WHEATBELT artists will present a towering presence at this year’s Sculpture by the Sea, with two friends displaying sculptures on a similar theme.
Unbeknown to each other, they both chose to create a tower for the exhibition returning to Cottesloe Beach from March 3 to 20.
Dutch-born painter and sculptor Tom de Munk-Kerkmeer of Northam constructed his piece, titled Mega Pixel Power Tower, using wood, steel, aluminium and acrylic paint, while York’s Tim Burns built a full-size collapsible tower of steel and lighting.
Both artists are not new to the beachside exhibition, having exhibited in Sculptures by the Sea several times in Perth and Sydney.
De Munk-Kerkmeer (52) won the highly-coveted Helen Lempriere Award in 2012 in Sydney for a larger-scale version of a piece he called Luchtkasteel – meaning ‘castle in the air’ – to collect a $30,000 scholarship for the advancement of his artwork.
He said his entry in this year’s Sculpture by Sea in Perth was a statement about the growing number of digital towers on the landscape.
“The coloured blocks are a bit like the pixels you see on a computer screen and they look a bit like blocks of Lego,” he said.
With a preference for using recycled materials, the well-travelled artist draws inspiration for other works from time spent living overseas in South America, Belgium and the Caribbean.
“My pieces have to be easily demountable because I transport my work in a special carrier on the back of my bike; I’ve never owned a car and never intend to,” he said.
Burns (70) lives in the small town of Gwambygine near York.
He said his sculptor 3rd Degree Burns paid homage to the 22 transmission towers brought down by cyclonic winds in South Australia’s mid-north in October 2016, resulting in a state-wide blackout.
The artist and short-film producer drew inspiration for many of his other works from an old quarry and sacred site near his home, with some of his paintings and videos forming part of a March exhibition at the Art Collectors Gallery at 565 Hay Street.
“Keeping busy and having a great time is what I’m doing right now because as you get older you realise sooner or later you’re going to drop dead,” he said with a chuckle.