Sand, sea, art converge at Sydney beachside exhibit

Thu Oct 16, 2008 3:05am EDT
 
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By Pauline Askin

SYDNEY (Reuters Life!) - A coastal walkway along Sydney's famous Bondi beach has become a temporary gallery for artworks ranging from a mangled motorbike to a giant steel yo-yo.

The "Sculpture by the Sea" exhibit is Australia's largest annual outdoor public display of sculpture, attracting interest from all over the world despite the ailing global economy.

"We have 107 sculptures from all around the world, with artists from Iceland, Japan, New Caledonia, Denmark, England and every Australian state," David Handley, founding director of "Sculpture by the Sea," told Reuters.

"Of course the economic climate is of interest to us because we are hoping to sell the sculptures, but it looks as though we are off to a good start with international visitors and local buyers," he added.

One of the displays is a floating sphere which had to be delivered off the coast by barge and which bobs above the water about 300 meters (984 ft) out to sea. "It's the first time in years an art display is going into the sea as we've lost a few to the sea over the years," Handley added.

There's also "The Bush Ranger 2008," a black steel piece of armor similar to that worn by infamous Australian bush ranger and outlaw Ned Kelly, and "The Dry Docks," a corrugated iron and steel boat sitting on a wooden pallet, representing Australia's water shortage crisis.

"If the weather is kind to us, we expect about a half a million people to visit," said Handley.

He said Denmark's Crown Prince Fredrick and his Australian wife, Princess Mary, had become enamored by the exhibition and plan to hold a similar display in the coastal city of Aarhus in Denmark next year.

Sculpture by the Sea, Bondi 2008 stretches for two kilometers (1.24 miles) along the coastline popular with both locals and tourists. The exhibition runs from October 16 to November 2.

(Editing by Miral Fahmy)

 
<p>A television crew films a work by artist Tim Kyle which is part of "Sculpture by the Sea", south of Sydney's famous Bondi Beach October 15, 2008. The free outdoor exhibition, now in its 12th year, stretches for two-kilometres (1.24 miles) along the coastline popular with walkers, joggers and tourists. REUTERS/Tim Wimborne</p>