2009 Case Study: Aluminium in Sculpture

Aluminium is everywhere, from drink cans, to bikes, to cars - and not least in art and sculpture.
For the past five years, our product, aluminium, has been showcased in the form of sculpture at Cottesloe Beach in Western Australia.

‘Sculpture by the Sea’ is Perth’s largest outdoor art exhibition.  Every year local, national and international artists transform Perth’s most popular beach into a stunning sculpture park overlooking the Indian Ocean. In 2009, of the 62 sculptures on show, ten were made wholly or in part of aluminium.

Alcoa has been supporting ‘Sculpture by the Sea’ since it began at Cottesloe in 2005. Sculpture by the Sea is supported at the national level within our partnerships portfolio.

In 2009, Alcoa was a co-principal sponsor of the exhibition. Our partnership supported some of the artists who chose to sculpt with aluminium, as well as the Sculpture by the Sea ‘Alcoa Schools Education Program’.  This program puts children from our communities, and the Perth metro area, directly in touch with art and our metal.  In 2009, the program gave over 1400 school children the chance to express themselves through art and learn about aluminium, including many from communities around our operations. 

As a co-principal sponsor, Alcoa helped bring the arts to more than 100,000 West Australians. 

In 2009, Alcoa acquired the aluminium sculpture ‘hardscape’ by WA based artist Noah Birch - and gifted it to the community of Harvey near our Wagerup and Willowdale operations. The sculpture is now on permanent display at the local Harvey Dam look-out for the whole community to enjoy.

‘hardscape’ is Noah Birch’s first major work to go on public display. In being part of Sculpture by the Sea, Alcoa also enabled the artistic community to have its work seen and appreciated.

Mr Birch said: “I was incredibly pleased, and also more than a little elated when I found that Alcoa had acquired my work.  Alcoa’s support for ‘Sculpture by the Sea’ is often undervalued; it is not only the material given to many artists each year, but also the acquisitive aspect that allowed me to not only survive this last year, but to move forward onto the next year and continue working. 

“In the end, a far greater aspect of the acquisition means that my work is now in the public sphere and available to a greater audience than I ever imagined - seen and visited by people who maybe have never made it to ‘Sculpture by the Sea’, but now have a chance to see sculpture in a new arena because Alcoa has made this gift.

“Aluminium was the perfect material for ‘hardscape’ – it was a fairly natural choice for this work, given the underlying concept (ill-considered development, so a reflection of the built environment), the ability to achieve the desired finish (its workability), and to create a work with longevity, resistance to corrosion, and suitable for outdoor exhibition.”

To read more, visit: www.alcoa.com.au/sculpture2009.

Click image to enlarge.

Click image to enlarge.