The response to expressions of interest from artists was amazing, with over 60 artists submitting ideas Australia-wide. The 25 shortlisted artists, chosen for their experience in creating outdoor artwork, submitted detailed plans that were presented to a panel. Unfortunately, they only had a permit for 13 artworks and chose the final 12 artists from Perth and the Southwest of Western Australia.
The sculptures, designed to have a lifespan of over 30 years, are constructed from various chemically stable materials, including concrete, bronze, steel and ceramics. Sophie says the materials were chosen to be durable while benefiting the marine habitat. For example, when steel breaks down it provides marine life with iron, which is a part of their dietary needs.
Over the past three years, the environmental team at Busselton Jetty have worked with the artists to complete and install the underwater sculptures on the seabed (8m below the surface) at the northern end of the jetty. The biggest sculpture in the collection is a life-sized Southern Right Whale by Alan Meyburgh.