March 1, 2012

Miracle metal shines at Sculpture by the Sea

It’s light weight, endlessly recyclable, resistant to corrosion and aesthetically stunning: a few of the reasons aluminium features in eight artworks at this year’s Sculpture by the Sea at Cottesloe.

2012 marks the eighth year of Alcoa of Australia’s partnership with the iconic sculpture exhibition and once again the company has supported several artists who chose to sculpt with aluminium.

Four Western Australians have been sponsored by Alcoa: Johannes Pannekoek, Melanie Maclou, Buffy Jones and Richard Hammer - all receiving aluminium thanks to the aluminium giant.

“I feel very fortunate to have been successful in my application for the Alcoa materials support,” said Gooseberry Hill resident and part-time artist Johannes (Harry) Pannekoek, whose aluminium sculpture ‘Convolution’ is on display north of Indiana’s Restaurant on Cottesloe beach.

“Receiving this [sponsorship] makes it possible for an artist to maximise the potential of their concept design which enables well scaled works to be exhibited,” he said.

Asked what inspired his creation Johannes said: “I wanted the sculpture to be in harmony with the ocean environment, be flowing and inviting for the public.”

On working with aluminium Johannes said: “Its attraction is its strength to weight ratio, its corrosive resistance but best of all it’s 100 per cent recyclable which is great for the environment.”

“I also love that my aluminium sculpture reflects our wonderful skies and the sun as it moves from east to west and sets on the horizon.”

Alcoa of Australia Managing Director Alan Cransberg said: “Many people don’t realise it but aluminium is all around us all the time – in buildings, outdoor furniture, iPods, computers, mobile phones, jumbo jets, cars and more – and for the next three weeks it’s on display for West Aussies to see in the form of sculpture at Cottesloe.”

“This displays its versatility – and that’s what I love about the product we make.

“We call aluminium a miracle metal for a number of reasons. Of course it can be used in so many different products but also, importantly, it’s such a sustainable material. We’ve done modelling to show that the increased use of aluminium in transport has the potential to make the entire aluminium industry greenhouse gas neutral by 2030*.

”Alcoa’s partnership with Sculpture by the Sea also includes the 'Alcoa School Education Program' which will see over 2,300 students, 300 from schools around Alcoa’s operations, participate in hands-on workshops with exhibiting artists, creating mini-masterpieces of their own using aluminium foil and aluminium wire donated by the company.

In addition, another 6,000 students are expected to attend Sculpture by the Sea, learning more about the arts, as their teachers utilise the online teaching resources available as part of the wider ‘Alcoa School Education Program’.

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Media contact: Jane McGuire 0410 694 676 or 


  • Johannes (Harry) Pannekoek’s sculpture, Convolution, is made entirely of aluminium.

  • Melanie Maclou’s sculpture, Entomophily, is made almost entirely of aluminium.
  • Richard Hammer’s sculpture, 5wd, is made almost entirely of aluminium.
  • Buffy Jones’ sculpture, Tilt - Slab Bug, Sand Bunny, Tilt Up, Porta Lawn, Dune Blooms, is 95% aluminium, 5% paint.
* See more about Alcoa's Sustainability Initiatives