Adelaide is often referred to as the Festival City because of the disproportionately large number of festivals it has compared to Sydney, Melbourne and other Australian cities. Two of these festivals are held, back to back, at Brighton in the later half of January each year – the Brighton Jetty Beach Sculptures and the Brighton Jetty Classic. The Brighton Jetty Classic is an open water swim while the Sculpture festival (fashioned on similar events at Cottesloe Beach in West Australia and in Sydney – Bondi’s Sculptures by the Sea) is a display of around 80 sculptures, some along the Brighton Esplanade set against the beautiful backdrop of the Gulf St Vincent and the balance within the local Surf Life Saving Club.
As I have attended neither event I do not presume to review them and my comment is by way of introduction to one sculpture, as depicted, which was part of the sculpture festival in 2011. All the sculptures displayed during the festival are new pieces of work and are for sale and this is how the local council acquired this piece, ‘Person Sitting on Bench’, by local artist Ty Manning.
Readers familiar with Australia will be familiar with “Ironmen” – who compete in ‘Ironman’ competitions which, when done at the beach, combine the four main disciplines of surf lifesaving into a single race; swimming, board paddling, ski paddling and running. Well, this is the ultimate Ironman as this person (sex unknown) is made from recycled metal. While I like the overall sculpture I think the addition of the portion of fish and chips on newspaper (all metal, off course) on the persons lap is a nice tie-in with the sculpture’s seaside location. All in all, I feel it meets its aim, as stated on the accompanying plaque, of capturing the simple pleasures of life by the seaside. You judge for yourself.
As you can see from the images attached it was Christmas time and the sculpture was suitably adorned to mark to festive occasion. Someone had also added a hat atop the sculptures metal hat.
When the sculpture was bought there was the usual barrage of complaints that typically accompany the display of public art. Here there was a particular emphasis on how the sculpture had taken up, and thus wasted, half a park bench, denying those in need of a rest a seat. This line of attack quickly died down when complainants were reminded that the park bench was actually part of the sculpture and that, in fact, additional seating was now available for those in need of a rest on the esplanade!
Address: The Esplanade – Brighton