The annual celebration of sculpture is largest free-to-the-public exhibition of its kind in the world.

The world’s largest free-to-the-public outdoor sculpture exhibition, Sculpture by the Sea, has opened on the beautiful coastal walk between Bondi and Tamarama beaches. Now in its 19th year, the annual celebration of contemporary sculpture is not only one of the most highly attended arts events in New South Wales, it’s also one of the most photographed. An estimated 500,000 visitors are expected to walk the coastal path in the next 18 days to see the more than 100 works by Australian and international artists.

In total 18 countries are represented at this year’s Sculpture by the Sea, including works from the USA, China, Brazil, Europe, Canada, Japan, New Zealand and Asia. For the past three years a work of particular artistic merit has been awarded with the Macquarie Group Sculpture Prize, which this year goes to German artist Jörg Plickat for his piece, Divided Planet. The award-winning sculpture is the third installation he has made for the annual Sydney celebration of sculpture, and is described by the artist as a “political statement on the effects of global warming.” The $60,000 prize is the most generous of its type in Australia, and after the Sculptures by the Sea exhibition closes, Plickat’s work will be permanently installed at Headland Park in Mosman.

In addition to the large scale pieces on the coastal walk, art lovers in Sydney will also be able to see 250 smaller sculptures created by exhibiting artists in a pop-up gallery in Marks Park. Sculpture Inside offers a unique opportunity to explore in greater depth the aesthetic, artistic process and working practices of the international roster of artists, as well as providing the opportunity to purchase their work.

Photography has become a huge part in cementing the international standing of the Sculpture by the Sea exhibition, and in recognition of this symbiotic relationship budding photographers will have the chance to win a trip to Perth to become an official photographer for the 12th annual Cottesloe Exhibition next March. Entrants need only upload their pictures from the coastal exhibition in Sydney using the hashtag #sxsmoments to be in with a chance of winning.

For full details, visit the Sculpture by the Sea website.