so because you captured so ribs playing with them, and the human element is engaging.

    • At the end of the day, there would be a giant patch of wet sand around the collection of bottles. People loved them. The weather has been erratic here. Intense thunderstorms in early November and 42C temps 2 days ago. Very weird.

  10. Wow these are fantastic sculptures! They’re arty but so entertaining at the same time. You appear to have the best ones where you are!

    That’s a lot of thought gone into the squeezy bottles, to actually have them squirting water – what fun on the beach!!

    The little guy standing on his head, can’t fail to make you smile. πŸ˜€ The hand with the fish is amazing, and blends in so well with the rocks, very clever!

    ‘The Vortex’ looks like something the Doctor may have encountered in the 1960’s, so pretty too. And you just caught those clouds in time, they look a bit sci fi too. Always so good to view your pictures, they are very stunning and worthy to be featured in a magazine. Do you ever submit your photography for publication?

    • There was an old tv show called The Time Tunnel, and that was my instant thought when I saw the vortex and storm clouds. I would have gone into shock if someone from the future suddenly appeared through it. πŸ™‚

      I like that some of the sculptures were interactive. It makes it all the more interesting, and yes I did get sprayed a little. πŸ™‚

  11. and yet another a la Salvador Dali work – the last one – stunning photo, Lignum…
    this whole series is fascinating, the art of photographing art, when will you set a workshop? πŸ™‚

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