1 May 2023

Batemans Bay foreshore to showcase best of sculpture when 10-day festival returns

| Claire Sams
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The 2020 Sculpture for Clyde Committee (from left): Janet Kininmonth, David Maclachlan, Lindsey Stewart, Alison Miers, Frances Harmey and Maggie Brennan. Photo: Supplied.

It’s one of the South Coast’s best-known attractions, and it’s coming back to Batemans Bay for 2023.

Sculpture for Clyde director David Maclachlan said the anticipation for the event was quickly growing.

While the outside exhibition was held at Willinga Park at Bawley Point in previous years, it is returning to Batemans Bay for 2023, alongside two other exhibitions.

“The community’s obviously happy about it, the volunteers are very happy about it,” Mr Maclachlan said.

Entries are divided into three categories of indoor sculpture, outdoor sculpture and students’ work.

“All schools in the shire get involved and it’s a sort of pathway event where they get some exposure, they can win some prizes and students are eligible for the main prizes,” Mr Maclachlan said.

“We got a grant for a big marquee that we’re putting on the Batemans Bay foreshore and the whole event will be together in one place on the foreshore, which is fantastic.”

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During the 10-day event, the public will be able to see 114 sculptures – a “big jump” from the previous total of 81 entrants.

Artists would be eligible for a share of more than $80,000 in prize money, including the $60,000 Acquisitive Prize.

“Eurobodalla Council’s basically gifted a $60,000 sculpture, plus the installation of it is covered,” Mr Maclachlan said.

“That’s a great thing and that’s why the Batemans Bay Sculpture Walk exists to this day, and why it’s expanding.”

One of the popular artworks on the Batemans Bay Sculpture Walk. Photo: Kim Treasure.

The Sculpture Walk currently holds eight permanent pieces of sculpture, dotted along the foreshore at Batemans Bay.

Those looking to support the festival can get involved as a volunteer, something Mr Maclachlan said was key to the festival’s success.

“You’re in a regional area, and volunteers are so important,” he said.

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“There’s a lot of services and events you just wouldn’t have in regional areas without volunteers because we just don’t have resources like the metropolitan areas do.”

Sculpture for Clyde began in 2016, intent on drawing tourism to the region during the normally quieter winter months.

But beyond people enjoying the art during the festival, the artworks have since become a tourist attraction in their own right.

“These images get a lot of responses online, they get shared a lot, and it just helps to create an ambiance or a picture of what art is there,” Mr Maclachlan said.

“It’s a very significant event, and the Sculpture Walk is a very significant piece of tourism infrastructure.”

Sculpture for Clyde will be held from 27 May to 4 June as a free event.

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