As you approach Willinga Park at Bawley Point you become immediately aware that it is extraordinary. At every turn and in every detail you observe is design, integrity and quality. Fences, driveways, landscaping. All considered in material, scale and context. Willinga Park is stunning. Not just at a local or regional level. It is stunning at an international level that has justifiably recognised it with an Australian Institute of Architects National Architectural Award and made it to the shortlist of the 2017 World Architecture Festival (WAF) Awards. Owners, Terry and Ginette Snow, are visionaries and what they have created and continue to create at Willinga Park is extraordinary on any continent on this planet. My excursion to Willinga to see this year’s Sculpture on Clyde outdoor sculpture exhibition was one I shall remember for a long time as it allowed me to see the home and the dream of a visionary and to wander through incredible gardens that are landscaped with a quiet and informed perfection. The Snow’s already own a considerable collection of sculptural pieces that sit within their landscaping adding to the enjoyment of seeing this year’s Sculpture on Clyde entries added to the mix. Prepare yourself for at least a two hour visit that has you wending your way through the gardens, catalogue in hand, and discovering far more than only art. The gardens are mature and the birdlife, flowers and plants are more than distracting on their own.
Video: a sneak peek at some of the stunning exhibits in this year's Sculpture on Clyde - Photos by Ginette Snow and Sculpture On Clyde
Many might have wondered at the Sculpture on Clyde move away from the Batemans Bay foreshore to Willinga Park for the popular annual event but as soon as you arrive it all makes sense. Willinga Park is stunning and it does justice to the calibre of the entries that the annual event is attracting. When you consider the central location of Bawley Point to the South East of NSW it makes perfect sense of why Terry Snow would build an incredible $100 million international standard equestrian complex equidistant and accessible to more than half of Australia’s population. Mr Snow has built it and THEY DO COME. And such was the response to this year’s exhibition that saw droves of visitors come from all quarters. With just three days to go and the weekend ahead Willinga Park will be the focal point for many coming to the South Coast this weekend from inland and from the north and with the solid social media exposure of the event this week the numbers will be more so. I for one hope that the event is able to continue to be showcased at Willinga Park as it is a sculptural garden I want to return to in order to see its own new acquisitions and to see the landscape design come of age. To me it is as pleasurable as the Boboli Gardens of Rome, the Jardin des Tuileries of Paris and Park Güell in Barcelona. The smaller sculptural indoor pieces at Clyde Street in Batemans Bay are also a delight to visit and a must see to take in the whole Sculpture on Clyde event. To have a regional event of this calibre, attracting international entries and to have them displayed in a setting such as Willinga Park is remarkable when you consider the event is in its infancy and run by volunteers. All involved are to be commended. Like Terry Snow’s Willinga Park the Sculpture on Clyde is also a visionary event of world class that sits right here in our South East region and rewards the Batemans Bay community and visitors to the area with a public art legacy that they can appreciate all year round with as they wander the public art trail of the Sculptures on The Clyde. DO NOT MISS this event.