Sculpture by the Sea
Weekend Telegraph, Culture

The rough-hewn artworks of Stephen King, a rugged sheep and cattle farmer from the NSW town of Walcha, have been exhibited in Sculpture by the Sea no fewer than 11 times. That includes this year's event, which features naturally fallen stringybark trees from King's property, Blackfellows Gully, transformed by the artist into a sculpture with the none-too-subtle aid of a chainsaw.

The work, titled Carbon Trader, is for sale for $39,500. It depicts a pair of hands juggling a 'carbon chain' of four tiny worlds. King's work joins 106 other sculptures dotted along the winding windswept clifftop pathway from the Bondi Icebergs to Tamarama Beach.

Along the way, at Tamarama SLSC, is an exhibition of pint-sized versions of many of the large-scale sculptures outside. All the sculptures are for sale. Every nook and crevice along the pathway seems to boast a sculpture. There are so many on Tamarama that beach-goers will have to fight them for a spot. In the case of Tim Kyle's enormous nude sunbather wearing a gas-mask it might be wise of yield ground to the artworks. This one is called On the Beach. Elsewhere on the sand, Andy Townsend and Suzie Bleach's farm animals created from steel and salvaged mechanical parts march towards the water's edge.

Mark's Park, which lies half way along the path, also has an assortment of sculptures including this year's winner of the $30,000 Sculpture Prize, Mark McClelland's large metal work, she thought. McClelland's piece was informed by the space in which it is being exhibited, which McClelland visited regularly during the creative process.

Also in Mark's Park is a breathtaking kinetic work titled Harmony With The Breeze by Japanese sculptor Kozo Nishino. Resembling the wings of a huge sea-bird, the articulated metal sculpture shifts subtly with the wind which sweeps up the hill. This work won the Transfield Holdings Kinetic Artist Prize, this year's new award for entries to the exhibition.

At Mackenzies Bay, a pack of 11 dogs bounds up the hillside as if giving chase. They are by Amanda Stuart who was once a ranger with National Parks and Wildlife Service and is now an artist and lecturer.

Not far away is Ivan Lovatt's 44-gallon drum painted as a soup can, with a chicken-wire bust of Andy Warhol surmounting it. Andy The City Rat stars out to sea in surrounds from whose natural splendour he would have instinctively recoiled.

Mark Wotherspoon's work Television Within Television Without, is made of cast recycled television glass (sourced from council clean-ups and from a newspaper advertisement) and stainless steel. It shows a little boy gazing upwards at the sky.

"I find I am distracted when there's a television in the room, and I've seen how children behave when there's a television," Witherspoon says.

Elizabeth Fortescue