Sculptures@Bathers5 – Plus Podcast With Tony Jones

The fifth rendition of Sculptures at Bathers – or S@B5 for those who like acronymic abbreviations – was officially declared open by Fremantle Mayor, Hannah Fitzhardinge, last Friday night and runs until 7 March.

Every two years, Fremantle’s Bathers Art Precinct becomes a gallery for the works of Western Australian sculptors. This year’s Sculptures at Bathers features artwork from 73 artists installed around Bathers Beach and Kidogo Arthouse, with satellite exhibitions at nearby Victoria Quay and the The Republic of Fremantle in Packenham Street.

This is the fifth event since it began in 2013. And, for the first time, Federal and State funding has enabled artists to receive a fee. Also a first – this cultural and environment engagement continues past the artists studios at the J Shed to sculptures located at Fremantle Port, where you can take the Victoria Quay Sculpture Walk.

The port has recently installed new wayfaring signs and paths as part of a $500,000 plan to improve connectively between the Port and Fishing Boat Harbour.

You’ll find 39 sculptures along the beach, in the water, on the grass, along pathways and in the bush around Bathers Beach, and another 26 inside Kidogo Arthouse with more at Victoria Quay and The Republic of Fremantle.

The exhibition at The Republic of Fremantle’s urban distillery is by leading WA artist Tony Jones, who is also the chair and founder of, and driving force behind, Sculpture at Bathers.

Our now somewhat fractured world has changed more than we could ever have imagined since March 2020. COVID-19 has not only changed our world but has impacted the Arts. In the water on the south site of Bathers Beach, you’ll find Tim Burns take on COVID. A First World War sea mine and the coronavirus share similar physical and psychological characteristics. The way they look and act; and their capacity for explosive destruction.

Funding has also allowed the introduction of GLOW, an enhanced lighting installation giving the exhibition life after dark …

Here’s a gallery of some of the many other works you will discover here and there.

Artworks may be purchased between 10am-7pm daily at Kidogo Arthouse.

For more information on the event, look here at the S@B5 website.

This is COVID safe outdoor event and admission is free. So head on down to the Bathers Beach Art Precinct and support out local artists.

There are also artist led tours including gourmet tours plus workshops and educational activities that you can book via the website.

Free Tactile Tours for people with disability are run by DADAA who you can reach on 0400 111 018.

Our editor, Michael Barker, caught up with Tony Jones, the driving force behind Sculptures at Bathers, to talk about the event and what to expect this year. You’ll see the podcast interview with Tony below. Listen as you sit on the beach taking the exhibition in. It’s a most informative discussion.

* Words and photographs by Jean Hudson

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