Leesa Knights

Ocean Dreaming, 2022

Long Reef Surf Life Saving Club

Long Reef is a rare jewel on Sydney’s Northern Beaches, a sanctuary for native flora and fauna as well as the people who come from near and far to escape the surrounding suburban sprawl and reconnect with nature.

Construction of the new Surf Life Saving Club at Long Reef is complete.

The new development includes three new pavilion-style buildings around a landscaped courtyard, including a clubhouse, gym, training room, function room in addition to a small commercial café, Council Lifeguard storage and a public amenities block. The design aesthetic responds to the unique and sensitive location and surrounds and implements best practice sustainability measures.

The site was originally identified as a potential site for integrated public art by Council’s Public Art Working Group and Council’s Arts & Culture staff in 2021.  Artist Leesa Knights was commissioned to develop a two-dimensional design that would be embedded into concrete panels in the garden.

Exploring and fusing elements of art, culture, imagination and nature, Leesa Knight’s works echo the beauty and delicacy of our planet. Leesa has been the recipient of various awards for sculpture and been selected for public commissions spanning architectural, urban and natural environments.

After studying the new building’s plans and considering the design intent of the project, Leesa conducted walks around the site, to get a better feel for the natural environment.  She explored the beaches, dunes, cliffs, aquatic reserve, headland, bushland and coastal walks.  Along the way, she drew found objects to utilise in her design.  She was particularly inspired by the movement of water, the undulation of the dunes and the structural detail and patterns found in various objects that she saw along the walk.

Recombining these forms in her studio, Leesa created drawings based on object tableaus.  These drawings were then translated into a relief design, with individual elements to be embedded into concrete seating via a process of cast concrete.  The design encourages curiousity, discovery and stirs the imagination.  With a strong environmental focus, the work has been developed to reflect the natural elements that humans (consciously or unconsciously) connect with when they visit this place.


Pittwater Road

Collaroy NSW 2097