A beautiful clear morning with a light cooling breeze was the perfect day to visit the annual Sculptures by The Sea at Cottesloe Beach next to the iconic Indiana Tea House, so famous in itself.


I watched the bustle of energy as surf lifesavers conducted their activities as usual, the blue sea a background contrast to the colourful and sometimes weird blocks of wood, twisted metal and ropes that made the creative scene on the sand canvas.


Most exhibits have some connection to sun, sea, wind or rain or environmental issues.



Surfboard graveyard – Chris Anderson (NSW) – The work is a tribute to surfers’ & their boards and the wasteful disposal of boards to landfill.

Permanent Sunset – Alejandro Propato (Argentina) – A dedication to the beautiful sunset at Cottesloe, ephemeral but forever.

Barbie doll wave – Annette Thas (WA) – The work alludes to childhood memories and social & environmental concerns. Do we drown or do we just dive in and come out the other side?



Ocean Lace – Britt Mikkelsen – memories of beachcombing when little things mattered, like this tiny fragment found at South Cott has been enlarged 700 times to reveal its fragile beauty.

Red Flamingo – Wendi Zang (China) – the flamboyance and grace of flamingos as temporary residents on the beach.

“Water Dreaming” – Warlukurlangu Collaboration – a reinterpretation of an aboriginal dream dot painting doubling as a giant bouncy playground

“Hearts in Paradise” – Ayad Alqeragholi – To the artist, these figures represent love and happiness with the pomegranate representing Paradise between them


The first exhibition was in 1997 in Sydney, inspired by David Handley’s visit to an outdoor sculpture park in Prague, was visited by more than 25,000 people and awarded $8,500 of the $11,000 budget to exhibiting artists. Sculptures by the Sea, Cottlesoe was launched in 2005 by the not-for-profit organisation Sculptures by the Sea Incorporated, which was formed to greater access to funding and grants to continue this fabulous work around Australia and internationally.