SWELL Sculpture Festival 2010
Queensland’s largest outdoor visual arts exhibition Artists from Australia and overseas are preparing to take over Currumbin Beach, when the eighth annual Swell Sculpture Festival takes them out of the gallery and onto the sand from 10 – 19 September. Queensland’s largest outdoor visual arts exhibition, in scale and attendance, will this year present the most extensive exhibition ever staged by the festival, when 55 major sculptural pieces are installed along the beach.
Set between Currumbin’s two headlands, the 2010 exhibition includes work by artists from all over Australia as well as international locations such as New Zealand, Germany and India.
Swell Sculpture Director Ruth Della says, “Swell is all about taking art out of the gallery and into a space that can be enjoyed by as many people as possible. The beach forms part of the essence of Queensland’s culture and the juxtaposition with large scale sculpture creates a wonderful spectacle.”
The ocean backdrop provides the perfect space for Oscar winner John Cox’s new work The Race. Two enormous lifesavers engaged in competition, rise from the sand in this impressive and imposing piece.
Pamela Lee Brenner’s Step Lightly, uses 200 recycled shoes covered in sand to eloquently express her concern for humanity’s environmental footprint, as we go about our daily life.
Victorian artist Emma Anna took inspiration from the work of John Lennon and Yoko Ono when creating imag_ne, a 4m long scrabble tile holder that spells out the name of the piece.
Daniel Clemmett’s Embracing The Plateau, a five metre high Venus of Willendorf made from car bonnet undercarriages, demands attention and reflects on humanity’s changing idea of the ideal woman.
This is just a small sample of the great variety of work that will be exhibited this year. Visitors can take in this outdoor exhibition of large scale sculptured pieces for 10 days – all for free. Visit during the day and stay on for the magic of a twilight viewing. As the
sun sets each evening, selected pieces will take on a whole new look as they light up under the southern sky.
Participating artists will vie for awards and acquisitions exceeding $60,000. The Gold Coast City Council’s annual $20,000 acquisition provides a lasting legacy for the residents of the Gold Coast. There is also the Satterley Property Group’s $20,000 and $10,000 acquisition. The Dux Lighting Environmental Awareness Award, Jennie Neumann OAM Emerging Artist Award, The Sun Media Award and visitors can vote for their favourite sculpture in the Currumbin RSL People’s Choice Award. Aspiring young art critics will be interested to cast a vote in the Kids’ Choice Award.
Approximately 200,000 people visited the Swell Sculpture Festival in 2009 to view the splendour that large sculpture on a beach setting offers. To compliment this, the Swell Smalls Gallery located at The Way of Design Gallery on the Currumbin beachfront, allows visitors to experience sculpture at an intimate and affordable level. In addition to the exhibition, visitors can extend their experience with guided twilight walks, artists’ talks throughout the exhibition, master classes for visitors to sculpt their own piece and a public art forum on Tuesday 14 September, exploring topics within a public art context.
As part of the Swell Kids’ Program, invited artist Pamela Denise will host workshops with school children, to discover the life cycle and importance of our native bee. During the weekends, budding young sculptors can participate in the Swell Kids’ Workshops at the Currumbin Nippers Club. A collaborative sculpture will result from these workshops, so ‘bee’ on the look out for this!
A new initiative for 2010 is the Bush to Beach Project supported by the Tim Fairfax Family Foundation. A group of children from remote Cloncurry State School will visit the exhibition, participate in the workshops and engage with a selection of the artists.
Gourmet BBQs on the weekends will tantalise the tastebuds or visitors can choose casual dining at local cafes and restaurants. Pack a picnic and plan to stay for the day!
The 10 day exhibition opens to the public on Friday, 10 September and closes the Sunday 19 September.
Weekend viewing is very popular and parking is a breeze with the Free Swell Shuttle Bus service. Visitors can hail the bus along the designated circuit and ride to and from the exhibition with ease. Check the website for details.