SCULPTURE by the Sea founder David Handley has committed to Cottesloe after Cockburn Council started looking at taking the annual exhibition to Coogee Beach.
“We have told them all our efforts are going into trying to put the Cottesloe show on in the future years, because Cottesloe is one of the few sites in a State or provincial capital city in the world suited to the creation of a major, temporary sculpture park,” Mr Handley said.
However, he said the Department of Culture and the Arts needed to confirm support of up to $350,000 soon is key to ensure the long-term financial stability of the Cottesloe event, which will be renegotiated with that town’s council after an agreement ends this year.
Grant applications would be determined in late October, but invitations for 2020’s artists start mid-June, so an announcement was needed “before we put the call out around the world”.
Culture and the Arts Minister David Templeman’s spokeswoman said no comment could be made about the decision’s timing because the grant application was being considered, and Sculpture by the Sea was encouraged to seek more corporate sponsorship.
Mr Handley said 2019 could be the last of the $2.3 million exhibitions, after an endowment from magnates Andrew and Nicola Forrest covered most of this year’s costs, potentially leaving little for any 2020 event.
A new corporate backer, a Perth patron and a “second-level sponsor” were needed, if the grant provided about 20 per cent of costs .
Cottesloe Council currently provides $10,000 in cash and in-kind, and $15,000 to buy a sculpture, and a spokeswoman said any more funding and the exhibition’s finances could be in agreement talks later this year.
“But it is unlikely Cottesloe could contribute the order of funds mentioned by Mr Handley in recent times,” the spokeswoman said.
Asked about a replacement event, she said the beach’s summer schedule was already “quite full”.
Cockburn’s report to councillors will provide costs, benefits and the feasibility of any potential move.