Granite Island is South Australia’s newest arts icon, with a clifftop sculpture trail featuring local, national and international artists.
The official opening of 10 sculptures on Granite Island was on Friday, December 15.
Sculpture Encounters – Granite Island is a partnership between the State Government and arts not-for-profit Sculpture by the Sea Incorporated, the cultural force behind the acclaimed Bondi Beach and Cottesloe outdoor sculpture exhibitions.
The project is a three year pilot program.
The artworks were chosen by a panel comprised of Art Gallery of South Australia Director Nick Mitzevich, local artist Margaret Worth, Vivienne Holloway of the City of Victor Harbor and the Founding Director of Sculpture by the Sea David Handley.
The first artists to be exhibited on Granite Island are from South Australia, Western Australia, New South Wales, Victoria, Japan and the United States.
The City of Victor Harbor has been investigating the possibility of a major outdoor public art project for Granite Island since 2012. Consultation has taken place with the Ngarrindjeri Region Authority to help ensure the final sculpture trail is sympathetic to the site’s cultural heritage.
State Government Environment Minister Ian Hunter officially opened the sculpture project and said the island holds a special place in the hearts of many South Australians, prompting fond memories of the horse drawn tram, little penguins and the views over the Encounter Marine Park.
“We have 10 sculptures in place and over the next three years we will see at least seven more permanent sculptures leased from artists in the Sculpture by the Sea exhibitions and up to 10 site specific installations added to the clifftop,” Mr Hunter said.
“With some of the temporary sculptures lasting as little as a few weeks to several years, this is the sort of exhibition that people can visit regularly and keep finding something new to enjoy. I would like to thank the Ngarrindjeri Regional Authority for their support.”
Sculpture by the Sea founder David Handley said he was delighted to bring sculptures to Granite Island.
“The sculptures have been selected from works that have been exhibited in the Sculpture by the Sea exhibitions in Perth and Sydney and in this way we are able to bring a wide variety of sculptures to Granite Island that we know people will enjoy,” Mr Handley said.
Department of Environment and Natural Resources CEO Sandy Pitcher singled out Port Elliot artist Will Hendriks for his vision for Granite Island, thanked the Ngarrindjeri and the collaboration between state and local governments.