It’s hard to beat these two weeks in Bondi Beach each year. The summer sun is definitely here, the beach is full, and there’s a hundred or more sculptures scattered along the coastal path between here and Tamarama. And most of these are big sculptures, even house sized!
Love them, loath them or just bored by some of them, the sculptures liven up our coastline beautifully for a couple of weeks. The crowds sure to love them, and they make my heart sing.
So here is my homage to this years perfect introduction to summer in Sydney.
The annual Sculpture by the Sea exhibition is on again
This is one of my favourite times of the year, as spring is turning into summer and the Bondi to Tamarama coastal walk hosts over one hundred stunning sculptures. With a backdrop of beautiful beaches, and ocean all the way to the horizon, it’s no surprise that hundreds of thousands of people visit it over 18 days each year in late October/early November. You should too.
Gallery of the sculptures.
diminish and ascend
nomadic city: lest we forget
aquarium of the pacific gyre
room without a view
encounter + there’s many a slip ‘twixt the cup and the lip
It only lasts for a quick two weeks, it’s already half over for this year, and it is a highlight of Bondi that I look forward to every year. It brings out the crowds – even with all the rain this year. Today it is glorious sunshine, and it’s a Sunday, so it is really, really packed – not surprising when you think that approx 400,000 people visit it every year, over 16 days!
Why do I like it so much? – well it’s partly the location – a stunning seaside walk around headlands and bays, with the ocean as a backdrop to the sculptures – that is pretty amazing. And then there are the many dozens of sculptures, in a huge array of styles and sizes – although ‘big’ always looks good in this environment! Everyone will have their own favourites, there are plenty to go around. Oh, and it’s free – can’t get much better then that. (but programs cost $10 if you want to know what it is you are looking at). And then there are the many Bondi cafes and bars for a restorative bite or drink at the end.
It’s so good it has now spread to WA (Cottesloe Beach) and Aarhus in Denmark.
If you have a choice, try and visit on a week day. Early in the morning or later in the evening are both particularly good if you want to maximise the amount of open space around each sculpture – sneak out of work a bit early and you can have an hour or two to wander before it gets too dark. I want to say that even on the crowded weekends it’s still well worth a visit, but I am struggling to! If you must come on the weekend, bring a water supply and lots of patience.
Sculpture by the Sea, Bondi, Sydney 2010
If you are bringing your young kids with you, (and you should, they’ll enjoy it), keep an eye out for signs on some of the sculptures asking us not to touch them, climb in or on them etc. The majority of the sculptures are robust and touchable, but some are not, or may be dangerous to play on. I am amazed at the number of parents who read the signs out or point them out to each other – and then send their kids off to play on them anyway, or to pose on them for the “perfect” photo. Theres a playground in Marks Park as well, so no excuses.
So just one question then – have you walked the Sculptures yet?