On its 23rd anniversary, Sculpture by the Sea will return to Bondi this Thursday, October 24.

Attracting roughly 500,000 visitors, the 18-day event — which winds up on Sunday, November 10 — is staged along the Bondi to Tamarama coastal walk.

“It’s hard to know why people have responded to Sculpture by the Sea for so many years, but it’s got to be the interaction between Mother Nature, what the artists conjure up each year with their extraordinary creativity and the fact that it is a free event,” Sculpture by the Sea founding director David Hanley told news.com.au.

“I think putting that all together, somehow or another, really works for so many Australians.”

Featuring more than 100 sculptures by 111 homegrown Australian and international artists, the event is one of the region’s most iconic and most photographed.

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This year, the Aqualand Sculpture Award worth $70,000 is on offer for one artist whose piece will become a permanent exhibition for the enjoyment of the Sydney public. The 2019 exhibition includes works from 2017 recipient of the Aqualand sculpture, David Ball.

“One of the absolute highlights is Joel Adler’s sculpture canter-levered off the cliff at the end of South Bondi headland,” Handley said.

“There’s also David Ball’s extraordinary star-like form on stilts on Tamarama Beach, the Succah by the Sea structures by young architects from Sydney and the Czech and Slovak showcase celebrating 30 years of the freedom since the Velvet Revolution.”

A variety of scholarships and support prizes are also up for grabs to help foster emerging artistic talent.

This could be the last year Bondi hosts the event — Sculpture by the Sea organisers have been at loggerheads with Waverley Council over the design of a new path that will “greatly compromise” the exhibition.

In July, organisers said they were actively looking for a new home, calling for expressions of interest from other coastal councils in Sydney and around Australia.

Public transport is available for those wishing to get to and from this year’s event — however, there will be several road closures over the three weeks.

For a full list of artists and event information, head to the Sculpture by the Sea website.

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