Thanks to the hard work of a community committee comprising local residents and artists, the iconic Oceanides sculpture at Fairy Bower, known by locals as the 'sea nymphs, will be reinstated in long lasting bronze.
The committee, made up of Hugh Burns, Heather Potts, Wendy McCready, Julie Bakalor, Candy Bingham, Sherree Hooper, Sharon Curby and Janne Seletto, has successfully matched the $40,000 pledged by the Northern Beaches Council.
"We have been blown away by the passion felt by people in relation to this sculpture. The crowd-funding raised almost half the additional $40,000 needed, and the sale of limited edition miniature sculptures has ensured the funds needed have now been raised," explained Candy Bingham, Head of Fundraising for the project.
Feature stories in the Manly Daily and Sun-Herald spread the word, and more than 10,000 promotional flyers were distributed in local letterboxes promoting the crowd-funding website.
In addition, the Northern Beach Council supported the campaign by erecting a large "Save Our Sea Nymphs" donation sign at the entrance to the Fairy Bower pool.
The project was accepted by the Federal Government's Australian Cultural Fund, which enabled donations to be tax-deductible.
Artist Helen Leete worked tirelessly with the Committee, donating her time and talents to produce two miniature sculptures of the Sea Nymphs, which were available in 23cm and 50cm. Only twelve of each will be produced.
The launch of the fundraising event, took place at the Bronze Sculpture Gallery at North Head on Friday night (31/3/17) with students of Helen Leete providing the catering and the Manly Art Gallery providing its full support with the loan of glasses, a lecturn and donation box. By the end of the evening the final funds needed were quickly secured with the sale of the 50cm miniature sculptures selling out.
"The project has been a wonderful example of how the Council and its community can work together to get the outcomes they want, and really highlighted for me just how much art is appreciated in this area", Candy Bingham added.
Clive Calder of the Bronze Sculpture Gallery and Foundry at North Head will cast the replacement sculpture, which is hoped to be back in its proud position overlooking Fairy Bower Pool in time for next summer.
Well done Manly!
The campaign to Save our Sea Nymphs sculpture is moving into top gear.
The iconic Manly sculpture was damaged beyond repair in a storm last June.
Late last year a group of artists and local residents teamed up to recreate the iconic piece, but this time in beautiful, long-lasting bronze. The group is working closely with Helen Leete, the sculpture's creator, and Clive Calder from Australian Bronze gallery and foundry at North Head, who will be responsible for casting the new figures.
Good for Manly President Candy Bingham, as the group's director of fundraising, has been working hard to gain the support of the Northern Beaches Council and the Federal Government's Australia Cultural Fund.
"The council has really come on board with our campaign, Mrs Bingham said. "They have pledged to match our fundraising dollar for dollar up to $40,000, which is half of the amount that we need to raise. This is a huge endorsement of our community fundraising campaign.
"And I'm delighted to say that just this week the Australian Cultural Fund approved our application. That means that donations to Save Our Sea Nymphs are now tax deductible via our website www.saveourseanymphs.info."
As well sculptor Helen Leete is creating miniatures of her artwork for sale to assist the fundraisng. They will also be cast in bronze and will be available in limited numbers in two sizes – a 50 cm version for $,6000 and a 23 cm one for $4,000.
The campaign will be kicked off with an invitation-only launch at Australian Bronze. It will be held in early March, with a guest speaker, a spectacular bronze pour, and the miniature sculptures on display for purchase.
For more details or to make a contribution go to: www.saveourseanymphs.info
(Our thanks to local photographer, Chris Abbott, for his inspired photos of the sculpture in its former glory)
Candy Bingham, Manly Ward Councillor on Northern Beaches Council. Background in marketing, public relations and community engagement. Author of five business books. Former Lady Mayoress of Sydney. Aka Candy Tymson.