Locals artists steal the show
By HANNAH ROSS
ANDREW DENTON is the first to admit art is not his area of expertise, but the topic made great fodder for the TV personalities' sharp wit as he opened the artsCape sculpture show at Cape Byron yesterday.
''Asking me to talk about art is equivalent to asking Shane Warne a give a lecture on romance,'' Denton quipped.
Fortunately for the hundreds of art lovers who travelled to the Cape yesterday, Denton's lack of expertise was more than made up for by the quality of the work on show.
The 51 pieces dotted around the Cape Headland Reserve until July 11 create an exhibition described by many as 'world class'.
While the show features exhibits by national and international artists, it was the North Coast sculptors who stole the show yesterday.
First prize was awarded to Rick Reynolds, from Elands near Port Macquarie, for his dramatic sculpture, Living in Sunrise Station.
While people viewing the sculpture were talking of harpoons, whales and a symbolic 'Land of the Rising Sun' form, the artist himself said he prefered to avoid making direct political statements.
''My primary objective is to make something beautiful, even if the story behind it is what inspires me to keep going with a piece,'' Reynolds said.
Second prize went to Melissa Hirsch, of Byron Bay, third prize to Suvira McDonald, of Federal, and fourth prize to Lynne Adams, of Upper Main Arm.
Event co-ordinator Louise Beaumont said artsCape would sustain local artists and boost cultural tourism to Byron Bay.
Andrew Denton put it more bluntly: ''This show works because art in galleries is fenced in. This is art that has escaped. It is wild art that doesn't give a sh.. what you think about it.