Carving out a piece of history
Sculpture by the Sea has been front page news in the Western Suburbs Weekly several times over its 13-year history.
SCULPTURE by the Sea director David Handley remembers former Cottesloe mayor Rob Rowell calling him to offer Cottesloe Beach as the WA home of the annual exhibition, now in its 13th year.
“I said to him, ‘funny you should mention that, because I was just going to call you’,” Mr Handley said.
The idea to bring the exhibition to Perth was a 2002 offer by its Bondi Beach, Sydney sponsors to widen its locations to Perth or Brisbane.
“And I immediately knew I wanted it in Cottesloe because I knew of the local leaders and strength of the sculpture artists in WA,” Mr Handley said.
Sculpture by the Sea was first held in Albany in
1998, and four years later, the first Cottesloe exhibition had 37 sculptures. It has now grown to be an internationally recognised event that attracts up to 250,000 each year.
About $250,000 is provided in State and Federal government support.
“As the show has evolved, it projects Australia more to itself as a cultured, sophisticated, but laid-back country,” Mr Handley said.
However, he has learnt from the experience of 13 years leading the event.
“I would have said to politicians ‘this show is not going to happen again unless you fund us properly’,” he said.
A solution was still needed for artists paying transport costs of about $100,000 each year.
Front page coverage of previous Sculpture by the Sea exhibitions.
Sculpture by the Sea director David Handley with April Pine's work Pause.