Tag Archives: Sculpture by the Sea

Sonnet month is here again

It’s November! My self-imposed month of blogging in verse has arrived. To see previous years’ mixed bag of efforts, click here, or you can buy the vanity publication of all 28 sonnets, plus my versification of Alan Jones’s epic ‘apology’ press conference, ‘The Apology, or Manning Up’, here:

NsopI may not stick to sonnets this year, but for tradition’s sake, I’m still calling it Local Sonnet Rhyming Month – LoSoRhyMo (as distinct from the much more demanding NaNoWriMo.)

Because it’s the start November, it’s also the last days of Sculpture by the Sea at Bondi. First some snaps:

Sonnet 1: Sculpture by the Sea again
We hear of artists living hand
to mouth, yet paying vast commissions
if they exhibit on the sand
or rocks near Bondi. Yet their visions –
moulded, cast, carved, planted, hung –
transcend commerce. They give tongue
to joys and sorrow, shape to fear
and hope and meaning year by year.
Cord and bamboo help us grieve.
Plastic cutlery cries, ‘Think!’
Glass, stone and steel forms bid us drink
their beauty, help us to perceive
what lies around us, and within.
To rip them off must be a sin.

The handful of sculptures specifically alluded to are:

  • Cave Urban (NSW), Mengenang (Memory), an installation of 222 Balinese-style bird scarers, whose sound hung over the park midway along the exhibition walk
  • Roh Singh (Victoria), Spatial Memorial, a white cord strung at the height of the 11 March tsunami
  • Jane Gillings, Midden (photo above)
  • Too many pieces of stone, steel and glass to mention.

One last note: my companion pointed out to me that where it was indicated in the catalogue that an artist was trained at TAFE, the skill level was manifestly superior. Despite whatever the government’s advisers have been saying, there is a need for the skills taught in fine arts at TAFE.

LoSoRhyMo 4: Sculpture by the Sea

Sculpture by the Sea deserves more than 14 lines but it’s LoSoRhyMo (Local Sonnet Rhyming Month) in this house so an ekphrastic sonnet is all you’re going to get from me. You could pop over to Richard Tulloch on the Road for some lovely images, wittily presented (where I’ve just seen a comment expecting a sonnet from me – no pressure of course).

Sonnet 4: Sculpture by the Sea
We walk among these waking dreams
from Bondi’s cliffs to Tamarama –
dreams hewn from wood, stone, bronze, from streams
of plastic, garbage given glamour.
Weird weed things weep; a stringybark
man meets an old horse on some dark
grief-stricken shore; a corrugated
iron pair look up with bated
iron breath; a steel key
rolls turf back like a sardine can;
smooth abstract beauty from Japan.
These dream things teach our eyes and we
look round: two shags pose grace to grace,
the shelf below’s awash with lace.

If you’re interested, the handful of sculptures singled out for mention are:

  • Jennifer Orchard’s ‘Weeping Weeds’, a gathering of her ceramic Plantpeople and Plantanimals
  • Stephen King’s “Hello Mate” which got my vote for the People’s Choice Award, pics snapped by the Art Student below
  • Hannah Kidd’s ‘The Sky Is Falling’
  • Mimi Dennett’s ‘The Irresistible Force
  • Any number of Japanese sculptures, but perhaps especially Keizo Ushio’s ‘Oushei Zokei  2010 Circle’ and Toshio Iezumi’s ‘M.100901’, also snapped by the Art Student, below.

Sculpture by the Sea  finishes this weekend. Do go!

Sculpture by the Sea

It’s that time of year again in Sydney. The jacarandas are in bloom, the first cicadas are shockingly loud, the weather lurches from chilly to sweltering from one day to the next, and the cliffs between Bondi to Tamarama have become a sculpture gallery. Richard Tulloch has already reported, with fabulous photos, on this year’s Sculpture by the Sea, but that’s no reason for me not to tell you, again, what I saw there, and post an album of phone photos (yes, we forgot to take a camera).

We went this afternoon to avoid the weekend crush. It was far from crowded – the joggers were hardly inconvenienced at all.

As I’m writing the captions for those blurry, poorly composed photos I realise that I could have spent much longer on that walk. For instance, there’s a brightly coloured little house that I’m told has nasty surprises inside, but I couldn’t get anywhere near it because it was full to bursting with children who had been so charmed by the outside that whatever was on the inside made no apparent impression at all. I could have sat with some of the delicately moving pieces for a long time. There were one or two pieces positioned so as to take the walker by surprise. Perhaps I’ll go back to savour them a little.

The sculptures will be there until 15 November.