Sydney's Super-Popular 'Sculpture by the Sea' Is Set to Return to Bondi This October
Despite earlier threats to leave, event organisers have come to a new ten-year agreement with Waverley Council, which will see the exhibition stay in Bondi until at least 2030.
With the Australian Government looking at relaxing some restrictions in mid-May and international travel potentially on the cards in four months, some of the country's most-popular events are optimistically pencilling in dates. One of them is Sydney's always busy Sculpture by the Sea.
The free outdoor sculpture exhibition is set to takeover the two-kilometre Bondi–Tamarama coastal walk this October (when it usually takes place), which is exciting for two reasons: firstly, we may see some semblance of normality return to our lives by October; secondly, the event organisers have resolved their stoush with Waverley Council.
To rewind a little, in mid-2019, the organisers of Sculpture by the Sea were at loggerheads with the Council over the construction of a new path, and were scoping out alternative locations for the long-running art exhibition. In a statement released this morning, Waverley Mayor Paula Masselos said after months of discussions, "both parties [are] thrilled to come to an agreement to see the exhibition return to its home in Bondi". And the exhibition won't just return to Bondi this year either, but at least until 2030 with the organisers and Council agreeing to a ten-year deal.
In regards to COVID-19, organisers said the exhibition taking place this October is "pending any public gathering restrictions" and that it's discussing a postponement contingency plan. "Waverley Council will continue to monitor what impact COVID-19 measures in NSW will have on public events in the future," Mayor Masselos said. "But for the meantime, we just want to congratulate Sculpture by the Sea for moving forward in this new chapter."
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian has said social distancing measures will remain a "part of our lives" until a vaccine is found, which some experts are saying could take 12–18 months, so if it does go ahead, Sculpture by the Sea may look a little different this year — with restrictions on how many people are allowed on the path at each time, for example. Last year, the event saw approximately 450,000 visitors over three weeks.
For now, though, Sculpture by the Sea is planning to go ahead from October 22–November 8 and is taking applications from Australian and international artists. And, in the meantime, you can check out our favourite works from last year over here.
Sculpture by the Sea is set to take place from October 22–November 8, 2020 on the Bondi–Tamarama coastal walk. For more information, head to sculpturebythesea.com.
Published on April 24, 2020 by Samantha Teague