Sculpting Freo

IF YOU walk along Bathers Beach tonight you will see weird objects glowing in the sand.

Don’t worry, nobody has slipped an acid into your coffee, it’s just a new atmospheric twist to Sculpture at Bathers.

For the first time, the exhibition will feature sculptures with programmed LED lights, so visitors can enjoy them at night and see another side to the artworks.A great initiative, especially with the searing heatwave we are going through.

Since launching in 2013, Sculpture at Bathers has been a roaring success with visitor numbers increasing from 20,000 in its debut season to 60,000 in 2020.This year’s exhibition is another cracker with artworks from 73 artists installed at Bathers Beach, Kidogo Arthouse and Fremantle, with satellite exhibitions at Victoria Quay and The Republic of Fremantle.

Highlights include Shimmer by Richard Aitken, a twinkling tree with metallic fish for leaves.With each fish attached to a bed spring, they constantly move in the wind, creating an ever-changing light show.

Aitken gets extra points for recycling an old bed mattress to create Shimmer, which is installed at Victoria Quay.A literally uplifting sculpture is Janine McAullay Bott’s Absalom, a bird made from palm fronds, driftwood, gum nuts, emu feathers and the grass tree Xanthorrhoea.

The cute creation is accompanied by a poem:
Fly high on the wind my friend
Glide down to the sea
Rest easy on the cliff’s edge
We will always look for you there

If you like dark and scary sculptures then Goldie pulling in the red rope by Nalda Searles and Todd Israel is like a prop from The Wicker Man and Stuart Elliott’s Wetworker is part animal, part machine – a comment on humankind’s vexed relationship with the marine world.

An exhibition wouldn’t be complete without an artist’s take on covid – Tim Burns’ Remnant armament cleverly shows the physical similarity between a World War I sea mine and the coronavirus.

A visually striking and simple sculpture that really hits home.Ironically, when I was walking back from Gage Roads Brewery, where I ate octopus for a Herald food review, I passed a menacing, steam punk octopus on Victoria Quay.

Created by Bjoern Rainer-Adamson, Mollusk is a wry look at how humankind tries to control nature with technology, often neglecting the environment in the process.

Will this obsession come back to literally bite us in the bum?S@B 5 is on from February 19 – March 7 with the artworks available to buy from 10am – 7pm daily at Kidogo Arthouse. For more info go to sculptureatbathers.com.au.

There will also be free tactile Ktours for people with disabilities, run by DADAA.For details go to dadaa.org.au/whats-on/event/tactile-tours-sculpture-at-bathersSome 

By STEPHEN POLLOCK

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