By Melissa Sheil
ANDREA Vinkovic may be credited with making the Labyrinth sculpture at this year’s Sculpture by the Sea, but the artist says the work was very much a joint collaboration between fellow ceramicists and sculptors.
Twenty-seven helpers from across Perth visited her ClayMake Studio in Maylands to contribute to the entry which consists of 26 ‘rocks’ each designed and sculpted by a different person.
Each rock is made of recycled and reclaimed clay and will be joined by an underground root system to form the shape of a curved labyrinth.
The rocks have two main faces, humanity and nature, and will be organised in a way that the narrative will change depending on which direction you enter the labyrinth.
The Gooseberry Hill resident runs her studio with daughter Emma and has featured in the Cottesloe and Bondi chapters of the exhibition six times.
She said the creation of this sculpture had been a completely different experience.
“This piece is so different from anything I’ve done before, it embodies the energies of so many people,” Vinkovic said.
“People of all ages, backgrounds and cultures came to do a rock, many of whom don’t have much experience with sculpting, so each is a reflection of a different perspective of the world.
“We had a lady from San Francisco sculpt the Golden Gate Bridge and the red wood forests, another from Sweden who has carved Viking runes, people in their 60’s and people in their teens.
“It started with just my concept and gradually grew into the idea of participation when I realised how many there were to do but it’s added such an element of surprise and the unknown because I don’t know what people will come up with.”
The designs feature everything from microscopic plankton and ant colony cross sections, to Easter Island heads, video game set ups and Middle Eastern temples.
Truly a collaborative sculpture, the underground metal footing was welded by fellow Gooseberry Hill resident and Sculpture by the Sea entrant Johannes Pannekoek and the rocks fired in the kilns of Kim Lyons in Lesmurdie.
Alongside COVID-19 border restrictions affecting the import of some clay and metal from the eastern states, the experience of being unable to travel outside WA was also reflected in the themes and designs.
“I was a bit worried many designs would be negative and isolating as it was started last year during the pandemic, but we really only have a few that reference the virus, most are optimistic,” Vinkovic said.
“We have eight more rocks to finish before opening and then I’ll take photos of each to decide the arrangement order as they will be too heavy to move easily,” she said.
“They are like individual haikus that need to be arranged in a poetry book to tell a particular story.”
Vinkovic plans to keep record of the participants and their rationales and stories to document the personal symbolism in each piece, to make a short film of the makers and their rocks.
Sculpture by the Sea opens at Cottesloe Beach on March 5 and closes March 22.