Melting ice cream cones, b(l)eached cows, giant banana lounges, row upon row of sinks.

Sculpture By the Sea 1

Sculpture By the Sea is back!

Now – I could use this post as my opportunity to vent about the de-valuing of art appreciation within society through the staging of so-called “exhibitions” aimed at mass markets and filled with mainstream, “popular art”.

But I won’t.

And I won’t even get on my soap box about how large scale mainstream exhibitions like this drain corporate resources for other cultural and art experiences of a more cutting edge, experimental and challenging nature.

From a sheer “isn’t it nice to be out by the sea and looking at something different” perspective, this was very cool.

I went twice – the first time I surprised a friend by taking her for a champagne breakfast at Harvest (mmmm… hands down, best breakfast in Perth!) and then to Cottesloe to walk amongst the alien sculptures…

Sculpture By the Sea 2
Sculpture By the Sea 4

The second visit was the result of mentioning it to an old friend last night while we were having dinner in Fremantle. He’d never heard of it – so we did a late night reconnaissance and experienced the night light version.

The stark difference between how some pieces affected me visually during the day, because of the context of light and background colour and human interaction, and how other pieces which left me cold during the day, completely engaged me in the shadowy night, was a real experience and reminded me of something really important.

Sculpture By the Sea 5
Sculpture By the Sea 3

Sometimes it’s not for the artist to challenge us, but for us to challenge the art. It can be all to easy to become complacent about the apathetic action of moving through a gallery – sometimes we need to find ourselves unexpectedly outside the box.