Creation for Cottesloe

By Ashleigh Fielding | posted on February 15, 2018

WHEN creating a piece of art, many things have to be considered.

The size, the shape, and the colours don’t always come together on their own; it sometimes requires agonizing over tiny details to make a piece of art just right.

For Albany artist Kevin Draper’s most recent project, a sculpture for the Cottesloe Sculpture by the Sea public art exhibition, he had to consider the position from which people would view his artwork.

“Because it will be on the beach, you’ve got to consider what it will look like close up and far away, from the water, and from above,” he said.

“If people are looking up close at the paint work, it will be different to when they look at it from a distance, so you have to think about that too.”

Draper said his creation, Configuration, has no storyline as such, but is instead a series of references – the fragile crossing over of the natural world and the constructed world, of which he was inspired by viewing the aftermath of a bushfire.

“The concept came from seeing a fire-damaged landscape that had some plantation trees arranged in lines,” he said.

“The linear pattern of the plantation made such a contrast with the rest of the landscape that I decided to work with elements of their shape and branch forms.”

Configuration is a series of 16 tree shapes constructed from steel, painted black and white; a colour scheme Draper has made a habit of keeping for several years.

“Black and white breaks up the form of the piece,” Draper said.

“It gives it lightness and permeability, and it’s creating an optic.”

The tree shapes will each be pushed down about a metre into the sands of Cottesloe Beach in Perth at the end of the month during the installation period, with the Sculpture by the Sea exhibition officially opening on March 2.

This is Draper’s 11th time participating in the public art show that draws in international artists.

“Installation is a bit chaotic, but I love it,” he said.

“It generally lasts about three days and it’s a really special time, because you have this crossing over of the art industry and the community.

“You’ve got artists from overseas who come [to the exhibition] and can’t understand or speak English, but we can all understand each other’s art, so there’s a lot of hand waving and gestures but we can understand each other still, because art is a way of communicating.”

This year will be the 14th annual Sculpture by the Sea exhibition at Cottesloe Beach.

Photo: Ashleigh Fielding