Yes, it’s that time again already! Queensland’s largest outdoor sculpture exhibition has announced that applications are officially open for Australian and international artists to exhibit at the 2020 SWELL Sculpture Festival, with $27,000 in prizes up for grabs.
The annual SWELL festival, entering its 18th year, has grown continually to become one of Australia’s most popular free cultural events, attracting a huge number of visitors to the Gold Coast’s beautiful Currumbin Beach to enjoy an open-air art experience.
In 2020, the 10-day festival will take place from 11 to 20 September, presenting small, medium and large-scale sculptures, installations and digital works from more than 50 Australian and international artists.
As Queensland’s premier outdoor sculpture exhibition, in addition to presenting Australian and international artworks, SWELL includes an extensive program of activities including workshops, artists’ talks, guided walks and a highly successful program for children and young people. The festival is curated and designed to provide visitors with opportunities to enjoy art and art-making, and to involve the community.
SWELL Sculpture Festival co-founder and artistic director, Natasha Edwards, is committed to how the much-loved exhibition enables artists to showcase their creations to an enthusiastic, captivated audience, and to comment on society and culture.
“Each sculpture tells a story, and collectively these stories come to emanate the essence of SWELL,” observes Natasha.
“Audience members can always find things to identify with among the diversity of works exhibited and the range artists selected. Each artist thinks differently about the world. Artists challenge themselves through the presentation of sculptures and artistic comments that are meaningful to them and at the same time open to many responses from those who view them”.
SWELL Sculpture Festival Executive Director, Dee Steinfort, says “SWELL is an all-inclusive, temporary public art exhibition for all to enjoy. It is a welcoming place, for artists, workshop presenters, school groups, and other visitors of all ages: families, groups of friends, children, solo wanderers, elderly people, those with differing abilities – and dogs, who have become a special part of SWELL.”
SWELL is committed to ensuring rich experiences to participating artists who will have opportunities to network with other participating artists, to share stories and a meal or two. Exhibiting artists and those running workshops are provided with significant opportunities such as media profiles, the chance to establish new industry contacts and experience professional development, plus the potential to sell their work, and perhaps receive commissions for new works.
Information for submitting artists
With entries open until Friday 31 January, artists, art collectives and collaborators are warmly encouraged to submit their proposals. Submissions can comprise photographs of completed works, outlines of works in progress or of concepts.
Works can be site-specific, have a solid presence or display ephemeral qualities. They should invite dialogue and instigate inspired conversations through craftsmanship, kinetics, message or artistic whimsicality and playfulness.
Successful applicants will be competing for a share of the total $27,000 prize pool, with the major award winner receiving the $15,000 Neumann Family SWELL Sculpture Award. Previous recipients of this award include Joy Heylen, Dion Parker & Andrew Cullen, Daniel Clemmett, Col Henry, Clayton Blake and Chris Bennie. The prestigious award is judged by industry experts and as such enhances how winning artists are recognised for their accomplishments, ensuring ongoing professional development.
Other awards for artists include the Max Fabre Foundation Environmental Award of $3000; Currumbin Vikings Surf Life Saving Club People’s Choice Award of $3000; Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary Kid’s Choice Award of $3000; Jennie Neumann OEM Emerging Artist Award of $1500; and Tugun Bendigo Bank Artist Peer Award of $1000; and the SWELL Smalls Gallery People’s Choice Award of $500.
Artists can submit applications online at swellsculpture.com.au/artists-submissions up until Monday 31 January, 2019.
IMAGE: Superegg by artist Jaco Roeloffs at SWELL 2019 CREDIT PBR Images