Powerful tides and relentless waves have destroyed at least three installations and damaged several more at Sculpture by the Sea in Sydney’s eastern suburbs.
For the first time in 20 years of exhibitions, a monstrous 12-foot swell blasted the Bondi coastline, with torrents of white water surging through Tamarama beach.
Despite efforts to relocate some of the artworks planted in the sand, an even higher tide than anticipated dragged a number of the works directly into the ocean. Powerful tides and relentless waves have destroyed at least three installations at Sculpture by the Sea in Sydney’s east
An enormous red Havaiana thong and bronzed rhino buried in the sand were both battered by water but remained intact when conditions eased.
An enormous red Havaiana thong and bronzed rhino buried in the sand were both battered by water but remained intact when conditions eased on Monday afternoon. Sightseers watched on in horror as the waves pounded the artworks.
‘Fair Dinkum Offshore Processing’ – an artwork by Bronek Kozka – fell victim to the wild conditions, thrashed by the king tide before being flushed out into the ocean. Mr Kozka told Sydney Morning Herald that he was in ‘shock’ and ‘still processing’ the news that his work had been ‘totally been broken apart.’ ‘The emotions are going up and down a little bit,’ the 46-year-old said.
‘I’m upset that it’s gone, but I’m more upset that offshore processing is an issue we need to keep in peoples’ minds all the time, and now they won’t be seeing it.’ Festival organisers tried to save the works by moving them further up the beach and anchoring them in the sand – to no avail
Two further artworks placed precariously by the rocks on the walkway between Bondi and Tamarama were destroyed by the conditions. David Handley, founder of Sculpture by the Sea, told Fairfax that organisers had taken a number of precautions to try and save all the artworks on Tamarama beach.
A number of the artworks were pushed back 25 metres on the beach, and all of them were anchored in the sand – some almost a metre deep. ‘Today’s king tide, it’s right on high tide now, and a huge swell. So unfortunately we’ve really got the trifecta,’ he said. ‘The work that has been destroyed, we moved it 25 metres back from the end of the stormwater drain. In all these years we’ve never had a work damaged on there, but the waves were so strong they still swept it off. The festival founder said it was the worst conditions he had contended with in 20 years