The SWELL Sculpture Festival has just kicked off here on the Gold Coast. Held on the stunningly beautiful Currumbin Beach, SWELL is now in it’s 16th year. This year will be my fourth year of attending SWELL and I think it gets better and better every year.
This year, more than 35 artists have their work on display at SWELL. This Festival really showcases how many talented people we have in this country. Even if you are not particularly into art or don’t understand the meaning behind the pieces, it’s still so awesome to see some of the work and appreciate how much time and effort went into making them. Some of them are huge and would have required many hours of work to complete them.
If you are driving, Currumbin Beach is located about a 20 to 30 minute drive south of Surfers Paradise. Parking around the area is limited so there is a free park and ride service available from Currumbin RSL. You can also park at Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary for $10.00. There are also buses that run down to Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary and from there it’s just a short walk. My recommendation is to get there early in the morning and you should be able to find a park nearby.
So, in no particular order, here are my five favourites from SWELL 2018.
By Joy Heylen, Luke Mallie, Ronda Sharpe, Jacqueline Damon and Agata Mouasher
Joy Heylen is a regular at SWELL. In fact she won the Grand Prize at last years festival. Her works are a blend of engineered Art and this years piece is no exception. This piece is a finalist in the Collaborative Team award.
YOU’RE TERRIBLE MURIEL!
by Ivan Lovatt
Ivan Lovatt is a regular at SWELL and his pieces are easily recognisable. They are made of wire netting and really are works of art. Every year I marvel at his skill and this year was no exception. His giant Galah, complete with timber perch, is so iconically Australian. As is the reference to that wonderful Toni Collette movie – Muriel’s Wedding. The sculpture was made to commemorate his own little bird ‘Muriel’ who bought much joy to his family.
This was obviously a crowd favourite as well and I was lucky to be able to get a couple of shots with no one in it.
PORTAL SUN. HARVEST STAR. SHADOW MOON
by Jack Quilter
Artist Jack Quilter comes from Murwillumbah in northern NSW. His series of three sculptures are made entirely out of scrap metal. Some of it was readily identifiable such as the mattock heads. Others I wasn’t so sure about. Set against the back drop of Currumbin Beach and the Pacific Ocean they were an impressive sight.
by Nick Warfield
A previous exhibitor at SWELL, Nick Warfield comes from the mid-north coast of NSW. He creates his visually dynamic pieces from waste materials. This years clever piece captures our Australian native dog beautifully. I love the colours and the expression on his face.
by Monte Lupo
When I researched the artist for The Seamstress I discovered that Monte Lupo is an Australian Disability Enterprise which provides creative supported employment for people with a disability. The Seamstress is just one of their many beautiful and quirky designs. I loved the story it tells and how it reminds me of skills that have been lost by many.
The SWELL Sculpture Festival 2018 wraps up on the 23rd September. If you are visiting the Gold Coast during this time, I highly recommend that you come and check it out!
For more information visit the SWELL website.
SWELL 2019 will be held from September 13th until September 22nd.