Sydney’s greatest arts event, Sculpture by the Sea, attracts hundreds of thousands of people. So if you want to beat the crowds, it’s best to go at dawn, when only the joggers are awake.
I was there with the camera at 6am, to catch the sun rising over the art.
If there’s a bigger and better outdoor art event than this one anywhere in world, please let me know about it. I can’t believe there could be a more spectacular location than the cliffs between Bondi and Tamarama Beaches.
And now we pause for a short political rant…
The NSW government’s recently announced $1.7 billion cuts to education spending include the axing of ALL funding to ALL art courses in TAFE (technical and further education). Artists, the government reasons, are not productive. We can manage perfectly well without them, and if they enjoy their little arty hobbies, they should pay for their own training.
Yes, of course we all like art, but it’s a kind of fringe, optional extra thing in these tough economic times. It doesn’t contribute to the community’s wellbeing in the way, say, a casino does. (The government seems certain to license a second casino for Sydney very soon.)
Since the cuts come into effect at the end of this year, students who have started their three-year art courses will be left stranded. Their teachers, many of whom are also practising artists, will lose an important source of income and will not have the opportunity to pass on their skills and inspiration.
The artists whose work we admire at events like Sculpture by the Sea are not just talented, they are also trained. They have learned their skills in courses like the ones which are now likely to disappear. Sculpture by the Sea is attended by far more people than any single sporting event in the country. It is free, but it generates an awful lot of money in cappuccino sales.
There’s way too much to take in in just one trip to Sculpture by the Sea. I’ll be back with more. Stay tuned.