Sculpture on bather's beach

When local artist Nic Compton was a child he would comb the beach in search of a sea creature undiscovered by science.

Now the artist has given up on that pursuit in favour of creating his own sea beast that’s been on display at Bathers Beach in Fremantle for the past two weeks.

Genus Questionablus is a combination of different species of marine life stranded and decomposing meant to illicit thoughts about the state of our oceans and the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster.

Mr Compton said he drew inspiration from his New Zealand roots and traditional Maori wood carvings in the design of his piece.

“I used black bark wood from a part of a tree that had been cut down and I wanted to recycle it,” he said.

The piece is six metres long and Mr Compton said he hoped it got people thinking about how they treated the ocean.

Sculpture at Bathers began in 2013 to tell the story of West Australian sculpture as a distinctively special practice.

After two successful ‘free to the public’ exhibitions in 2013 and 2015, Sculpture at Bathers returned this year to enliven Perth’s cultural landscape.

It is run by a small organisation with a big heart led by a dedicated group of artists, volunteers and philanthropists.

A wide net is cast to ensure a dynamic mix of artists, from those with a strong established reputation to fresh, emerging talent. 

Artists are invited to submit a work representing their best current practice. 

The result is the largest dedicated survey of West Australian contemporary sculpture.

The location and its intimacy are unparalleled, allowing organisers to tap into the unique, historic atmosphere of Fremantle’s West End.

Organisers want more people to live with great West Australian and for the audience to have an unforgettable cultural experience.

The piece will be on display at the Burning Man Blazing Swan exhibition in Kulin running from April 12 to 18.

Blazing Swan Inc. is a not-for-profit organisation, run by a volunteer committee of burners who have been to Burning Man, America, several times and have also been closely involved in setting up and organising regional burns in South Africa (AfrikaBurn) and the east coast of Australia (Burning Seed). 

More information: blazingswan.com.au