“I have been trying to get these type of lease projects up for well over a decade to find second homes for sculptures from our Bondi and Cottesloe shows” he said.
“As a result, there is a major collection of over 20 works now on Granite Island at Victor Harbor in South Australia with five more sculptures to be shortly installed.”
The partnership with Sculpture by the Sea was a chance to bring wider cultural experience to people of south-west Sydney within a discreet budget, Casula’s director Craig Donarski said.
A survey of 700 Liverpool Council residents carried out early this year found an overwhelming majority of locals wanted to see more outdoor sculpture in the area beyond the more ”predictable cast bronze historical figures”, Donarski says.
“With this partnership arrangement, we can take a smaller selection of works from this year’s festival as soon as it finishes and have them up. What’s really exciting is we’ll be annually updating and renewing the sculpture walk each year with a fresh batch to replace the previous year’s ones,” he said.
Donarksi is hopeful this year’s nucleus of works will draw interest elsewhere. Impressed with the National Art School’s graduate show, he is negotiating to exhibit some of the graduates’ best works at Casula.
Handley said all artists’ costs would be covered including freight, plus they would be paid a lease fee while the sculptures would still be available to be acquired
“While it’s obviously easier to find the funds to more appropriately support the artists when there are seven sculptors in a show compared to 100, it really is time the three levels of government and their arts funding agencies get behind the artists in Sculpture by the Sea – remembering the Australia Council has decided the artists won’t get any funding at all, not one cent, from 2021,” he said.
The seven sculptures are a mix of the monumental, witty and clever: Celest by David Ball, Time After Time by Cui Yi, SEQUINtial Reflections, by Denise Pepper, Floating Grounded Figure by Greg Johns, Red Gum by Naomi Taylor Royds, The Water Carrier by Paul Selwood and Circle Door to the Future by Tetsuro Yamasaki.
As to the fate of Sculpture by the Sea at Bondi, Mr Handley said the event’s board continued to explore options for next year. ”Thank you for asking but it’s too early to add anything further.”
Linda Morris is an arts and books writer at The Sydney Morning Herald