Saturday, March 21, 2015

Sculpture by the Sea - Photo Essay

Some beach-side castles aren't made of sand.

Sculpture by the Sea is an annual arts exhibition on Cottesloe Beach, perhaps the most popular beach near Perth, Western Australia. It is a companion event to an annual exhibition that began on the other side of Australia in 1996, on Bondi Beach near Sydney. 

Every year, more than 70 local and international artists transform Perth's most popular beach into a world-class sculpture park. The displays--the world's largest free-to-the-public sculpture exhibition--are a March tradition for residents of Perth since 2005, attracting nearly 100,000 visitors in 2014. There are even more avian tourists, as thousands--perhaps tens of thousands--of raucous rainbow lorikeets flock to the stately norfolk pines overlooking the beach each evening to watch the sun set over the Indian Ocean.

My kids enjoyed visits to the beachside sculpture park between 2008 and 2010. It was their first introduction to the arts, as it is for many families. Many of the pieces are tactile and interactive, and the atmosphere is relaxed.

I frequently wondered, where might a buyer put some of these pieces?

In Western Australia, this is a crowded beach. Perth's climate assures a sunny experience during the late-summer Sculpture by the Sea exhibition.

Maybe it's the location, but many of the works have a whimsical, family-friendly nature.

Stop by the iconic Indiana Tea House for a lunchtime bite between a swim and the outdoor art museum.

Timetables for regular Transperth bus and train service to Cottesloe Beach are found on the Transperth website. Free shuttle bus service is offered every 15 minutes on the Cott Cat between Cottesloe train station and the beach, daily between 10:30 am and 5:00 pm during the exhibition (schedules vary at other calendar periods).

Cottesloe Beach is a short 15-minute drive via Mounts Bay Road and the Stirling Highway (5) from the Perth CBD. It's a popular coastal resort town any time during the year and an excellent swimming beach. The jetty on the south end keeps down large surf, particularly in the morning. The Freo Doctor (a cooling ocean breeze) provides relief from summertime temperatures on a blazing-hot afternoon.