WA sculptor Johannes Pannekoek has set off across the Nullarbor with his work for this year’s Sculpture by the Sea at Bondi.
The Gooseberry Hill artist, who has been invited to exhibit at Cottesloe’s equivalent for the fifth time in March, does not foresee any problems towing the giant steel structure.
Fortunately, friend Bastien Verslype will help and share the driving.
“It’s over a tonne of work; a big heavy thing,” he said.
“It will have a beautifully high position, over 4m.
“I have had to custom-alter the trailer to tow it across; it looks quite the package.”
He said the sculpture, titled Change Ahead, represented water mapping through land and, importantly, changing lives.
“Living, learning and changing, and having to change our lives for the sake of moving on and making things better,” he said.
“It’s a very fluid piece; it is arboresque and gravity-defying in that there is a lot of volume in the air.
“It’s quite suspended and so interesting; you walk around it a dozen times to appreciate it.”
It is his first large work for the Bondi exhibition, which is celebrating its 20th anniversary, and his piece at Cottesloe next March will “probably be its sister in a different finish”.
“Change Ahead is done in corten steel,” he said.
“It has 5 per cent copper with the iron. It oxidises to the point it creates its own protective barrier.”
Pannekoek has just completed a large commission for the new Crown Tower Hotel in Burswood.
“It’s a 6m x 3m piece at the main entrance,” he said.
“It took over a year to build and was a wonderful journey.
“You couldn’t ask for a better position and it’s on a black marble plinth and that itself is a reflection pool.”
He has long had a “passion for art” and first exhibited at Cottesloe in 2008.
“Sculpture by the Sea is my gallery. I love the concept, support it 100 per cent,” he said.
He thinks his Bondi piece, “awesome in its volume”, will go well.
“They have given me a prime position in Tamarama Beach – on a nice raised position in the bay,” he said.
Pannekoek thanked his “small team of great help” for work on the sculpture, including welder Lawson Fresher, Ralph Lynch and Gary DeCampo.
He set off on Wednesday and plans to reach Sydney by Sunday.