Ever wondered which brilliant mind created the 6-foot, upside-down steel octopus that overlooks the Batemans Bay foreshore?
Or the towering sculpture of a crab clutching at a pelican's bill at the marina breakwall?
Jesse Graham is the mastermind behind these inquisitive creations which have been attracting smiles and gleeful reactions from tourists for years.
Mr Graham's eight-armed creation won the hearts of locals after it was the main attraction at the inaugural exhibition. "Buoyansea" marked the beginning Batemans Bay's permanent Sculpture Walk.
"The organisers saw the octopus at Bermagui and I think that's what started it all," Mr Graham said.
This year, he aims to keep that relationship aflame and has entered three of his works in the Sculpture for Clyde exhibition starting on May 27.
The full-time sculptor has leant on inspirational forces like the natural landscape and animals, of which an abundance can be found at his remote, off-grid property in Kiah on the Far South Coast.
Like many of his neighbours, Jesse and his wife Jo lost their home during the Border Fire in January 2019, along with 20 years' of paintings and sculptures.
Decades worth of steel and bronze works had been twisted and melted, alongside their historic timber hut and newly-built tiny home.
Mr Graham began creating a sculpture he describes as a "wall of flames", named "2020 Vision" which now greets visitors at the Kiah General Store on the Princes Highway.
In 2021, Mr Graham told Australian Community Media he was concerned that his work might impact or trigger locals: "I tried to make it positive by incorporating a phoenix at the end of the flames, that looked like it was coming out of the ashes."
He intended on entering his creation into Sculpture for Clyde in 2021, but unfortunately, the pandemic came knocking.
Now, as the Sculpture for Clyde returns, South Coast audiences can experience Mr Graham's artistic take on the bushfires in his latest creation, "Alter Ego".
"The sculpture is a Bruce Lee-style figure who is punching fire...It's about fighting your demons."
The sculpture is welded with different types of steel and wire sourced from local businesses.
"The fire has certainly made its mark, but I've had enough of that now. I needed to cleanse after the fires, so after 'Alter Ego', I think I'll have moved on."
Three years on from the fires, Mr Graham's new home is just weeks away from completion.
"We have been living in a shed on the property - we live in one half and I work in the other.
"It's been a long three years, but we can now see the end."
You can see Jesse Graham's three sculptures "Alter Ego", "Flower Power" and "Love in the Deep" at the Sculpture for Clyde exhibition at the Batemans Bay foreshore between May 27 and June 4.
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