The three-year pilot project, Sculpture Encounters – Granite Island, is the result of a partnership between Sculpture by the Sea, which presents the annual sculpture shows at Sydney’s Bondi Beach and WA’s Cottesloe Beach, and the State Government.
Environment Minister Ian Hunter said that in addition to the 10 sculptures – eight permanent and two temporary – in place for the trail’s opening, at least seven more permanent works, plus site-specific and temporary installations, would be added over the next three years. (Works described as “permanent” will be on display for the duration of the pilot project.)
“With some of the temporary sculptures lasting as little as a few weeks to several years, this is the sort of exhibition that people can visit regularly and keep finding something new to enjoy,” he said.
The Sculpture Encounters – Granite Island artworks have been chosen by a panel that includes Art Gallery of SA director Nick Mitzevich and Sculpture by the Sea founding director David Handley.
In the exhibition brochure, Handley says visitors to Granite Island will be able to “encounter sculptures by artists from across the seas”, with works by international artists such as Keizo Ushio and Masayuki Sugiyama (Japan) and Peter Lundberg (US), as well as South Australians Hamish McMillan, Margaret Worth and Greg Johns.
Tourism Minister Leon Bignell, who will join Minister Hunter in officially launching the trail tomorrow, said Granite Island was “undergoing a renaissance, with the opening of the Oceanic Victor in-sea aquarium bringing new visitors keen for the adrenaline rush of swimming with tuna, and now Encounter Sculptures to attract art lovers”.
The State Government said the City of Victor Harbor had been investigating the possibility of a “major outdoor public art project” for Granite Island since 2012.
The Victor Harbor Times reported last week that while the council had endorsed the project, some members were unhappy that it did not acknowledge the original vision of Port Elliot artist Will Hendriks. The report said Councillor Peter Charles arrived at a council meeting wearing Don Dunstan-style pink shorts, arguing it was disappointing that “we are ignoring another man with vision, and that is Port Elliot artist Will Hendriks, who had the idea of a sculpture trail in 1989 for Granite Island”.
Hendriks is also one of the people behind an ambitious, long-term vision for a two-storey arts and culture complex, incorporating a sculpture park, on Granite Island.
The sculptures pictured below are among the first installed for Sculpture Encounters – Granite Island, but are pictured on location at other sites.