14 September 2023

Spectacular sculptures scattered around Shell Cove's waterfront stun locals and visitors

| Keeli Royle
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Sculpture of giant head leaning towards the sun, next to the Shell Cove marina.

More than 40 impressive works of art have been placed around the Shell Cove marina for the PromenART sculpture walk. Photos: Keeli Royle.

Magnificent artworks worth more than a million dollars will call Shellharbour Marina home for the next month, with the award-winning sculptures stunning spectators at one of the most picturesque locations in the Illawarra.

Young families and old friends were among those to experience the new trail when it opened on Wednesday (13 September), which showcases more than 40 pieces as part of the PromenART activation at The Waterfront.

“I think it’s an opportunity for the community to come together, connect and really enjoy what the marina has to offer as well as adding to the beautiful scenery,” Frasers Property Community Development Manager Tina Britton said.

“We see people walking around here all the time and it’s something different for people to really enjoy.”

READ ALSO Colour, creativity and collaboration: Shell Cove community celebrates inclusivity with marina murals

The pieces were created by artists from across Australia using everything from steel and bronze to reclaimed railway sleepers and concrete.

Each is worth between $10,000 and $224,000.

“You can use the QR code and find out a little bit more about each of the pieces of art as you make your way around the marina,” Tina said.

“It’s an opportunity to expose people to different forms of artwork, for the artist to get their pieces out and about so people can see and also if they choose to purchase.”

Locals Maureen and Barry Beahan were loving the new additions.

“I thought they were really good, I think they should stay,” Maureen said. “There’s a couple of nice ones in the main area that were quite impressive.

“I think this place needs something like that,” Barry said. “It’s just another excuse to come.”

Ana Van Klooster from Tullimbar appreciated how the style and placement of the pieces complimented the atmosphere of the waterfront.

“I’m really into art and all that sort of thing so I found it very interesting, some I like more than others, some suit the place perfectly where they are,” Ana said.

“I particularly like the sculpture which looks like someone taking in the sun, just a bust, and also there’s one that’s a man with the world, that says something I think.”

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The exhibition is set to be a hit with tourists, with Oak Flats’ Barbara Phelan deciding it was a must-stop location for her visiting interstate friends, including Leigh Livermore.

“I think it’s great, it gets everyone out on a beautiful day,” Barbara said. “I come down here about once a week and thought let’s go down there while the sculptures are on.”

“We’ve done art trails when we’ve travelled with our caravan and she knew I liked the artwork and she said this was on and I was really keen to come and see it,” Leigh said.

“The artworks are quite amazing, it’s something that you don’t often see in towns, and it definitely attracts tourists so it’s a very smart idea.”

Sculpture of man holding world overlooking marina where people are gathered.

The exhibition will run until 30 October, with all pieces for sale.

And although the sculptures are the main attraction, there will be plenty more to do for visitors making a trip to see the work.

“The other thing that we’re doing with the activation over the six weeks is on Saturdays we’ll be having some makers and creators markets, live music, and just creating more of an atmosphere on the weekends for people coming down to see the pieces,” Tina said.

“There are some exceptional pieces out there and some really leading sculptures in Australia. So get out there and have a look, it’s fantastic.”

The sculpture walk will run until 30 October. For more information and updates visit The Waterfront Shell Cove Facebook page.

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