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Sculpture on Clyde to include Willinga Park

Sculpture on Clyde has announced today that they will be hosting their outdoor sculptures at the world class venue of Willinga Park while the indoor sculptures will be hosted at the Clyde St. heritage venue used last year. Adding to the event the winners of the Schools Mathematical Sculpture competition will be displayed in shop fronts in the form of a Sculpture Walk through Batemans Bay CBD, at the same time as the event. Willinga Park as a co-host venue will see the event this year lift another notch in becoming an annual event that will bring world class sculptures to the region. The world class equestrian centre at Bawley Point, which is only half an hour's drive from Batemans Bay and 25 mins from Ulladulla has international award winning architecture, internationally recognised sculptures and an unsurpassed garden which will be utilised for our event. All the key ingredients for a true destination event. Looking beyond blinkered constraints of "shire boundaries" the organisers recognise that the Sculpture on Clyde is a regional draw card with Batemans Bay perfectly placed to play its role as a regional arts centre. Eurobodalla Council's own intentions to see the proposed Mackay Precinct project accommodate a regional performance and exhibition space augers well and goes hand in hand with a regional vision that will see the replacement of the Batemans Bay Bridge and improved highway corridors. Other recent volunteer run events such as the River of Art and Narooma Oyster Festival bought visitation to the region. The Sculpture on Clyde has been acknowledged as a regional event and recognised by broader focused bodies such as Destination NSW who are solidly behind the expansion. Lei Parker, owner of the South Coast Travel Guide website said to the announcement "Visitors to the region have no idea about administrative shire boundaries. They want to come and explore a region and have little to no interest in the politics and red tape behind the scenes." "Willinga Park is perfectly located between just north of Batemans Bay and the region, with improved roads is seeing a lot more local visitation between all of our coastal towns as our community and visitors looks for quality experiences." "I commend David and his passionate committee for thinking "outside of the box" and recognising that their event is a regional one that now has the opportunity to become an international drawcard for the South East NSW. What we need are more visionaries like David and less of the "Yes... buts" especially when we witness the selfless way in which the event leaves a quality cultural legacy of a Sculpture Walk for visitors and our community to enjoy. " he concluded. “We have made some changes to the format of the event. This will enable us to overcome difficulties around bridge construction uncertainty, insurance, security and the site logistics of putting on such a major event with volunteers.” ​said Chamber of Commerce president, David Maclachlan. Mr Maclachlan excitedly added to the announcement “The changes will also allow the event to expand quickly as a true destination event bringing in domestic and international tourists, all to the benefit of local businesses and local resident, with a resultant legacy of a world class sculpture walk”. Batemans Bay will come alive during the event with planned events for the CBD that will transform the streetscape and the two event venues will be linked by a bus shuttle service on the weekend. Mr Maclachlan continued, "as the Willinga Park area does not have hotel or food and beverage options which Batemans Bay does, we will be integrating our marketing with Batemans Bay business and capitalising on the importance of the Canberra tourist route. This is a real opportunity for Batemans Bay to tap into a world class destination venue." "We await confirmation from Eurobodalla Shire Council on additional public sites for the permanent display of the acquisitive prizes, which are the legacy the event. Knowing these sites in turn increases the scope of potential entrants and art."

"The $60,000 total prize money which was entirely raised by Batemans Bay locals is still on offer. The money saved from utilising Willinga Park will go to an additional sculpture acquisition for the Sculpture on Clyde Sculpture Walk."

"The committee is also engaged with founding a local sculpture residency award and will shortly be in talks involving local artists for an underwater sculpture garden."

“We are happy with continued support from Destination NSW, Eurobodalla Shire Council, local NSW Minister Andrew Constance and Ann Sudmalis MP, Federal Member for Gilmore”, David Maclachlan said.

"It’s a win for everyone and the Sculpture on Clyde committee is already busy with arrangements to make it happen." Entries close July 30 so artists are urged to continue sculpting their works so we can all enjoy them from August 25 until September 2.

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