Sculpture By the Sea: A Step-By-Step Guide to Impressing Your Wanky Friends

As the mass of tourists descend upon Bondi for the annual Vultures By the Sea  Sculpture By the Sea exhibition, the sun sets on another day of Bondi rescues and record goji berry sales.

For anyone who inevitably abandoned the mission after 45 minutes of unsuccessful circling hoping for an $8 park, here’s a few photos that are not nearly as good as the real deal but will likely fool your posh friends into thinking you attended if confidently described.

“Quixotes Last Stand” Morgan Jones

I did try to google the artist’s work but the website took too long to load, and I’m not convinced it was the same Morgan Jones who did this piece. If your colleagues ask, this sculpture may refer to the fabled knight Don Quixote of La Mancha, from a volume published in 1605 that inspired the informative Scottish blog taking a stand against Industrial Wind Turbines. You can have a read of said blog at and assess the validity of this tenuously drawn link yourself.

“Dave” Cathyann Coady

If I had a dollar for the number of times my parents encouraged three begrudging children to stand and smile next to a piece of art, I wouldn’t be out of pocket every time I ordered a smashed avo. Turns out it’s a universal occurrence and maybe I should have just been more grateful to have a mum and dad who didn’t plonk me in front of the TV at every available opportunity. Talk about how much your children enjoyed this one.

“Signed” Jonathon Leahey

When Jean-Claude tries to catch you out at the next dinner party on what you made of the giant plane overlooking Tama, you can say “I thought it was yet another example of Jonathan’s impeccable work with construction related disciplines” then take a smug bite of your lobster thermidor while your mate struggles to digest your obvious artistic superiority.

“Infrastructure 5” Oliver Stretto-Pow

This is half of an awesome wooden sculpture by Stretto-Pow that looks much better photographed at an angle where it looks like it’s jutting out of the sea, but you get the idea.

“Chronic Series” Lu Zheng-Yuan

My (and your hypothetical) second favourite from the walk – a series of contorted “body bags”, constructed entirely of black marble. Displayed on the rock headland overlooking the ocean, the figures brings to front of mind the gay hate-crimes of Bondi in the 80’s & 90’s recently given public recognition through the confronting Australian 3 part SBS series “Deep Water”; also worth viewing.

“Fluid” Norton Flavel

Due to an overheated iPhone not being able to tether plus the welcome interruption of a large glass of red, I’m going to keep this one short. I didn’t actually realise until just now, but this beautiful cage is essentially in the formation of a drop, leaking from large oil drums out of view from this angle. Structurally interesting and environmentally commentative.

“In Awe” Rebecca Rose

A biggie from Auckland based artist Rebecca Rose that, unlike some of the other less fortunate pieces, outlasted the oar-fully destructive storm that ripped through the east, washing a few into the sea.

“Reality TV” Anne Levitch

My favourite photo, and favourite subject. Local artist and designer Anne Levitch creates a beautifully framed and lit sculpture enjoyed from any angle.

“Without a Beginning and With No End” Nyland & Beale
“Without a Beginning and With No End” Nyland & Beale

If you want to get real deep in your next insty-post, talk about how moved you were by the art-that-creates-art, “Without a Beginning and With No End”Pretty!

“The Tractor” Markus Hofer

Not to be confused with “After Party” by Sean Cordeiro & Claire Healy, the OTHER bulldozer filled with happy goodness (and emitting hardcore euro disco music), this photo is a closeup of the drippy-paint leaking out of “The Tractor”, spilling out into a bright pink pool on the pavement in the shape of yours truly, Australia. I wish all the things I’ve spilt ended this well.

“Surfing Bondi Clouds” Barbara Licha

Brb, eating rice paper rolls. I’ve become slightly lazy having overcommitted how much I was going to write about this… But I really did enjoy this wire tumbleweed of little characters, which did look like cloud surfers when viewed against the sunset.

“M.151201” Toshio Lezumi

For those of you still reading (perhaps you regretfully declined attending with your in-laws because you’d “already seen it”, and are now scavenging the darkest corners of the internet in the interest of substantiating your selfish lie), be sure to mention how tedious it was to wait for what felt like but probably wasn’t ten full minutes, while the school girl glued to her iPhone was completely unaware she was not only talking at a ridiculous volume, but also standing 100% in-frame of everyone else’s desired photo; like it was for me. Bonus points if you mention how this one reminded you of Lucy Humphrey’s water-filled glass orb from 2013 SBTS, “Horizon”.

“Stack” Clara Hali

Tip: Talk at length about how well Hali, who captures the vulnerability of human nature through precarious rock formations inspired by the Blue Mountains (yes!) so perfectly replicated the “lead-stack” feel of sitting at a desk 5 days a week.

“Mountains Air-Circles” Koichi Ishino

The finest commentary I can provide for this soothing minimalistic piece was overheard by Tom from a woman passing by, who I instantly wished we’d ghosted for the entire duration of the coastal walk; “What’s this bullshit? Two circles and a couple o’ bloody rocks!!!”

Vultures enjoying “Transition” Harrie Fasher & “The Golden Hour” Cave Urban

That huge ball silhouetted on the right was a real nest, in which children were playing. Something straight out of Where The Wild Things Are, impressive in both size & construction.

“Dave” Cathyann Coady


Finalement, (say it in a French accent), to dissuade any skeptics who would be forgiven for taking offence to my harsh criticism of the Eastern Subs, take comfort in the knowledge that I only jest… Here’s a few photos that give away my soft spot for my home of 3 years that still retains a small piece of my black heart. For now though, if anyone needs me, I’ll be across the way in Manly.