Sculptures by the Sea

Sculptures that invite innovation

I visited Sculpture By The Sea, Cottesloe the other week - as did thousands of other Perthans.

I believe 'SxS' an incredibly important event - it delivers a massive input to Perth's creative capacity, and more than just the exposure of broad audiences to sculpture (or art), or an addition to the impressive "summer arts calendar" Perth now boasts.

A little like the cave-person who first came up with the wheel, there is a lot of innovation going on to create the sculptures, both artistic and technical, and these could be things that lead, directly or indirectly, to innovations that later revolutionise how we live, work or 'make things'.

For example, German artist Niels Tofahrn's huge hexagonal "eye" is based on traditional Inuit boat-building techniques Neils translated to floating shapes initially, then suspended objects. He is playing with a lightweight, buoyant and waterproof technology in very news ways. I can only imagine where his ideas could end up in 'real world' usage.

Equally, Ivan Black's kinetic 'weather vane' ("Golden Section") makes me think of much more visually pleasing new designs for wind farms - the seed is now right there for everyone to build on both artist's ideas.

It doesn't have to be technological either - super-talented Perth artist Mikaela Castledine's hand-crocheted mini Burmese stupas have a lot to make us think about things we do with right or wrong intention - are we also spending massive resources and time without earning merit? I won't get political on Elizabeth Quay, but with what intention has it been built, how different is it from the pagodas?

I believe "Sculptures" is much more than just an incredibly enjoyable and engaging arts event that celebrates some of Perth's best coastal environments, and introduces a huge number of people to art - it is a rich 'plank' on which development of Perth's creative capacity can be built, as there is so much there to gain: inspiration, ideas, innovation, and in a way that goes beyond art or entertainment. Maybe, a wheel.

As we move beyond the mining boom, I believe it is our creativity and innovative abilities that will help us as a state toward future growth. A rich creative environment, with events like 'SxS', will help us get there.