Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Sydney - Sculptures by the Sea

Those of you who have been following my blogs for some time might remember some blogs where I walked along the paths that follow the ocean edge of Sydney. Each year, the section from Bondi Beach to nearby Tamarama is lined with sculptures and Robin took us along to see them.

But first, a working sculpture of a different kind. In its own way, it is quite impressive.

Over a decade ago I was introduced by one of my friends to the series of books by an author called Robert Barrett. The main protagonist was a bloke called Les Norton. When I would arrive in Brisbane, I would often sit down with the latest book and relax after the long plane ride. Les Norton lives in Bondo and one of the books (Day of the Gecko) had Les helping to blow up an old handball court next to the Icebergs swimming pool with a small nuclear bomb. Yeah!!
Early in the book, Les takes the mad bomber for a training run which includes running up and down a set of steps at Tamarama. I am not sure if the steps go up this hill but I could not find any other set of steps in the area. The curious part about climbing the steps was you had to go down the steps backwards which apparently was very difficult.
Robert Barrett died in September 2012. His books were such fun and really captured the Aussie larikin spirit. When I get homesick for Australia, these are the books I turn to.

And these are the steps.

The beach area was filled with sculptures of various kinds.

I've tried to include more people in this blog, first to give a sense of scale, but second to give you an idea of what Sydney people look like and how they dress on an overcast and dreary day.

Marianne and Robin enjoying themselves. I just take photos.

Yes, he was sweeping the sand to smooth it.

This sculpture is there all the time. It houses the life savers who watch for swimmers in difficulty.

The waves were big enough to encourage board riders.

I don't thing this was an official sculpture.

Water squirted out when you pressed the lever.

The waves were to dangerous for swimming.

The official life saver pavilion.

Looking south along the coast.

Not too many people. We did the walk in the opposite direction to what most people would do the walk.

The sculptures are interesting, but the cliffs and water still overpower them.

The path got quite crowded after a while. It was quite windy and a little cold. A jacket was welcome.

No sculpture compares with this.

This photo was made by the bloke sitting between the two sculptures of the boys.

We climbed up a hill to an open area where there were more sculptures. It was very windy.

The northern end of Bondi Beach in the distance.

Of all the sculptures, this was the one that impressed me most.

The artist carved the faces and blackened the results with a blow torch.

Perhaps I could use this idea in creating large horn loudspeakers. Marianne would be really impressed.

This photo of the young girl was just lucky.

The top of the circle was streamers that vibrated with the wind. It was spectacular.

Sunshine is very strong in Australia and we are all taught to protect ourselves from it. Note most people in this photo are wearing a hat.

The streamers.

I used to play on a slippery slide like this.

Robin and I had a good laugh at this rolled up newspaper. To get the joke you have to watch this famous video.

Bondi Beach.

I am not sure what to make of this philosophy.

The crowd of people walking from Bondi to Tamarama.

At first you don't notice the sculpture.

The pool at the south end of Bondi Beach where the Icebergs swim.

No, they are not dead. Robin told me that they were at the end of their yoga exercises.


It was all very interesting, but if you want to see what the coast looks like without the sculptures, look at this blog.


  1. The tan colored wave sculpture was made up of naked Barbie dolls. Their hair was loose and looked like straw from a distance. Click twice to see the details.

  2. I really enjoyed 'the walk' and the art... especially the hand with the fish; so beautiful. Thank you very much for your nice blog!