Western Australian sculptor, Stephen Tero, has brought innovation to life in a unique way with his recent work ‘Shell’. This was created for the 2010 Bondi Sculpture by the Sea and is constructed from Boral Roofing ’s Terracotta ‘French- Sydney Red’ roof tiles.

This is Tero’s third showing at Sculpture by the Sea (previously Cottesloe and Bondi, 2007) and it displays the artist’s continued preference for working with unorthodox materials.

The inspiration for ‘Shell’ came from mundane beginnings with Tero spending many hours working with terracotta roof tiles whilst renovating his family’s home. “I try to find materials that we encounter in everyday life and present them in a different context,” he explains.

“Living in Fremantle the sea is ever present,” he says. “My children are always beachcombing, so we end up with collections of shells about our yard. The connection between the two materials – shells and tiles – seems obvious to me now.

“The idea of putting tiles into a spiral arrangement emerged after experimenting with a variety of circular layouts. I want to create the feeling of the shell and the sea without being too derivative. The result is a steel spiral with cleats welded off it to receive terracotta tiles.”

The colour of the terracotta roof tile is arresting against the blue of the Bondi waters and sky and the use of tiles has other significant meanings for Tero who explained that while making the work he began to think of our roofs as our shells, and pondered the idea of roofs as the sea, as in the saying, “I look over a sea of tiles”.

“Boral Terracotta Roof tiles are manufactured to withstand harsh climatic conditions and marine environments so the tiles work perfectly in the salt drenched surrounds of Bondi” says David Francis, Marketing Manager Boral Clay & Concrete.

“The sculpture reflects the design flexibility of Terracotta roof tiles and Boral worked directly with the artist to overcome some unique challenges such as drilling a hole in the tile for attachment to the armature. I’d like to think this illustrates that no problem is too unusual for Boral.”

Boral is a building and construction materials supplier and the company focuses greatly on improved product development and innovation processes. With an extensive roofing portfolio of colours and profiles, it shows that Boral is really making waves.