Wednesday, February 9th, 2011
If you’re a fan of Sydney’s Sculpture by the Sea, then you should venture further south and check out Sculpture on the Edge.

The annual exhibition is held at Bermagui, on the Sapphire Coast of NSW, with the main feature being large sculptural pieces set into the magnificent coastal scenery.

From Friday, March 4 to Sunday, March 13, the far south coast town better known for its game fishing history will come alive with those who appreciate the very best in modern Australian artwork.

There will be installations on Endeavour Point Headland, Dickinson Park and Horseshoe Bay beach as well as an indoor exhibition of smaller sculptures and a public symposium – and for the best works there are rewards on offer including a residency at the ANU Sculpture School and nearly $10,000 in prize money, including two People’s Choice awards.

The annual display brings artists and their supporters from around Australia, and visitors are spoiled for choice with what is on offer; last year there were 44 large pieces dotted around the headland and 50 smaller pieces housed indoors. Organiser Jan Ireland says this year’s event will be even bigger and better.

“There will be some fabulous pieces on display including ‘Adaptable Migrant’ by husband-and-wife team, Andy Townsend and Suzie Bleach. This is a full-sized camel made out of metal, which encloses the necessities a migrant takes with them.

“It’s very thought provoking, which is probably why it won the People’s Choice Award at Sydney’s Sculpture by the Sea last year. After it leaves Bermagui, it goes to the event at Aarhus in Denmark which is personally sponsored by Crown Prince Frederick and his Australian wife, Princess Mary.”

Ms Ireland says it will be interesting to see what responses this year’s exhibition receives: history has proved the display to trigger either compliments or controversy.

“We have had some quiet years, but then we’ve also had the three-quarter size bronze of [former Prime Minister] John Howard in a World War 1 digger’s uniform and a life-size sculpture of a gorilla on a cross, both of which polarised feelings among those who saw them.

“We don’t set out to be provocative, but we don’t believe in turning pieces away, so the mix is always fascinating. Our visitors tell us the variety of materials, ideas and approaches ensures a surprising and enjoyable experience.”

This is the fifth year the exhibition has been running. It started with one piece of sculpture, as part of the annual Bermagui Seaside Fair (which is still running, this year on the weekend of March 12). In 2007 there were 19 pieces on display for three days – now it has expanded to a 10-day event featuring a variety of sculptors.

The event also features children’s workshops, a Festival club (at Fishermen’s Wharf) and a symposium on the changing face of sculpture featuring four sculptors including Andy Townsend and local artist, Peter ‘Beatle’ Collins who won the People’s Choice Award last year. There is also an eagerly awaited open day at the property of international architect Philip Cox, who is the patron of the event.

Sculpture by the Edge is supported by Regional Arts NSW and Horizon Credit Union. For more information about the event, please see the website,

More information on Bermagui and the Sapphire Coast, including accommodation details and bookings, can be found by calling toll-free on 1800 150 457 or visiting the website

PHOTO CAPTION (no credit needed): ‘Boulders’ by Daniel Lafferty, from Sculpture on the Edge, 2010.

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Sapphire Coast Tourism

Land of rivers, mountains and beaches, famous for its fishing, whales and cheese, the Sapphire coast is just six hours’ drive south of Sydney.

The allure of the Sapphire Coast is in its sparkling beaches, bays, lakes, cliffs, caves and national parks – all accessible via excellent walking tracks and coastal drives.

The region is renowned for deep-sea fishing off Bermagui, whale watching at Eden, award-winning cheeses at Bega and a rich Aboriginal cultural heritage around Wallaga Lake.
Liz Swanton
P: 0297711277
M: 0417232643


Bermagui, Sapphire Coast NSW, features large sculptural pieces set into the magnificent coastal scenery.



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