Sculpture by the Sea

For someone with such a healthy interest in travel, I have a really bad sense of direction. After years of denying this, it’s a conclusion I came to on the weekend.

“When I backpacked around Europe a few years ago, I got lost all the time, and was nearly killed on a couple of occasions by oncoming traffic”, I told my friend Sue. “I think it was because it was in the Northern Hemisphere and because they drive on the other side of the road”, I added.

“Who am I kidding?”, I thought to myself after a while. I mean, how else could you explain getting lost at Bondi, and heading North instead of South to see Sculpture By The Sea? But that’s exactly what I did on the weekend. After half an hour or so of looking at real estate, we ended up in a rather suburban and isolated part of North Bondi, instead of joining the crowds of thousands at South Bondi. On a positive note, a local man who noticed we were looking a little lost helpfully offered directions, and even pulled over on the roadside to pick us up and give us a lift back into town. What a lovely man, he was. Very kind.

When we finally made it, we were pleased, as the sculptures this year were interesting, varied, and well executed. “I really wish I could do something like this”, I said to Sue at one point. Although I can do creative things with sound and words, my mastery of the visual arts is limited. Although I really appreciate the visual arts (and actually collect art), I was never very good at the visual arts or manual arts at school. In metal work, for example, I never completed a single work, and in pottery, I completed only one. I was good at finger painting though. And a few years ago, while I was in hospital after surgery, I did complete a couple of amateurish paintings. As a “visual” person. I can conceptualize works, I just haven’t had the training (or perhaps the aptitude) to take it beyond that, which is a shame.

In a great example of “not in my backyard”, there was a house near Tammarama (at the end of this year’s walk), where the owners declared their opposition to Sculpture By The Sea by putting a pile of rubbish on their front lawn and describing it as “Rubbish By The Sea”. Did they not like visual art, or did they not like this manifestation of visual art? It would be interesting to know.

Either way, we had a lovely day.

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