Eden sculptor Jesse Graham’s tentacles have stretched to Batemans Bay, with a sea creature now permanently installed on the foreshore and a host of pieces on show at the just-completed Sculpture on Clyde exhibition.
The many armed Buoyansea now resides at Pelican Point on Beach Road and many people have already been seen getting their photos taken with it.
The octopus sculpture has had a successful run at local exhibitions, claiming an encouragement award at Bermagui’s Sculpture on the Edge and the major $10,000 prize at Jindabyne’s Lakelight competition earlier this year.
It now takes pride of place in Batemans Bay after being acquired by the town’s chamber of commerce and officially unveiled at the opening of the 10-day Sculpture on Clyde exhibition.
“I received a call from David Maclachlan, president of the Batemens Bay Chamber of Commerce, who had the idea to acquire the work for public display on the Batemans Bay foreshore,” Mr Graham said.
“When he told me it would be the first work to kick off a future sculpture walk in the area, I felt humbled and gratified.”
Mr Graham entered six larger works in Sculpture on Clyde as well as a selection of smaller pieces for the indoor component of the exhibition.
Aside from the public acquisition of Buoyansea, he sold another four pieces during the event.
“It was great to have been able to showcase so many of my works together. As well as a large scale set of intertwining seahorses, I included a set of Egyptian deities that I started more that 15 years ago, my biggest body of work.
“I would like to take this opportunity to thank David Maclachlan and his crew from the chamber of commerce for their vision and generosity. I think without them the installation of Buoyansea as well as this exhibition and the future sculpture walk would never have occurred.
“I would also like to note that David and the chamber of commerce organised and raised funds personally and independently for this exhibition as well as the public acquisition of Buoyansea.”
Mr Graham said he and his wife live near a tidal river near Eden and while exploring after a major flood found a buoy washed up in a pile of logs.
”As a sculptor, I instantly thought it had potential to become something totally groovy, and so I dragged it home. I walked past it for a few years, each time letting my imagination run wild, but nothing presented itself until I fell in love with octopi.
“I had sculpted several small scale octopus sculptures and noted the public’s very positive responses, especially one I constructed from copper and pennies titled Octopenny.
This work in particular helped my decision to design a large scale outdoor octopus, which during a few early sketches I had my ‘A-ha!’ moment….and the title Buoy-an-sea came to mind soon after.”