Lost at Sea

I got involved in Sculpture by the Sea because... Aside from making things that look nice, art is a great way to help instigate changes in society, offer new perspectives, or encourage people to think about topics which perhaps they'd not considered. As Sculpture by the Sea is such a HUGE public art event, which is loved and visited by so many West Australians, I thought it would be a good opportunity to offer up an idea, in a familiar, fun and lighthearted way. 

The concept for my piece is... in short: I reckon we should have a coastal bus in WA. I grew up in Mullaloo and now live in Fremantle -  which is about a 45 minute drive along the coast. It's weird to me that we don't have an efficient, coastal bus service which runs North to South on a regular loop - offering kids, locals, tourists and workers a cheap and easy way to visit beaches, restaurants, friends and family along the coast - without relying on cars. We have a spectacular coastline - but our main public transport transport cuts inland. My sculpture is a wooden replica of a concrete bus shelter from my school days.

The biggest challenge I've faced is... trying not to constantly moan about the underfunding of WA's Arts and Culture sector! On the whole - creatives self-fund their projects, then cross their fingers that "we" buy their work (books, art, music, fashion, dance, films...). On the other hand, it's empowering to know that we (you and me!) can contribute to - and grow - the creative arts sector simply through our support. Buying art, going to the theatre, seeing live music, supporting little shops... making these choices helps creative people making stuff for us to enjoy.

I surprised myself by... getting selected for SXS. I wholly believe in the idea of the coastal bus service - but recognise a sculpture of a bus stop might be a weird way to propose it!

I've been working on the sculpture since... the end of 2019 - but the actual build has been a fairly quick process - thanks to some very skilled friends helping out. I've had the idea for a coastal bus service for many years - but didn't really know how to propose it.

In the future I would like to... see a positive change in the support of Arts and Culture in WA, ultimately to encourage more young people to stay in Perth and pursue viable careers in the creative industries. I'd also like to ride the coastal bus to visit my dad in Mullaloo.

Interview above taken from The West Weekend, PLAY Magazine, 29 February 2020

Photo 1, 2, 3 by Kate Hulett

Photo 4, 5, 6 by Clyde Yee for Sculpture by the Sea 

While you're here - Kelly Fliedner wrote 'A response to Sculpture by the sea', on 18 March at Semaphore Art which is well worth a read.