Swell Sculpture Festival
Featuring an intriguing display of local and international artworks, the Swell Sculpture Festival is a fantastic free exhibition that turns Currumbin Beach into an outdoor art gallery in September every year.
Open all hours, you can walk amongst the sculptures under the warming spring sun or see them lit up under the southern sky.
Over ten days there are twilight walks, talks from the artists, a Public Art Forum and the Swell Smalls Gallery for smaller pieces.
So head down to Currumbin Beach to be inspired, amused, uplifted and touched by the artistic displays.
Swell Sculpture Festival - 11-20 September 2015
For its 13th successful year, the Swell Sculpture Festival 2015 is set to display over 50 sculptures by artists from all over the world. This is Queensland’s largest outdoor art exhibition and is a must see event on the Gold Coast.
The exhibition lets you see works by new and renowned artists against the spectacular backdrop of Currumbin’s ocean views. With the exhibition open 24 hours for ten days, you can wanter up and down the costline and truly explore the meanings of these works.
Programs are agailable from the Hub so you can learn about the artist's inspiration in creating each work and what they are trying to convey. If there's a piece you become particularly attached to you may be able to purchase it or commission a similar piece from the artist.
As well as the art displays, Swell also includes a number of participating events such as informative artist talks, entertainment programs, workshops and master classes to help the aspiring artists in all of us.
The Swell Smalls Gallery situated directly opposite the main information hub at Currumbin Beach, is an exhibition of smaller works by the exhibiting artists of the main display.
Not only does the festival support full freedom of expression for all forms of sculpture in any medium, but it also offers some amazing prizes. The awards on offer add up to over $27,000 which includes the main $15,000 Swell Sculpture Award. Artists also enjoy national media exposure, networking opportunities and a platform to sell their works as a result of being a part of the display.
In 2014 there was an unprecedented number of participating artists enrolled to display their works, with many more still coming in. Make sure you don’t miss out on this amazing display of artistic talent.
Location: Pacific Parade, Currumbin
Dates: 11th to 20th September, 2015
If you drove to the Gold Coast or hired a car you can drive to Currumbin Beach, though at this time of year you’ll find it hard to come across any available street parking. The Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary encourages visitors to use their car park at a flat rate of $5 for the day. From here it’s just a short stroll down to the beach.
Another option is public transport. There are a number of buses and shuttle services that operate through this area, most of which stop at the Wildlife Sanctuary.
Currumbin is a wonderful place to stay on holiday though, so if you’re here for the Swell Sculpture Festival or anything else in the area you can find local accommodation to suit you. Browse around for holiday apartments, hotels, resorts and even caravan parks for yourself or the whole family.
Swell Scultpture Festival History
Initially starting with just 13 sculptures in 2002, the Swell Sculpture Festival really has lived up to its name, swelling to well over 50 participating artists in the last few years. This growth was only possible under the direction of two determined women.
Natasha Edwards, the festival’s founding director, had grown up surrounded by art. Her father was an artist and an art educator. While getting more into business, accounting and financial management, Natasha kept art as her passion and enjoyed viewing at art, but struggled to take her young children in to galleries. She wanted an outdoor gallery on the Gold Coast where she could let her children experience the exhibits as well.
She developed a friendship with Kylie Mitchell-Smith who had just moved up from Sydney with her young children and also appreciated the arts. With Kylie’s PR and events experience they now had a combination of skills to work with, and a desire to get back into the workforce without compromising their family life.
They realised there was nothing in southeast Queensland that offered the kind of outdoor art experience that Kylie saw at Sydney’s Sculpture by the Sea. They felt that Currumbin was the perfect location for a sculpture festival, and wanted to contribute to the local community by organising the event.
Realising they would need a great deal of assistance to bring this vision into reality, they formed a committee and set themselves up as a not-for-profit organisation, then set out knocking on doors. At first people were sceptical, but their determination began to show and they receive initial funding from the local council and then through a series of grants.
Setting up a small weekend exhibition from donations, they put the call out through national and international sculpture organisations, attracting a modest 13 entries. The next year there were 24 and the numbers continued to expand from there.
Going from a small community arts event that attracted only a couple of thousand visitors, Swell has grown into a major regional arts festival attracting hundreds of thousands of viewers every year, as well as renowned national and international artists to display their works.