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Castaways to Light up Rockingham Foreshore as Entries Selected

Date10 September 2021

The Rockingham Beach Foreshore will be transformed during the City of Rockingham’s much anticipated Castaways Sculpture Awards, with entries for the 13th edition of the event now selected. 

Castaways is the City’s premier art event and will run from Saturday 23 October - Sunday 31 October. It features three distinct exhibitions including the Main Exhibition and Schools Competition on the Rockingham Beach Foreshore, and the Maquette and Small Sculpture Exhibition at the Rockingham Arts Centre on Kent Street.   

Castaways Sculpture by Coster Mkoki.

Castaways encourages the concept of recycling and in this year’s competition $26,000 in prize money will be shared among the winning artists. 

The City received more than 130 entries for this year’s competition. From these entries, 39 have been selected for the Main Exhibition, 17 have been chosen for the Schools Competition and 31 will be on display for the Maquette and Small Sculpture Exhibition. 

Mayor Barry Sammels said Castaways highlighted the City’s strong commitment to recycling and its growing reputation as a centre of cultural activity. 

“Since Castaways began in 2008 as a community art project to raise awareness of the items or ‘castaways’ washing up on local beaches, it has continued to expand and evolve,” Mayor Sammels said. 

Castaways has provided hundreds of emerging and established artists with a platform to showcase their skills, and this year’s event promises to deliver more stunning pieces for visitors to enjoy. The City also gratefully acknowledges the contribution of sponsors Alcoa, Water Corporation, Waste Authority and Fremantle Ports. 

Castaways Curator, Lyn DiCiero, said the works in Castaways were often poetic and thought-provoking, but also fun. 

“Castaways 2021 promises to be an exceptional show and visitors to the exhibitions will not be disappointed,” Ms DiCiero said.  

Attendees are sure to be delighted by Tony Pankiw’s interactive piece Inflorescence, which is a riot of upbeat colour that invites visitors to pass through its festive portal. Greg James’ Dot, created from left over dots of steel, celebrates the humble backyard chook, while Joan Johnson’s I Love… pays homage to everything she loves, including exuberant colours. 

The pandemic has not been forgotten with works such as Pathogen by Heloise Roberts and Moira Craig, and Tim Burns’ CO_VID BBQ MINE to be on display. Visitors should also keep an eye out for Denise Pepper’s Do I look good in this? – A lavishly decorated giant hand mirror distorting the view of yourself, referencing our notion of self-image, not necessarily based in reality. 

Emerging artist and orthopaedic surgeon Professor Piers Yates has created Ant, made from recycled discarded orthopaedic instruments and implants, while Franci Hepburn has used discarded copper telephone wire and soldered it to a ruined mother board to create a mini diorama of a giant spider stalking a city below. Both of these pieces feature in the Maquette and Small Sculpture Exhibition.  

For the second year running Castaways will have a Guest Artist, with 2010 Major Award winner Tania Spencer taking part in this year’s event. Ms Spencer, who has been exhibited in a number of national exhibitions, will have three artworks featured in the Main Exhibition. 

The inclusion of a Guest Artist is designed to facilitate an exchange of knowledge between experienced and emerging artists. Ms Spencer will be available to speak to the public during the exhibition from 2pm – 3pm on Saturday 30 October at the foreshore.   

Judges for the Castaways Sculpture Awards are Professor Clive Barstow, Executive Dean of Arts and Humanities at Edith Cowan University, and renowned public artist Stuart Green. Castaways Schools Competition judges are Leanne Bray and Rob Gear, who are both artists and educators.

Prizes for each category in the 2021 Castaways Sculpture Awards include: 

  • $10,000 Alcoa Major Award: For recycled sculpture with an aluminum component. 
  • $5,000 Innovation Award: For using repurposed materials in an innovative way. 
  • $5,000 Water Corporation Sustainability Award: For artwork that supports the concept of sustainability. 
  • $2,500 Waste Authority Maquette and Small Sculpture Award: For excellence in small sculpture using repurposed materials. 
  • $2,000 City of Rockingham Local Resident Award: For an artist residing in the Rockingham district.  
  • $1,000 Fremantle Ports People’s Choice Award - Main Exhibition: For the artwork that received the most votes from the public. 
  • $500 Fremantle Ports People’s Choice Award – Maquette and Small Sculpture Exhibition: For the artwork that received the most votes from the public.     

For more information on the event visit Castaways.

Image One: Coster Mkoki's Freedom, made from scrap metal and stone, will be on display at Castaways in 2021. 

Image Two: Liliana Stafford's Our Earth is made from wisteria and jasmine vines, roots, fibre, willow, copper, aluminium, mud and water.   

Image Three: Denise Pepper's Do I look good in this? is a giant decorated hand mirror that references our notion of self-image. 

Image Four: Casting with Nature - Termites 3, Coral of the Jarrah Forest by Paul Fontanini will be featured in this year's event.  

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