Sculpture by the Sea, Bondi | 2km sculpture trail, 100+ sculptures

Sculpture by the Sea, Bondi, the world’s largest annual free-to-the-public outdoor sculpture exhibition, celebrates its twenty-fifth anniversary this year, returning to Sydney’s spectacular Bondi to Tamarama coastal walk from 20 October to 6 November 2023.

Coady, Dave, 2023, Sculpture by the Sea, Bondi 2023. Photograph: Charlotte Van Peteghem

The iconic exhibition will see the coastline transformed into a 2km long sculpture park over three weeks, featuring over 100 sculptures by artists from Australia and across the world. This year’s exhibition will see favourites return, including Philip Spelman and Ron Gomboc, who join the Double Decade Club; Lucy Barker and Ayako Saito, who join the Decade Club; acclaimed Chinese artist Chen Wenling; and Australian sculptors Paul Bacon, Stephen King, Michael Le Grand, John Petrie, James Rogers, and Margarita Sampson, who all exhibited in the first Sculpture by the Sea, Bondi in 1997.

Clovelly local John Petrie was announced as the recipient of the $100,000 Aqualand Sculpture Award for his gravity defying basalt artwork 23.5°. The sculpture will be gifted by Aqualand for permanent public placement in Sydney. Petrie, who works primarily in stone, is influenced by the Australian landscape. 23.5° is a 2.6-metre-high work made from basalt and inspired by the Earth’s axis. The sculpture brings together the rugged boulder terrain of The Great Dividing Range and the refined aesthetic Petrie was exposed to when living in Japan.

John Petrie, 23.5°, Sculpture by the Sea, Bondi 2023. Photograph: Charlotte Curd

Japanese artist Masayuki Sugiyama was awarded the Neil Balnaves AO 25th Anniversary Prize of $25,000 for his stainless steel work Moving Stillness, 2020/2023, and Greek artist Leda Alexopoulou was awarded the Waverley Council Mayor’s Award of $5,000 for her bronze sculpture Keep Walking.

Highlights of the 2023 exhibition include this year’s three $30,000 Helen Lempriere Scholarship recipients: Greg Johns (SA), Lucy Barker (NSW) and Siahne Rogers (WA).

Snapchat and Melbourne artist Mond Qu bring an immersive new ‘ARt’ collaboration with Chasing the Sun, which uses Snap’s leading augmented reality (AR) technology to create a “secret” sculpture that visitors can unlock at Tamarama beach, for a fully immersive AR experience that tracks the arc of the sun as it moves through the sky. Those who can’t make it to Sydney can also experience the magic of Sculpture by the Sea, Bondi and Chasing the Sun, through a global Snapchat Augmented Reality (AR) lens, which can used by anyone around the world.

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