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Art (and Architecture) by the Sea

This year’s Sculpture by the Sea exhibition showcases a number of clifftop and beachside sculptures treading the boundary between art and architecture.



BY Sammy Preston

October 21st, 2016


Stretching from Bondi to the sands of Tamarama Beach, the 20th annual sprawling temporary sculpture walk includes more than 100 works created by artists from 17 countries. The exhibition typically features towering abstract sculptures in bold and architectural materials and forms – and this year there is a selection of sculptures drawing distinct inspiration from architecture.

Perched on the sandstone lookout at Mackenzies Point is Nicole Larkin‘s Dynamics in Impermanence – a birch plywood shelter, with shifting pieces that become a part of the temporal conditions of the site, creating a fleeting spatial experience within and around the work.  Larkin is a Sydney based designer focused on digital fabrication techniques and craftsmanship. Her work directly explores the blurred boundaries between art, architecture, sculpture and traditional craftsmanship. This is the second time Larkin’s work has appeared in the exhibition – in 2013, she partnered with artist Thomas Murray to present Ephemeral Aura. 

Cave Urban architects‘ work has also been featured in the 2016 exhibition. The Sydney based firm was formed in 2010, ‘to investigate vernacular lightweight structures and their relevance to contemporary design’. This research quickly developed into a practice that now actively explores the boundary between art and architecture. Their sculptural piece, The Golden Hour peers out across the ocean from the top of Marks Park – a large spherical bamboo nest structure, which you can crawl into.

Also in Marks Park is Dutch designer Tord Boontje‘s champagne tree (titled Enchanting Tree), which was also displayed at L’Eden at Design Miami last year. The designer – probably best recognised in Australia for his garland lamp – has exhibited design pieces at the V&A, MoMA, and the Tate Modern. Branches on the wound steel art nouveau tree hold delicate glass flutes, ‘reinventing the gesture of champagne.’

Sculpture by the Sea runs until November 6 along the Bondi to Tamarama coastal walk.


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