Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Not So Predictable

Many longstanding readers of Word4Life often second-guess my topic for the week. People frequently comment: “I knew you would write about that!” My guess is that everyone will be surprised when I announce my topic for this week – art, or more particularly, sculpture.
I confess to being rather unschooled when it comes to this topic. But at this time every year, Wendy and I head off to an art exhibition that about half a million people in Sydney adore. Every year a sublime coastal walk is transformed into a seaside art gallery, as over 100 works of sculpture are spread across the cliffs and on the beach from Tamarama Beach to Bondi Beach. What’s even better is that it’s free, as long as you can find somewhere to park. http://www.sculpturebythesea.com/exhibitions/bondi.aspx
People of all ages, and especially children, love this yearly event, starting this year on 3rd November and running for almost three weeks. Yes it is crowded if you go at a busy time, but being on show from dawn to dusk for 17 days gives people ample time to enjoy some very accessible art. Each year I am inspired, not only by the skill of the people who make the sculptures, but by the ideas that lie behind their creations. A giant waterspout with matching hot and cold taps set on a cliff sounds like a really weird idea, but each year the creativity is something special.
For many, what really makes this exhibition is the setting that forms the backdrop of the sculptures. Sydney is blessed with a coastline that is in itself a glorious work of art, but when the artists not only locate their sculptures in such beauty, but also use the setting to highlight their art, then the art and the coast come together, at times almost as one.
My senses appreciate not only the art but also the artist who created the work. It’s obvious that these works are not random accidents, but the painstaking work of design, creativity, imagination and skill.
The same set of senses declare, at least to me, that the cliffs, ocean, beaches and sea seem also to be the work of creative design. Sure that part of the coast has had some man made changes, but in spite of human involvement the coast is still so beautiful. The colours and moods can change with the fluctuation of the weather. The cliffs and beaches are also changing over time with the ravages of the wind and waves.
Still the picture remains the work of creation, design and wonder.
The sea is his (God’s), for he made it, and his hands formed the dry land.  Psalm 95: 5

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