As if sand and sea are not enough to restore the soul at any time, each year I love to head to the Gold Coast for the annual SWELL Sculpture Festival, where creative hearts and minds are on display for all to see.
Now in its 12th year, SWELL is always a joy. I might not love all the art works equally, but those I pass by without too much effort may be just the ones that someone else thinks brilliant. How wonderful is diversity!
On the beachfront – and some literally on the beach – at Currumbin, SWELL 2014 features nearly 70 sculptures, large and small. I played truant on a work day yesterday in order to avoid the weekend crowds (ah, the benefits of working for myself) and spent several hours wandering along the foreshore looking at these wonderful creations.
My shoes filled up with sand and my mind with ideas. Under the canopy of blue sky and shady trees, sculptures made of iron, clay, stone, bronze, wood, shells, wire, glass, bamboo, rubber and wool – among other materials – gladdened my heart.
The 2014 festival ends tomorrow. I missed it last year but I’ll be back again next year. Meanwhile, here are some of the wonderful works created by artists from around Australia and the world. And it’s free!
SOS (Save Our Surfers) by Michael Blazek (Queensland). It’s a neon light installation – wish I’d seen it at night!
#instalife by Claire Sewell (New South Wales). A comment on “instagramming your life”. That’s Surfers Paradise in the distance.
Sea Ball by John Wilson (Queensland).
Seagull by Ibrahim Koc (Turkey). I still remember his giant mosquito from SWELL 2012!
Vertumnus by Monte Lupo (QLD). These four beauties represent the four seasons.
Dancers with Masks – Variations in Blue and Gold, by Rainer Schlueter (Queensland). Looking towards Currumbin Rock.
Keeping up with the Kalashnikovs by Daniel Clement (QLD) was the winner of the $15,000 Swell Sculpture Award, presented by the City of Gold Coast. And is for sale for $15,000.
Fantome (Ghost) by Frederic Berjot (QLD). Made up of four of these spooky creatures.
Wolf by Ivan Lovatt (QLD). Made of chicken wire.
Erebus, by Glen Star (NSW). My pick for the People’s Choice Award! It has already won the $1500 prize for an emerging artist.
Sea Pod, by Jess Poulsen (NSW).
Floating in the Light by David Ardley (QLD).
Paradise – Girt By Sea, by Jules Hunt (NSW). Part of an archway of steel, copper and aluminium leaves.
Post Colonial Colony, by Catherine Lane & Linelle Stepto (NSW). Bats made of flyscreens, hanging all over this (real) tree.
Tunnel van de Liefde by Georges Cuvillier (Belgium). Made of bamboo.
Neon Rush by Kirsty Foley-Lewis & Louise Paroz (QLD).
Octopus Attacks by Filthy Luker & Pedro Estrellas (UK). Positioned on the rock above the Surf Club.
This “rainbow koala” was not part of the competition but is advertising “Animals with Attitude”, which will be on display on the Gold Coast from March to May 2015.