15 November 2009

Sculpture By the Sea Inspiration

I battled the crowds and made it to Sculpture by the Sea this weekend, my personal favourite being Morpheus, a kinetic sculpture by the very clever kiwi artist Phil Price:

It inspired me to write my first blog post on sculpture in the home. All too often we buy paintings to liven up a room, but there is nothing like a little bit of 3D to add new dimension to a space. The main problem is that sculptures typically don't come cheap. So where is the best place to buy them?

Looking at the price tags on the weekend, the cheapest sculpture you would want to buy for your home started around the $1500 mark, but these were pretty small so depending on your room they would not make a huge statement. I think it you are going to spend good money on artworks you want it to make an impact. The winning sculpture by May Barry was certainly eye popping in term of size and would look amazing in the right location, probably a commercial building, along with a commercial price tag of around  $130,000.

So I started thinking, what happens to all these sculptures that don't sell? Sculpture by the Sea is not the only exhibition or art prize. There are a whole bevvy of community run sculpture awards and exhibitions, just check the Sculpture Society's website for more details.

There are also amateur sculpture classes held in many community colledges around Australia which run annual exhibition of students work. Visit the Tom Bass Sculpture School in Erskinville Sydney which incidentally is running its 36th student exhibition on the 13th December 2009.

But the best place I know to buy affordable sculptures and ornaments for the home is in Bali. On a recent trip I was over-whelmed at the quality of home products available. Sure, there are the typical street sellers of sandstone, limestone and clay sculptures (which to be honest for $100 or so make a fabulous garden ornament)

or there is the more sophisticated Upnormal stainless steel sculptures in Seminyak. Wow, are these sculptures unusual. They don't come cheap, but they certainly make an impact.

So my tip? When you next plan a holiday to Bali, make sure you pick up a few sculptures. As long as you ship more than 1 cubic metre, its pretty affordable and you will end up with something that looks fabulous. But if you can't make it to Bali, check out the various local artists around town and support the community.

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