Friday, March 21, 2008


Joerg-Werner Schmidt: Humans Emerging from the Water - Imprinted by their Origin - Imprinted by their Aim

Women everywhere in varying states of undress. Topless women rubbing sun cream on each other. Bikini clad girls running through the surf. Ah.

None of this, however, can distract me from my mission, which is of course Art. Two weeks photographing Sculpture By The Sea, Cottesloe. When the semi naked women appear, i point my camera at the ground and stare at the sea. Stare at the sand. Lest i am mistaken for some kind of pervert.

Anna Gunnarsdottir (Iceland): Sea Shells

Arriving on installation day, straight off the motorbike after a thousand kilometre, two day ride, i'm thrown in at the deep end. If only i'd remembered to take the Sony Ericsson out of my pocket first. Shoot.

Still, life is simpler without the mobile phone. Mornings i do yoga stretches and swim out past the end of the sea wall, soaking up the coolness and the calm. A double shot coffee at Il Lido, and i'm ready to shoot again.

But it's a tough assignment. And not just because of the relentless pull of the sea sirens. It's the sun. And walking on beach sand all day: an iron man i am not. So i buy a ridiculously large straw coolie's hat from the surf shop and slap on the suncream, but it's still a long hard slog. It's no day at the beach, i can tell you.

I couch surf for a couple of days, but eventually i bite the bullet and check in to the spare room at the Aged Parents' house. They are retired, and are none too pleased to see me. The family's black sheep has returned, newly shorn by Plamina the Bulgarian Barber.

Evenings, the Aged Parents sit quietly side by side, reading their murder mysteries. Dawn and dusk they hand feed the local population of kookaburras and magpies. I can't venture out the back door without being set upon by natives - i tell you, it's like a scene from Hitchcock's The Birds out there. I shower, and head back out to the beach. I suppose the Aged Parents are upset at me because they think i am treating their home like a hotel. Well, i am treating their home like a hotel. And the free internet is a bonus.

Tim MacFarlane Reid: Origin

I suppose you could say the installation of sculpture on the beach works because of the subconscious associations of positive and negative sculptural space with the yin and yang energy of sun and sea. The sun, a positive male force - a yang energy - parallels the positive dynamic space occupied by the mass dimension of the sculpture. The masculine, positive, upward-seeking qualities of the work correspond to the light and daytime, the sun. While the sea, long associated with the emotions and nature - a female yin energy - represents the negative space in sculpture, a dynamic embraced by modernist sculptors such as Henry Moore and Jean Arp.

One could say that, but of course it is complete bullshit.


Anonymous said...

You have parents? How can this be possible?

Anonymous said...

And surely one or two innocuous semi-naked bikini shots wouldn't hurt, hmmm...? All in the best possible taste etc etc.

Seng said...

You did take semi-bikini shots. I seen them! :-)