When renown South west artist and metal sculpturer Voytek Kozlowski escaped from his Russian controlled homeland of Poland as a teenager, he could never have envisaged his journey would lead him to the paradise that he calls Dunsborough today.
The then 19-year-old was more concerned with evading conscription into an army where he could have been forced to turn a gun on his own people.
“I couldn’t allow that to happen, so I knew it was time to flee,” he says.
After eventually settling in Australia, he made another life changing decision to move to the hills above Dunsborough after falling in love with the town on a holiday with his wife and young family.
“I found a place that I saw as paradise, and where I believed I could achieve my dreams of becoming a full-time artist,” he says.
His passion and love for Dunsborough is undiminished, and he sees himself as a very lucky man.
“I continually find inspiration for my work in the stunning beach and bush landscape around me here, and in the region’s vibrant arts community. I’m sure that we have more artists per square metre than anywhere in Australia,” he says.
He has found great success with his stunning metal sculptures enhancing private and public areas around Australia, including the beautifully worked balustrades that adorn Busselton’s Queen Street.
But he says a main event on his calendar every year remains a local one – the annual March long weekend Dunsborough Arts Festival. Voytek, a past winner of the Festival’s Sculpture by the Bay competition, simply wouldn’t miss it.
“I am motivated to create a new sculpture every year especially for the competition,” says.
This year is no exception with Voytek entering a colourful fish sculpture that he hopes captures the youthful vibrancy he sees in his children.
“There’s a real buzz of excitement in Dunsborough over the Festival weekend, with like-minded people coming together to celebrate both art and music,” Voytek says.
“I have many emerging artists and art students visit my studio in Quedjinup, on the hill behind Dunsborough. I always encourage them to enter Sculpture by the Bay as I believe it is an excellent way to start exhibiting work,” he says.
“Artists get the opportunity to have their work seen by visitors from around the world, in Dunsborough enjoying the long weekend. I am very grateful to all the sponsors, organisers and volunteers of Sculpture by the Bay who help make this Festival event become bigger and better every year,” he says.
The Dunsborough Arts Festival’s Sculpture by the Bay is now one of the biggest sculpture competitions in regional Western Australia, this year attracting 45 sculptures for the foreshore sculpture trail on the long weekend.
A further 29 sculptures have been entered in a new ‘small sculpture’ competition. They will be on show over the Long Weekend at the Christian Fletcher Gallery in Dunn Bay Road.
The Dunsborough Arts Festival, organised by volunteers from the Dunsborough Progress Association, begins on the Friday evening of the March long weekend, continuing through to the Monday.
Other major events include two free evening foreshore concerts on the Saturday and Sunday evenings, with bar and food facilities. No BYO>
A foreshore Arts Market also will be held on the Sunday, with hand made products from artisans from around WA.