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Georgia Taylor-Berry and Jesse Taylor announced as reciepients of Sculpture by the Sea Artist Award
‘Interacting Fences’, Georgia Taylor-Berry & Jesse Taylor, Sculpture by the Sea, Cottesloe 2021. Photo: Robert Frith.

PERTH.- Perth-raised cousins Georgia Taylor-Berry and Jesse Taylor were announced today as the inaugural recipients of the new Sculpture by the Sea Artist Award of $30,000, supported by Minderoo Foundation, for their artwork ‘Interacting Fences’.

The architects, currently residing in Amsterdam and Los Angeles respectively, developed ‘Interacting Fences’ across three countries during the global pandemic as they reflected on our new world of social distancing, which has simultaneously made our worlds smaller, while also expanding them. The two 14m-long curved aluminium fences transfigure the familiar and divisive corrugated Australian fence into a mechanism of unification and shared experience.

"We are thrilled and humbled to accept the inaugural Sculpture by the Sea Artist Award, supported by Minderoo Foundation. This generous award covers the costs of making ‘Interacting Fences’, and encourages us, as emerging artists, to continue our work exploring themes of social sustainability. Growing up in Perth, Sculpture by the Sea helped expose us to the arts, furthering our interest in art and architecture. For us to be a part of it now is a complete honour. The support of Sculpture by the Sea and Minderoo Foundation and their advocacy for the arts is truly appreciated.”

Thanks to Minderoo Foundation, the new Sculpture by the Sea Artist Award of $30,000 aims to increase opportunities for artists, is judged on excellence and is open to all artworks in this year’s exhibition. The Minderoo Foundation is supporting this award for three years.

Long-time supporters of Sculpture by the Sea, Minderoo Foundation is also continuing its support in 2021 with a contribution of $20,000 in subsidies for artists, which was shared between Jarrod Taylor (WA), Pascale Giorgi (WA), Goldberg Aberline Studio (NSW), Joel Adler (NSW), Georgia Taylor-Berry & Jesse Taylor (WA) and Henning Meeves & Claire Molloy (WA).

Minderoo Foundation Co-founder, Nicola Forrest said, “Supporting artists and increasing their capacity strengthens the creative sector and enables more opportunities for a thriving, accessible, sustainable arts community. Georgia and Jesse’s work is testament to the exceptional artistic talent originating from Western Australia. We hope this award encourages them to continue making engaging work for our community to enjoy.”

Founding Director of Sculpture by the Sea, David Handley said, “This is a tremendous artwork, well-conceived and designed, where you can sit at one end and whisper into the wall, with the sound waves travelling 12m along the inside of the wall to your friend sitting at the other end. Only in the time of COVID could two Perth-born artists, living in two different countries overseas, who grew up with Sculpture by the Sea, Cottesloe, work for 8 months on their artwork to be installed on Cottesloe beach but not be able return to Perth to see it. Thank you to Minderoo Foundation for this substantial support for this new important award for artists.”

Celebrating its 17th year, Sculpture by the Sea, Cottesloe is one of Perth’s largest public events, attracting an estimated 200,000 visitors across 18 days to explore the 70 artworks by artists from 11 countries that transform Cottesloe beach into a world class sculpture park for all to enjoy. This includes 34 artworks by emerging to senior Western Australian artists.

After the people of Perth and WA saved Sculpture by the Sea, Cottesloe last year by generously rallying around the exhibition, organisers are again asking the visiting public to donate $5 on entry, or $10 for families, as a voluntary contribution to support the artists and keep the exhibition afloat. This is even more important this year after the Australia Council did not renew the Federal government’s annual support of $100,000 for the Cottesloe exhibition that had been provided for the last five years.

Last year, visitors donated just over $99,000, a figure which was generously matched by Minderoo Foundation. In 2021, organisers are hoping the public will again rally behind Sculpture by the Sea, Cottesloe to donate $250,000 to replace the Australia Council funds, the contribution that went towards artists and the bottom-line last year, as well as the extra $50,000 required for COVID Marshalls, extra cleaning costs and other costs to comply with COVID requirements.

Donations from the public will be first used to cover the artists’ installation costs, then towards the costs of staging the exhibition to ensure the return of Sculpture by the Sea, Cottesloe next year. Any additional funds will contribute towards the freight costs of artists who do not sell their sculptures.

Sculpture by the Sea, Cottesloe runs until March 22.

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