Forrests give sculpture a home by sea

A popular Sculpture by the Sea work of art has been given a permanent home overlooking the Indian Ocean thanks to one of the State's most philanthropic families.

Andrew and Nicola Forrest's Minderoo Foundation donated the Transparent Sea glass sculpture of a whale shark to the WA Maritime Museum in Fremantle, to enable people to enjoy the much-loved piece created by glass artist Vaughn Bisschops.

Mining billionaire Mr Forrest said the gift to the community was a way of honouring the arts.

"We would love to see it become an iconic attraction where you get to see it in all its personalities at different times of the day," he said. "It's very individual, just like the varying personality of this State, and if it could get on the tourist map it would help bring people to the Maritime Museum, which is something every West Australian is and can be proud of."

Mrs Forrest, the West Australian of the Year community award winner, said the artwork was quintessentially West Australian.

"The whale shark epitomises something unique to our coastline and this piece was loved by so many people at Sculpture by the Sea that we felt it should stay in the State," she said.

WA Museum chief executive Alec Coles said the latest addition was one of the museum's most valuable and iconic pieces.

"This is a maritime museum, but it's not just about ships and boats - it's about the whole of the maritime environment," he said.

Mr Coles said Transparent Sea was placed outside to make the most of the natural light as well as the lights from Fremantle port.

The West Australian

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