When spring rolls around in South East Queensland every year, lovers of the great outdoors in the region can ignore the names of the boy bands and head in two directions. Head west and all things floral await you for the whole month of September, thanks to the Toowoomba Flower Carnival. Venture to the Gold Coast, however, and you’ll find a massive open-air art gallery that shines for ten days and spans a kilometer-long stretch of sand.
The latter is courtesy of the Swell Sculpture Festival, which returns to Currumbin Beach for 2022 between Friday, September 9 and Sunday, September 18. As it has for 20 years now, the event features large-scale artwork displayed along the shoreline, ready for patrons. to see while sandblasting and/or getting your feet wet, with more than 70 pieces appearing at this year’s festival.
Once again, visitors can expect to see some great creations. Yes, just walking along the beach you will see some stellar art. This year’s festival features more pieces made by over 132 artists using a variety of materials – including works using concrete, stainless steel, copper, bronze, wood, glass, plastic and natural fibers, as well as fiberglass, bamboo, wire, silk, stone and aluminum.
Some creatives, like Malvika Satelkar, were inspired by the unknowns of the ocean. Others, like Irene Messia, pay homage to the natural world, while Amelia Batchelor uses recycled materials to draw attention to humanity’s addiction to plastic and its impact on the environment.
Emily Hastie was inspired by her love of surfing, Phil Darnton reflects on the intersection of art and architecture, and Dion Parker was inspired by where the wild things are. Obviously, the list is long.
Of course, every day, every beach becomes an art gallery in its own way. If you’ve ever taken a bucket, filled it with sand, dumped it on the shore, and shaped it with your bare hands, then you’ve carved something – and added a small temporary piece of art too at the shore. . So it makes sense that part of the Gold Coast celebrates this specific waterside art form – with more than just sand castles on offer, though.
The 2022 festival includes guided walks; yoga among the arts; pop-up food vendors; and masterclasses covering everything from photography and weaving to bush dyes, indigenous foods and carving wheels. A beachside festival also features live tunes and comedy, as well as artist panels and poetry.
Swell Sculpture Festival 2022 runs from Friday, September 9 through Sunday, September 18 at Currumbin Beach. For more information, visit the event website.
Top images: PBR Images/LexImagery.