• Helen Avaient

Sculptures by the sea, Cottesloe WA

Updated: Mar 20, 2020

A beautiful 32 degree Celsius (90 Fahrenheit) day. The sun shines through a bright blue sky lightly splattered with wispy white cotton ball clouds.

The Indian Ocean waves glide into shore to kiss the clean white sandy beach, and then whisper back out to sea.

Cottesloe Beach is 22 kms (14 miles) south west of Perth CBD, and has been named in the past by Lonely Planet as the world’s 2ndbest beach for families. (2009). According to Wikipedia “Cottesloe is a western suburb of Perth, Western Australia, within the Town of Cottesloe. Cottesloe was named for Thomas Fremantle, 1st Baron Cottesloe, a prominent Tory politician and the brother of Admiral Sir Charles Fremantle for whom the city of Fremantle was named.” It is an affluent suburb of Perth, with the average price of a house in Cottesloe of $1,930,000.


From 6 to 23 March the beach is transformed into an amazing outdoor exhibit of sculptures by the sea.


During the Sculptures by the Sea exhibition, there is a bus service to bring people from the train station, and parking is scarce on the weekends. I attended on a Tuesday around noon, and it was easy to get a car park not far from the beach. Several buses of tourists were waiting to unload, and multiple groups of school children enjoying their outdoor learning experience. Other people lay on the sand or grassy verge, catching the sun's rays or cooling off in the ocean.


An excellent idea are the water refilling stations are along the grassed area, just near the road, supplied free for re-hydration.

During the Sculptures by the Sea exhibition, there is a bus service to bring people from the train station, and parking is scarce on the weekends. I attended on a Tuesday around noon, and it was easy to get a park not far from the beach. Several buses of tourists were waiting, and there were many groups of school children enjoying their outdoor learning experience.


The beach was far from crowded. It was very easy to get around, no queues for the loos (toilets). There were additional porta-potties in the nearby car parks for the weekend overflows (pun not intended). Access to the beach is easy for all ages, and steps lead down to the shoreline for those who may have difficulty walking on the soft sand.


What a glorious day to be walking around admiring all the different types of sculptures, and marveling at the diverse talent of the artists. There are guidebooks for sale at booths along the foreshore, which give details of each exhibit, $10 a copy.


I felt such a feeling of elation being at the beach this day. The temporary art gallery has been at Cottesloe for 16 years now, three weeks a year. Until this year it was a free event, this year they are asking for a voluntary donation. $5 per person, $10 a family, on an honour system, drop your money into the bucket at the entrance.

The exhibits were vastly different in their designs and materials. There was the inflatable “Homer Homer” by artist Dave Glass. A mixture of Homer Simpson and the philosopher Homer.

It was wonderful to peruse the sculptures in this outdoor setting amidst the sky, sea and sand, it feel like freedom. Midway through, I just had to dip my feet into the ocean and sink my toes into the sand. This is truly being grounded and such a delightful tactile pleasure.


Driftwood contributed to the piece “Viral Escapade”. It was interesting to contemplate how I could design something from driftwood. Certainly, I do not have the talent in this area that the artist Marcus Tatton does.

Care for a seat at the beach?



Definitely not native Australian animals, Mandy Whites “Olly, Miss Pinky, Barking Owl and Kardy” peek out from vegetation, the sea just visible behind them.

Walking under through the next design “Lair II” by artist Britt Mikkelsen, makes me feel like I am in a spider web.

Time to kiss the beach (pun intended here) farewell for today, sculpture “Anti Omri (You Are All My Life) by artist Ayad Alqaragholli.

Happy Travels!

#maturesolotraveler #solotraveler #ayearinperth #sculpturesbythesea #cottesloe

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