Prominent sculptor finds sea of inspiration in South West

Mark Grey-Smith has studied at Chelsea Art School, taught at the National School of Art and Design, and he now will call Busselton home. Image Sophie Elliott.

Mark Grey-Smith has studied at Chelsea Art School, taught at the National School of Art and Design, and he now will call Busselton home. Image Sophie Elliott.

The relocation of one of WA’s most prominent sculptors Mark Grey-Smith to Busselton from Pemberton is a huge coup for art in the region.

Grey-Smith is the artist behind the iconic ‘Centrefold’ sculpture at Cottesloe Beach.

‘Centrefold’ is just one of his works to have featured in the acclaimed annual outdoor sculpture exhibition, Sculpture By The Sea.

After several years of absence from the event due to health reasons, the renowned artist makes his return with his creation ‘Getting There’.

The aluminium and terrazzo concrete piece stands at 2.1 metres tall and 1.9 metres wide, and took six months to create. It will be his sixth time featured in Sculpture by the Sea.

Grey-Smith joins 21 other Western Australian artist, plus just over 50 national and international artists, in the exhibition.

Sculpture by the Sea is expected to attract an estimated 250,000 visitors across the 18-day exhibition.

I just think ‘Getting There’ would look incredible on the Dunsborough foreshore and that would be so special to see.

Mark Grey-Smith

Grey-Smith told the Mail when the opportunity arose to move to the Busselton region he jumped at it.

“I’ve always been influenced by the tough, beautiful landscape of WA and underwater scenes so to be somewhere surrounded by that is a wonderful opportunity,” he said.

“This will be a year of renewal and the year I reinvent in this lovely part of the world.

“I want to move into working with clay, producing pieces on a smaller scale, which are affordable. By transitioning into clay, it will allow me to get ideas out quicker and not spend so much time on these major pieces.”

Grey-Smith said he hoped to have an exhibition later this year, and was also keen to submit works for Dunsborough’s Sculpture by the Bay, the state’s biggest regional sculpture competition.

With ‘Centrefold’ acquired by the Town of Cottesloe, it is possible ‘Getting There’ will also be purchased from the Sculpture by the Sea exhibition.

However, Grey-Smith said it would be a dream if the sculpture was scooped up locally and could remain in the region he now calls home.

“I just think ‘Getting There’ would look incredible on the Dunsborough foreshore and that would be so special to see,” he said.

Sculpture by the Sea, Cottesloe, will be held at Cottesloe Beach from March 1 to 18.

Sculpture by the Bay, Dunsborough, will be held along the Dunsborough Foreshore during the Dunsborough Arts Festival from March 1 to 4.