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sculpture by the sea artwork finds home in harvey 
An aluminium sculpture, originally unveiled at ‘Sculpture by the Sea’ Cottesloe earlier this year, has been gifted to the community of Harvey by Alcoa of Australia.
In 2009, Alcoa was a co-principal sponsor of ‘Sculpture by the Sea’ at WA’s Cottesloe Beach. 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 that saw thousands of WA school children (including many from around our operations) travel to Cottesloe to participate in hands-on workshops with practising artists.

In addition, this year, we acquired the sculpture ‘hardscape’ by WA based artist Noah Birch - and just last month it was gifted to the community of Harvey near our Wagerup and Willowdale operations. It’s now on permanent display at the Harvey Dam look-out for the whole community to enjoy.

In handing over the sculpture at a small celebration event, Alcoa’s Managing Director Alan Cransberg said the gift from Alcoa was dedicated to all the school children from across the Harvey Shire who had attended ‘Sculpture by the Sea’ Alcoa Schools Education Program over the past five years.

“It’s terrific to see the enjoyment these kids receive from attending the ‘Sculpture by the Sea’ Alcoa Schools Education Program - they get to interact with the artists, be creative, and make their own individual piece of work to take home.”

“I hope that this donation to the Shire will provide enjoyment for the local community, visiting tourists, and especially serve as a memento for the local children who’ve enjoyed the experience of visiting the magnificent beachside exhibition,” Mr Cransberg said.

‘hardscape’ is Noah Birch’s first major work to go on public display.

“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.”

“The ability to create a solid structure with minimal weight also makes aluminium a desirable material,” Noah said.

“The concept [for the sculpture] evolved through my experience within my own neighbourhood. I live in one of the fast developing areas of Perth; development has led to a large amount of hardscaping, (removal of trees, and little consideration for the surrounding environment).  I was, and am, concerned with the lack of concern shown to the environment in development.  The evolution of the landscape is a necessity of growth, but I worry about the method used, and ‘hardscape’ should serve as a point of discussion when viewed as a potential ‘futurescape’.  

“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.”

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Children from Harvey Primary School at Cottesloe Beach earlier in the year for 'Sculpture by the Sea'

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'hardscape' arriving at the Harvey Dam look-out

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The aluminium sculpture being installed in Harvey for the whole community to enjoy

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'hardscape' by Noah Birch

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At the hand-over ceremony at Harvey Dam

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WA Premier Colin Barnett, Alcoa's Alan Cransberg, with artist Noah Birch