Big boab by popular demand

Holly ThompsonSound Telegraph
The Boab at Sculptures by the Sea, created by Rockingham artist Tuinna Blackie.
Camera IconThe Boab at Sculptures by the Sea, created by Rockingham artist Tuinna Blackie.

A Rockingham artist spent 600 hours across two years creating her People’s Choice award-winning Sculptures By The Sea debut — a 4m tall artwork titled The Boab.

Tuinna Blackie sculpted the piece out of steel in her backyard shed and then polished it down so it resembled a mirror.

Displayed at Cottesloe Beach for the 17th annual event from March 5 to 22, it reflected the coastal environment and colours around it.

The piece won the $5000 EY People’s Choice award on the weekend, out of 70 artworks on display.

Ms Blackie said she had first started by creating the leaves and flowers for the tree and had built the rest of the piece from there.

Tuinna Blackie stands by her artwork after it was installed at Cottesloe Beach.
Camera IconTuinna Blackie stands by her artwork after it was installed at Cottesloe Beach.

“Once I put the flowers and the leaves together on the little branches, that gave me an idea of how big the body was going to be,” she said.

“We got sheets of steel and polished them, so the body forms a nonagon, and they bolt together. It wasn’t initially meant to be as big as it is, it just got out of hand, it is 4m high by 6m wide.

“My family have been pushing me for a long time to enter Sculptures By The Sea and they really inspired this piece.”

Ms Blackie said The Boab would be brought back to her home for four weeks after Sculptures By The Sea ended and would then be showcased at ECU for a further four weeks, before returning to her house again.

EY’s Western Region Managing Partner Fiona Drummond congratulated Ms Blackie on “her brilliant piece of art that has captured the hearts and minds of the people of Western Australia.”

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