STOP PRESS: Bermagui grand finale – Yuri’s fire sculpture…

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Despite the earlier mishap (see http://artwranglers.com.au/earth-art/) Yuri Wiedenhofer’s fire sculpture, Melt Down Wash Down, on Horseshoe Bay last night went ahead regardless. No longer a cone, it nonetheless looks pretty exciting to us.

These snaps were sent through by Bob Georgeson, who apologises that he and Joy had to leave by 9.30pm and so didn’t stay the whole distance. We’re wondering if there was an explosive component to the piece – that would’ve been spectacular. And we’d love to see the melted remains – shades of the ‘Phoenician sailors discovering glass’ myth….

Thanks for the snaps, Bob.

We’ll bring you more if and when they come to hand.

‘Sculpture on the Edge’ at Bermagui (part 3)…

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The third component of the ‘Sculpture On The Edge’ fest was the symposium “Sculpture: Process and Passion” held at ‘Digadoo’ (a private property) on the Sunday.

And what a gorgeous setting for such an event – ‘Digadoo’, tucked into the rural Bermagui hinterland, boasts a beautifully maintained garden-slash-sculpture park and the dinkiest little auditorium you’ve ever seen. Add to that a program of engaging speakers (with Nigel Lendon as the key note), tea breaks on the deck, a picnic lunch in the glorious garden and the gaggle of empathetic ‘others’ (practitioners, collectors, curators, etc), and you wind up with a culturally informative and seriously enjoyable day.

The Gang, alas, couldn’t stay ’til stumps – we had house guests arriving – but we’d certainly like to thank the event co-ordinator Jan Ireland for a lovely day and, knowing the immense effort she must put into the complete ‘Sculpture On The Edge’ package, offer our hearty congratulations for a job exceedingly well done.

‘Sculpture On The Edge’ at Bermagui will most definitely be marked on our dance card from here on in. And how marvellous if it always falls on the Canberra long weekend – plenty of bods up there will appreciate an arty beach getaway, that’s for sure.

Snaps of the day at…

http://www.flickr.com/photos/glasscentralcanberra/sets/72157604100034711/

‘Sculpture on the Edge’ at Bermagui (part two)…

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(above) Sally Simpson, Duality A.

The second half of  ‘Sculpture On The Edge’ (the smaller work) was housed in the Bermagui Community Hall, a prosaic, fluoro lit facility which, it goes without saying, lacked the charm of the headland; but a-venue-is-a-venue-is-a-venue and you’ve got to make good with what you’ve got.

The work on show ran the full gamut from craft (as in coastal-souvenirs-on-steroids) to contemporary sculpture, and as such was suitably democratic, inclusive and reflective of the wider ‘creative industry’ as we know it. (Yes, we kid you not – even in Bermagui artists actually describe themselves as being ‘in the creative industry’. It cropped up in one of the opening speeches, for gawds sake. Oh how that makes us weep.)

Anyway, there was lots of great stuff to tempt the old chequebook so we dearly hope that was reflected in a flush of dots across the ensuing weekend.

For a gander of the eye-catchers go to…

http://www.flickr.com/photos/glasscentralcanberra/sets/72157604088752000/

‘Sculpture on the Edge’ at Bermagui (part one)…

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(above) Hanna Hoyne’s Soulsearchanaut About to be Born.

The Gang was on the headland at Bermagui yesterday morning to witness the opening of the third annual ‘Sculpture on the Edge’ event – and it was definitely worth the early morning start and drive. (We’re going to have to get used to the distances we now need to travel just to get our regular culture fix!)

‘Sculpture on the Edge’, brain-child of co-ordinator Jan Ireland, has had a most interesting beginning of the bête noir variety; it’s been positively dogged by contention. In the inaugural year Richard Moffat’s piece (a huge metal knot) attracted great ire from members of the local community who pronounced it ‘a big unsightly turd’. [Megsie’s sorry she missed it!!] Which, of course, was merely the classic rote reaction to contemporary art out on the conservative country fringe… 

The second year brought even more hysteria when a work by Greg Taylor, ‘If The Boots Don’t Fit’, had a life-size bronze of Johnny Howard in full AIF (WWI) rig standing on gormless guard against terrorism at the Horseshoe Bay beach. (See http://www.abc.net.au/illawarra/stories/s1904152.htm) It was Dad’s Army personified – absolutely bloody marvellous – and sooo Johnny. Anyway, the local council got the vapours and banned the work from public site (sic) – completely disregarding the fact that the artist had gifted it to the local community, which, by all accounts, was dead keen to keep it. (Mind you, that bayonet would’ve posed no end of OH&S grief…)

There are them-what-might regard such tribulations as a blight. But let’s face it, genuine controversy in the arts lends a certain cachet that can’t be bought for love nor money. Jan Ireland and her ‘Sculpture at the Edge’, ergo, is off to a propitious start – especially if the event remains edgy enough to attract ongoing critical debate. Fingers crossed.

‘Sculpture on the Edge’ is a two-part affair, run in tandem with Bermagui’s Seaside Fair. Large sculptures are planted on the headland, small works are exhibited in the Community Hall. To avoid unwieldiness we’ll break our coverage into two posts, starting with the former…

This year’s entries were a mixed bag – everything from farm forge-ery to out-of-towner sophistry. Our stand-out picks were John Ramsey’s Fishing Floats, Amanda Stuart’s Bush Pack, Hoon Hoyne’s Soulsearchanaut (a clear crowd favourite) and Mark Frith’s Pulp Friction. And we loved the deck chair. And the utter freakiness of Rachel Bowak’s Container in the Bermi setting – now there’s an artwork that’ll have the mob at the bowling club muttering into their iced vo-vos.

Pulp Friction, of course, was a protest work (against woodchipping) which doubled as a handy performance piece – Mark unhooked the bike and front trailer and rode the ensemble through town in Saturday’s Seaside Fair Parade. He reckons he’s not an artist, but used the event as a protest opportunity. We beg to differ – he’s a classic ‘outsider artist’ if ever there was one. 

There was a swag of ‘Berra-buggers down for the show, taking advantage of the Canberra Day long weekend. And plenty of familiar work.

Check it out on…

http://www.flickr.com/photos/glasscentralcanberra/sets/72157604074601801/

And ArtWranglers has a terrific profile of the event at…

http://artwranglers.com.au/finding-sculptures-edge/

But wait, there’s more…

http://www.transitlane.net/bermaguis-sculpture-on-the-edge/