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Johannes Pannekoek works in his studio in Gooseberry Hill putting the finishing touches to his latest design and entry.

An artist’s message in the tipping points

By Sally McGlew

FOR Gooseberry Hill artist and sculptor Johannes Pannekoek, fires in Gidgegannup impacted on the final touches to his piece Tipping Points for Sculpture by the Sea on March 5.

“We had to rescue my wife’s horse from Gidgegannup about 7pm on Monday night,” he said.

“After we got back, I worked on my sculpture until 11pm.”

Pannekoek said his latest work made of mirror polished stainless steel and corten steel is inspired by climate change and the carbon cycle.

“Last year my piece was entitled Symphony of C and this year I have continued on with the same theme, because as I get older I think it’s important to express yourself in your practice.

“There is more than one tipping point, hence the name of the piece,” he said.

In 2016, Pannekoek took out the winning prize at the Bondi Sculpture by the Sea event, winning $60,000 and having his work sitting proudly at the entrance to Sydney Harbour.

“It certainly raised my profile and I’m proud to be the only West Australian sculptor that has won the NSW event.”

Each piece takes about five months to complete and Pannekoek said much of his work is based around a mathematical process.

“Conceptually it probably takes me two-and-a-half months to design the prototype and ideas and then a further two-and-a-half months to build the piece.

“It’s a difficult process and this year’s work for Sculpture by the Sea is 3.2m x 2.4m x 3.2m so it’s logistically a large piece of art to work on and move without damaging it.

“I’ve had to design some chicken type-feet to display the cube base of the design so it won’t tip over when people stand next to it at Cottesloe.”

Sculpture by the Sea, Cottesloe, now in its 17th year, runs from March 5 to 22.

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