International sculptor Usama Alnassar prepares to carve his creation from the trunk of a camphor laurel tree, to be displayed on the foreshore of Byron Bay’s Main Beach for the ArtsCape 2010.
International sculptor Usama Alnassar prepares to carve his creation from the trunk of a camphor laurel tree, to be displayed on the foreshore of Byron Bay’s Main Beach for the ArtsCape 2010. Jay Cronan

Sculptors knock Byron into shape

BYRON BAY is beginning to glimpse the shape of things to come.

Sculptors from all across the globe are trickling into the shire for ArtsCape Biennial 2010 – the three-week exhibition of sculptures along the Main Beach foreshore – and putting the finishing touches to their works.

Among the 44 international artists to show at ArtsCape is Usama Alnassar, a Syrian who lives in the mecca of marble, Carrara in Italy.

Mr Alnassar’s piece for ArtsCape is being carved on a Bangalow property from camphor laurel.

It is vast – 25 metres in diameter – said local sculptor Ken Johnson, who is facilitating the work.

New Zealander Roger Thompson’s piece for the show uses a discarded car shell.

He is collaborating with a local, Clunes artist Daniel Clemmett, an ex-panel beater who also has a piece in the exhibition.

Among the 25 local artists is Erika Mayer, who is creating a large glass and steel piece with architect Tom Koch in her studio at Possum Creek.

Called Passages, the work features marine-coloured glass shapes that reflect the coastal setting for the show.

“This is not a personal piece,” Ms Mayer said.

“It’s public art, and site specific.”

Ms Mayer said the beach was a place where there are so many different life forms.

“It is also the place where nature and culture meet and co-exist,” she said.

“And we are fascinated by deep water and what lives there.”

ArtsCape is open to the public from Saturday, June 26.



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