It’s that time of year again! One of Australia’s most prestigious sculpture exhibitions is calling on local and international artists working across all mediums to submit proposals to exhibit at the 15th annual SWELL Sculpture Festival.

Showcasing a diverse collection of thought-provoking works by up to 50 artists, those chosen to exhibit will each receive a $500 subsidy and installation support, as they vie for awards worth more than $25,000.

With entries closing on Wednesday, March 15, SWELL Sculpture Festival’s director and curator Natasha Edwards said the exhibition provides artists with the opportunity to spread their wings creatively and professionally.

“SWELL attracts emerging, mid-career and well established sculptors creating installations ranging from traditional to contemporary and monumental to miniscule,” Ms Edwards said.

“This diversity creates a brilliant blend of creativity, experience and knowledge, and presents an invaluable opportunity for SWELL entrants to network, learn and grow.

“Artists experience the thrill of seeing their work connect with the public at a spectacular and iconic venue, while also having the opportunity of selling their work.”

Submissions can comprise of completed works, works in progress or concepts, with each encouraged to be of large scale or have a substantial footprint, be site specific, invite dialogue around place making, instigate creative conversations around craftsmanship, or highlight social, environmental or contemporary issues.

SWELL welcomes the opportunity to work with artists who would like to explore the liminal boundary of the coastal landscape and those who are keen to break new ground in sculpture presentation.

In 2016, Brisbane artist Alicia Lane’s metal work Rainforest Remnants won SWELL’s major $15,000 cash award, sponsored by City of Gold Coast.

The jewellery and small sculpture specialist described her experience at SWELL 2016 as “challenging, momentous and amazing”.

“It was challenging to scale my work up – I worked right up until installation and it was my first time putting my work into the public context,” Ms Lane said.

“My work felt small and quiet next to some of the other entries, so I was blown away when I won the major prize.

“It was encouraging that people understood and communicated with my work – that was very important to me.”

Ms Lane sold the sculpture just one week after SWELL and has subsequently been commissioned to create other pieces.

As well as the major $15,000 SWELL Sculpture Award sponsored by the City of Gold Coast, additional awards include the popular $3,000 People’s Choice Award, $3,000 Kids’ Choice Award, $3,000 Environment Awareness Awards, $1,500 Emerging Artist Award and $1,000 Artist Peer Award.

Entries for the 2017 SWELL Sculpture Festival close on Wednesday, March 15. Artists can learn more and apply online at www.swellsculpture.com.au.

IMAGE Stretten Pow Oliver, Infrastructure Ship of Fools (c) Daniel Michaud

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