Byron Bay artist Glenn Sanders with his creation White Death on the Bangalow sculpture walk.
Byron Bay artist Glenn Sanders with his creation White Death on the Bangalow sculpture walk.

Art, sport meet with sculpture

USING sculpture to create a meeting place between art and sport is the brainchild of Bangalow sculpture walk curator, Dev Lengjel.

In the fruition of a three-year plan, Mr Lengjel was at the Bangalow sports field yesterday, supervising the installation of several sculptures which will remain on display for up to six months.

The aim is for people who use the sports field is to engage with this open-air sculpture walk, and for those who go to view the artworks to experience something of the sporting side of life.

Ten concrete pads supplied by Byron Shire Council have been placed around the field to hold some of the sculptures; others, like Glenn Sanders' White Death, a representation of a shark, rest on their own stands.

"I hope people will see this and realise the size and potential of these animals," Mr Sanders, of Byron Bay, said of his life-sized shark.

"This is the same size as a shark that grabbed hold of a boat in Byron Bay last year."

The shark, which was exhibited at the Swell sculpture exhibition at Currumbin last year, will be accompanied at Bangalow by two massive shells made by sculptor Dan Clemmett. Both artists use recycled car metal for their works.

For Mr Sanders, the connection between art and sport is ever-present.

A surfer and skateboard rider, he also works as an independent filmmaker and is currently shooting footage in the ocean at Byron Bay for a feature about the scenic drive from Byron to Hervey Bay, Queensland.

He said that since making his shark sculpture he has been aware of many more sharks and other predators in the water than he was before.

"I used to think about what would happen if I saw a shark while I was out surfing," he told The Northern Star.

"And I thought I'd be fine.

"But a couple of weeks ago a three-metre manta ray came out of nowhere and knocked me off my board, and for a moment I thought it was a great white shark and I said to myself 'uh-oh, this is the end!' and headed back to shore, fast. I surprised myself with my reaction.

"But when I got back to the beach I grabbed my flippers and camera and swam back out to get a picture of it, but it had gone."

Other sculptors whose work will feature in the Bangalow Sculpture Walk are Allen Horstmanshof, Suvira McDonald, Mel Robin, Lucy Vader, David Walsh, Noel Walsh, Jim Blower and Craig Raynor.

"Public art enhances a community's wellbeing and understanding of its identity," Mr Lengjel said.

"(It) delights and confronts, and will certainly get everyone talking."

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