Cottesloe Beach’s annual outdoor sculpture exhibition, Sculpture by the Sea, is set to return to the iconic location from 5 – 22 March this year. Showcasing artworks from 70 artists, from 13 different countries, the exhibition brings culture and intrigue to the white sands of Cottesloe, as beachgoers and art-lovers alike can enjoy the free exhibition.

Two abstract scuplted figures installed on the beach in white sand, and appear to be watching the sunset over the water and beach groyne with soft wispy clouds overhead from Sculpture by the Sea 2020

‘Flutterland II’ by April Pine, Cottesloe 2020, Image by Richard Watson

Thirty-five of this year’s works have been crafted by WA sculptors, including Ayad Alqaragholli and Tom De Munk-Kerkmeer, whose works are being exhibited for the tenth time at Sculpture by the Sea. Renowned New Zealand artist Chris Booth will exhibit as the Tourism Western Australia Invited International Artist, creating a new, large-scale work titled ‘Laminae’ for the exhibition.

Inspired by fungi coral and made from macrocarpa veneer, the 4m wide sculpture is expected to weigh one tonne – in stark contrast to the delicate nature of fungi coral. The hefty, immovable object will reveal the gravitas of the fragility of ocean life, with coral reefs of Australia and the world threatened and dying from humankind’s exploitation of our natural environment.

three wooden sculptures in the shape of viruses, made out of branches and other textured wood sit on the beach of white sand, with some people and the ocean and blue sky in the distance from Sculpture by the Sea 2020

‘Viral Escapade’ by Marcus Tatton, Cottesloe 2020, Image by Clyde Yee

A larger than life inflated head figure sits on the beach, the top half of the head is homer simpson, who has a yellow face and very large round eyes, and the bottom half is the greek poet homer, in the classical sculptural style from Sculpture by the Sea 2020

‘Homer Homer’ by Dave Glass, Cottesloe 2020, Image by J Wyld

The exhibition is open all hours for 18 days between Mar 5-22, which leaves plenty of opportunity to visit, especially alongside a casual swim or fish & chips down by the beach. Artworks from previous exhibitions have ranged from the quirky, to the quizzical, the bold and the beautiful: there’s something for everyone to enjoy, including for children and families.

Three textured, monochrome black sculptures in the shape of emperor penguins sit on orange coloured rocks upon a beach groyne. The blue ocean can be seen in the distance, as well as white sand and beachgoers, with pine trees and a building in the background from Sculpture by the Sea 2020

‘Black Emperors’ by Mikaela Castledine, Cottesloe 2020, Image by J Wyld

In previous years, the popular event has attracted an estimated 220,000 visitors, and thus will be operating with a COVID Event Plan to ensure the safety of people enjoying the artworks. As with last year’s exhibition, organisers are asking for voluntary donations from visitors towards keeping beloved annual event afloat and supporting the artists, due to the removal of funding from the Australia Council this year. In 2020, patrons donated just over $99,000, which ensured it could continue despite a year of chaos.

Founding Director of Sculpture by the Sea, David Handley said, “The support of the people of Perth and WA saved the exhibition last year, with 20,000 people making a $5 donation – even though only 80,000 people visited because of concerns over COVID. This year it’s just as important for everyone to donate to save the exhibition and to cover much of the artists’ installation costs, which used to be funded by the Australia Council. If, like last year, one in four visitors donates $5 we will reach the goal.”

Look out for the Welcome Teams in their red t-shirts with contactless tap and go card terminals or visit the Information Marquees if you’d like to make a donation.

Cover image: Echoes III, IV and V, Cottesloe 2020, Image by Clyde Yee

Check out our guide to Cottesloe to make the most of your visit to Sculpture by the Sea

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