6 March 2023

Shaping up beautifully: Annual sculpture show returns to Bermagui with a twist

| Claire Sams
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A group of people with sculptures

Attendees gather at the exhibition preview for the 2022 SCULPTURE Bermagui. Photo: SCULPTURE Bermagui/Facebook.

A staple of the Sapphire Coast’s art calendar is set to return this month, with organisers setting out with a new approach.

Media liaison Dr Ed Southorn said 2023 would see SCULPTURE Bermagui launch a new online component, but one thing that wouldn’t change would be the fact attendees could check out some quality art.

Between 11 and 19 March, attendees will be able to view more than 150 works submitted by a range of Australian and international sculptors.

“As well as having as many high-end sculptures as we can, we really make an effort to include in the exhibition just local folk who’ve put something together that stacks up artistically,” Dr Southorn said.

“[They] may not be by a career sculptor, but something that’s really nice and put together with a lot of love and attention by someone in the community as well.”

With the entry locations split between the Bermagui Surf Lifesaving Club, Bermagui Beach Hotel, Bermagui Country Club, the foreshore and the Dickinson Point headland, visitors will also be able to see some of the region’s sites and landmarks.

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Additionally, Canberra academic and artist Wendy Teakel has come on board as the major prize judge, with the prize money growing to a record $15,000 for the winner.

The Bermagui Beach Hotel has also joined the event as a new major sponsor.

For those curious about the world of sculpture and how the works come together, three artists’ talks, from Brandt Noack, Wil Edwards-Franchimon and Marina Elybeing, will be held during the exhibition.

“They’ll usually accompany it with video or a slide show or something, and they’ll just talk about their work and their inspiration,” Dr Southorn said.

Attendees will also be able to cast their eyes over the sculptures and choose their favourites, with all pieces available for sale.

“The sculptures range in prices from only a few hundred bucks up to 20, 30, 40 grand,” Dr Southorn said.

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This year, the team behind SCULPTURE Bermagui will shake up its online presence with a new website and logo.

“We’ve completely overhauled the website, we’ve made it a more digitally interactive experience,” Dr Southorn said.

The launch of an online catalogue means exhibition attendees can scan a QR code at the base of a sculpture to see information about it and its artist on their phones.

Additionally, those looking to support the exhibition could volunteer to help with things such as processing payments, talking about the sculptures and just having a chat with attendees, Dr Southorn said.

“It’s a real event for social capital, it builds social capital and the volunteers do that.”

Each volunteer shift lasts for several hours, and anyone interested can visit SCULPTURE Bermagui’s website to learn more about the various positions.

Attendees will also be able to financially support the exhibition by buying T-shirts and postcards.

Entry to SCULPTURE Bermagui is free.

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