Keeping it real in our City

Surf, sand and sculptures by the sea

Surf, sand and sculptures by the sea

Magical crystal balls, suspended giant teardrops, an oversized drink can, a chair made out of feathers and an octopus inspired couch… you can find it all and then some with the return of Sculpture by the Sea at Cottesloe Beach this March.
With the weather looking like it will treat us for a little longer (Autumn still feels like Summer these days right?), there is no better time to get out and about to discover this free and fun institution.

Can you believe that our beautiful Cottesloe Beach has hosted the sculptures for THIRTEEN years!? Me either, and actually feeling quite old all of a sudden at that thought! In the words of Founding Director David Handley AM: “the sculptures are now a teenager and they are enjoying growing up”And you can tell too. This year the sculptures have a certain sophistication about them. Don’t worry, there still the quirk and the energy and the diversity that has defined the event for so long.

Afterall, half the fun is interpreting each piece just as each artist has against one of the most stunning backdrops going around. The collection this year includes 78 different sculptures from 15 countries, including a massive 33 works by WA artists and – get this – an unbelievable 220,000 people are expected to check it out over the coming weeks. But don’t let the crowds put you off. Get out amongst it because there is so much to love about this event. The beach itself is really art in its purest form and the adventure of finding the pop up installations is an adventure too. I visited on a glorious day – endless blue sky and no clouds – it was busy but the atmosphere was vibrant and inclusive. Sunrise or sunset might make for lighter crowds, and would make for a pretty cool photo opp too.
The event is all about interpretation and accessibility. I mean how cool is it to soak a little bit of culture up while you walk around in your swimmers, salty hair and a sarong? There is no pretence here, this is casual art that will appeal to the masses.
If you’re mobility limited, there’s special beach access days for people using manual wheelchairs (or you can hire them) on March 15 and 16 from 10am until 7pm.

Grab a program from the marquee near the Indiana Tea House, check out the winning sculptures and vote for your favourite in the “People’s Choice” category. And this year if you participate in the Act-Belong-Commit Passport Trail you have the chance to win an iPad! Simply follow the trail and find the 10 marked sculptures with clues, fill in your entry and you’re in the running to win.
While you’re there don’t forget to check out “Sculptures Inside” which is just across the road in an air-conditioned marquee and has miniature works of the exhibiting artists for sale.

So what are you waiting for?! Get out there and soak up the best WA has to offer.
This year’s event runs until March 20 and is free. Donations are encouraged with buckets placed around the event.
Remember when you visit to share your captures on social media by tagging #sculpturebythesea and #sxscottesloe17 and of course #perthhappenings for a possible feature!


Jo Newman

Hello! I’m Jo and I so excited to be your go-to Freo gal for Perth Happenings. It’s quite possibly the best gig because me and Freo, we go together like fish and chips.

Freo is our most eclectic and colourful and vibrant and charismatic city. It reeks of character yet effortlessly pulls off a modern uniqueness and a vibe unlike anywhere else in Perth. Anything goes and often does because surprises are around every corner. It’s a cool part of the world that I have been lucky enough to explore and live in for the best part of 30 years.

Long summer nights spent on Port Beach, fish and chips with the seagulls, coffees on the strip, scouring the markets for trinkets and treasures, chilling under the huge trees that line the Esplanade, dancing at The Clink and Metros nightclubs and watching the sunset from Monument Hill… you name it, I’ve done it. And you know what? I’m still doing it. But this time it’s with my husband and through the eyes of my four year old son… and possibly the night clubbing only now happens in my dreams.

When I’m not writing or taking photos or drinking coffee you will probably find me in an op shop looking for vintage frocks or quirky pieces. If not there, I’ll be at the park {often up on the equipment with the kids}, sometimes the beach or hanging out in alleyways looking for the best local street art, feeding my addiction to shooting my little boy {not literally} in front of the cool and colourful walls that grace our city. Since becoming a mum, my car doubles as my nightclub especially as I am now the DJ and can choose the best 80s remixes, preferably set to loud to drown out my unbridled tone deafness.