Swell Sculpture Festival has taken over the Currumbin beachfront for 11 years already and will do so again this September. The renowned sculpture event is the largest outdoor art exhibition in Queensland and has secured its place in the cultural and event calendar of the Gold Coast, nationally and Internationally.
So a little sneak peak at how the festival gets to be the exhibition it is and what to expect in 2014. The call for entries went out in January and after receiving over a hundred applications, the curatorial panel had the task of considering the artwork, speaking to the artists and narrowing the sculptures down to 68.
Who are these people in the curatorial panel and how do they get there you may ask? The panel consists of qualified industry professionals who have years of experience behind them. The panel members change every year and this year the panel included Professor Philip Follent, Mathew Tobin, Director Urban Art Projects UAP and Swell Directors Natasha Edwards and Ruth Della.
Now this is where you the Blank GC reader gets a unique advantage; the artists have only just been informed of their acceptance and you are already getting a sneak peak of things to come. So, arouse your curiosity, awaken your appetite, tell your friends and then, like the rest of us, eagerly await September!
But for now, can you pick which description matches which pictured piece?
One depicts a part of a functional piece that owes itself to an ancient craft. It is skillfully made by an art blacksmith from Mullumbimby and made out of wrought iron. This artist has 25 years experience producing high quality work, combining traditional and modern techniques to create exciting and innovative ironwork. This is a piece that could be a permanent structure fixed around a tree or a piece that can be moved as desired from tree to tree. I guess you could say that this is a piece for all us treehuggers.
Then there’s this: a digital 3D sculpture printed on a plinth. Hidden Reflections: Tursiops is by a Brisbane based 3D artist who also works as a digital character artist, creature designer and animator. In this piece he is blurring the lines between the physical and the digital. “This is an interplay between the real and the virtual.”
In another piece, a local urban street artist has culminated his concerns for social, financial and environmental issues with Container. “This artwork encapsulated the multitude of issues Australia is currently grappling with as it attempts to redefine its identity. Popular sentiments such as ‘to have a fair go’ are contested as the nation asks a fair go for whom?” Through this piece the artists wonders how Australia will respond to the competing demands of nature and profit.
Another sculpture pictured is a playful approach to a more serious global issue. Keeping up with the Kalashnikovs is a piece by an astronaut wanna-be, Queensland artist and sculptor who grew up in a panel beater workshop, failed art at school and now spends his days welding, grinding, panel beating and spray painting. He has used recycled steel and car bonnet undercarriages to create this 6 metre long and 3 metre high sculpture.
Then there’s a piece with an environmental message and concern for the impact of our lifestyle and actions: Plastic Stings. The individual pieces are built around a wire frame with plastic bags weaved through the wire to create a beautiful, textured skin or surface. The beautiful creatures are made out of the exact material that affects their lives in nature in such a life-threatening way.
An impressive sounding piece, recreating the MIAMI ICE type in ice, will be one you’ll want to see at the beginning of the festival: before it melts. “Built environmental elements, such as signage, have helped shape the image of the Gold Coast, to both residents and visitors alike.” Says the Gold Coast based Art Director and the sculptor of this piece.
But this is just a sneak peak. With some 68 sculptures on offer, you’ll be spoilt for choice at this year’s event.
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Swell Scultpure Festival takes place at Currumbin Beach from 12 to 21 September. And it’s free.
For more information, or to volunteer visit swellsculpture.com.au.