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The Whimsical, Thought-Provoking Sculptures of Bondi’s Sculpture by the Sea

The Whimsical, Thought-Provoking Sculptures of Bondi’s Sculpture by the Sea

WOE Media

If you’re not in the loop yet, the Sculpture by the Sea exhibition is an annual outdoor sculpture exhibition, inviting the world’s most imaginative sculptors to showcase their work against the backdrop of Australia’s world-famous Bondi Beach. Over 100 sculptures are planned to grace the Bondi to Tamarama coastal walkway this year, creating a 2km-long sculpture garden. Below, we’ve compiled a list of our favorite sculptures from years past to put you in the spirit to head down to Bondi (as if you needed another reason) and join in on the festivities. For more information on the event, visit or check out Sydney’s official tourism site at

David McCracken, Diminish and Ascend, Bondi 2013

The aluminum steps protrude out on the side of a hill facing the sea, playing with perspective to make the sculpture look like a never-ending path into the sky.

Elaine Barry Conway, Coming Soon, Bondi 2013

This billboard-style >artwork aims to raise environmental awareness and the ominous threat of global warming.

Ken Upsworth, There’s Many a Slip, Bondi 2013

Eko Bambang Wisnu & Ida Lawrence, Goodnight Uncle John,Bondi 2013

According to the artist’s website, Goodnight Uncle John “illustrates a scene that took at 10:17 pm last Friday somewhere between Bankstown, Bondi and Bandung.”

Stephen Marr, The Optimist, Bondi 2012

Dave Mercer, View TM, Bondi 2012

The artist explains the motivation behind his bright red sculpture in the following words: “As a sculptor, I’m interested in the way we interact with brands, and the way brands interact with us as consumers. I find that as people, we tend to form emotional attachments to certain products that probably don’t really deserve an emotional attachment. It’s through branding that those attachments come about.”

Simon McGrath, Who Left the Tap Running, Bondi 2011

The artist says he hopes to bring awareness on the environmental impact of humans on the planet. Says McGrath: “A majority of scientists say global warming is real and that the sea level is rising because of it. By placing a giant set of taps off the cliff at Bondi, my work turns the ocean into a giant sink. Through its title it poses the question, who is responsible for the water level coming up?”

Gary Deirmendjian, Do Not…, Bondi 2011

The artist explains his piece as follows: “Superficially speaking the work takes its form and language directly from the actual warning signage developed and used extensively by Sculpture by the Sea. However to the artist it represents not only a site and event specific proposition, but more significantly a personal protest against what is quite simply a “sign of the times”. How is one able to do anything anymore?”

Tomas Misura, Splash, Bondi 2010

Misura won the $3,000 kids choice prize for his sculpture of a giant stainless steel paint tube gushing red paint in the direction of the beach.

Alex Kosmas, Gilded Cage, Bondi 2009

The tree laid out on the board room table like an agenda item is an item of pathos, a state reinforced by the cage, which surrounds and separates the world of business with the world of nature.

Justin Drape & Simone Brandse, Big Drink, Bondi 2009

The Big Drink, a 16-metre straw constructed from 450 kilograms of steel and PVC, highlighted the irony that Australia is an island surrounded by water, but never seems to have enough of it to drink.

Anna Emma, Imag_ne, Bondi 2008

The Glue Society, Hot with a Chance of Late Storm, Bondi 2006

Hot with a Chance of Late Storm was created in part to humorously acknowledge the summer sun’s power, but also to make a more serious point about the dangers of global warming.

Jeremy Parnell, Big Chook, Bondi 2005

Parnell made the egg from fiberglass and high gloss epoxy marine paint. The artist’s work was inspired after seeing people fry themselves on the beach attempting to get a suntan.

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