The sixth Sculpture By The Bay (SBB) beat all expectations, certainly in terms of quality, visitation and sales, but also the impact and depth of message. As an example, Tony Davis exhibited 303 Poppies. He was inspired by a horse he saw in a field of poppies in Western France. It looked so much like photos he had seen of Australia’s Whalers. The message ….. could this have been a descendant of the 120,000 Aussie horses sent overseas in the 1st World War, never to return? It is a wonderful piece of work that reminds us of so many stories around that era.
To give a little background to SBB, Nita Pratt and The Dunsborough Progress Association initiated this event, to be held annually during the Labor Day long weekend (usually in March), to promote Public Art and encourage creativity within the local community. This year there were 31 exhibitors of which more than 50% were from the Busselton shire. This year over 2500 people voted in The People’s Choice award. This possibly means that over 4000 people viewed the exhibition. At least 18 of the works will installed in different places throughout the State.
These photos are a few of the 31. Photographer for SBB, Jenny Stukely, has taken these photos. The words around them are my interpretation. Industrial Planet, by Justin Webb, is built from used (long ago) agricultural parts, combined into a ball that expresses the interconnectedness of all that in agriculture. I can see parts in there that remind me of a past occupation, names and stamps on steel that are still current but are found on new technology, spanners that no longer exist and pieces that have become redundant. If this was in my garden I could stand looking at it for hours seeing old stories. in this photo Jenny has captured 3 people on SUPs doing yoga, a wonderful combination of old stories and tranquillity.
OverPowered, by mois, is all about evolution of the environment and the belief we need to maintain its health at least at the current level. I found this timber slab from a tree that had fallen over in a storm. It was an old tree, possibly about to stop living anyway, but it had produced flowers and seed the year before it had blown over. Since the storm new trees had sprouted from the seed, then a tractor came in and cleared all of the area. That piece of the environment had not been allowed to evolve. So, this piece became my monument to that piece of the environment. The ‘hands touching’ is the environment reaching out through the many irregular barriers (re the beaten copper hoops) to access and nurture the fruit that it has produced. But the connection to the rulers to allow the continuity of the environment is withering (the top arm is becoming disconnected) – so how long will the cherries exist? how long will the environment continue to give fruit and maintain a level of health if the rulers (government and religions) don’t have an ongoing unconditional unanimous commitment?
Nuts about You, by Voytek Kozlowski, is a story about Dunsborough. The red-tailed black cockatoo continually chatter and eat the honky nuts in the marri trees, drop them on houses with a clang-clang, on the roads and back into the forest. They are a beautiful bird, noisy in the air and joyful in their conversation in the trees. Good colours, style, lines and a solid resilient work, this piece has been awarded The Dianne Laurance Wine Award for best sculpture at the exhibition.
The final piece I am writing about is Whine & Dine, by James Horsely. Once again, great photos Jen! James work is a joyful piece of the darker side of nature, the cut throat way that ocean life is … ‘winner take all’ … the Pelican that has the spoils of the ocean in the mouth, the seagulls waiting for the spoils, and the crab the ‘bottom feeder’. Colourful and natural, it reminds me of the stories that Josh Whiteland from Koomal Dreaming tells about the bay, the pelicans, the old fish traps and how it all existed before colonial takeover. The pelican’s pose is ‘classic pelican’, beak angled up like it’s trying to swallow the last morsel, but in a superior jocular way. The seagull on the post has that stretched forward stance squeaking out ‘give me some’, and the other just ready to pounce. This work has been acquired by The City of Busselton to be placed within the Dunsborough community for their enjoyment.
Hopefully I get to write more about the SBB 2015, it was a lot of fun. Also heading to Sculpture By The Sea in the next few days with Jen (so hopefully can steal some more great photos) and write my impressions on that. Till then, happy times, Greg