Swell Festival

Swell Sculpture Festival Set to Go International

Full Swell Festival Program Launched

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Images L-R: Suzi Lucas Irrelevant Information  Liu Yonggang  Embrace of Love  Chris Bennie The Kissing Swans
Download High Res Artist Images: http://bit.ly/16K8kFW
View the 2013 promo clip: http://www.youtube.com/user/SwellSculpture

Swell Sculpture Festival, the largest outdoor sculpture exhibition in Queensland reveals its full program including the addition of two extraordinary international artists today.

Held from September 13 – 22, Swell Sculpture Festival will bring together an eclectic mix of sculptures from local, national and international artists. In 2013, international artists have been actively encouraged to exhibit at Swell with the first uptake by Georges Culliver (Belgium) and Liu Yonggang (China). It is due to a new partnership with Brisbane based Urban Art Projects that has paved the way for this global injection with the vision being to increase the numbers of international entries and exchange.

“Swell is a great opportunity for international artists to bring new work to the festival and to share their creative practices with local artists and the community. In return Swell provides an opportunity for international artists to experience the beauty and unique qualities of such a special place, and then spread the word of its wonder world-wide.” says Natasha Smith, Snr Curatorial lead at Urban Art Projects.

In addition to these international artists there will be 32 Queensland sculptors represented (21 from the Gold Coast), 17 artists from New South Wales (11 from the Northern Rivers), one artist each from Victoria and Western Australia.

In 2012, Swell Sculpture Festival attracted 195,000 visitors and injected $6.2 million into the local economy. It is a free outdoor exhibition valued over $750,000 free for the public to enjoy.

This year Swell Sculpture Festival attendees will enjoy sculptures such as a flying pig, a sculptural installation by Chris Bennie featuring a caravan from the Bundaberg Floods, a steel origami blue wren and a 3m high surfer girl. Modern forms and inspiration drawn from the work of crabs are just a taste of what will be on offer from the 50+ artists that make up this year’s Swell Sculpture Festival.

From driftwood to a car bonnet, giant creatures woven from flotsam and jetsam, themes of recycled materials and the natural environment this outdoor exhibition will make the public pause for thought about how art can interact with society and its issues, and make us all consider our place in the world. Meanwhile a pair of salty pears is set to make a humorous yet subversive statement about life on the Gold Coast and is sure to set tongues wagging.

“As an event and as an experience, Swell reveals how we can enhance peoples capacities to bring together individual and collective imaginings to encourage positive change. This is partly about leaving behind old paradigms, but mostly about shared recognition of the value and commitment to the arts.”

“If we think of our culture as our currency we’ll be more likely to support and enhance our communities, producing a democracy rich in diversity and creative thinking, in which we can enjoy an environmentally sustainable, culturally dynamic public life,” said Natasha Edwards, Swell Sculpture Festival Curator and Director.

Swell Sculpture Festival celebrates the exhibiting artists with eight awards, which are an additional tangible benefit. This year’s top honor sees artists vying for the $15,000 Swell Sculpture Award sponsored by City of Gold Coast and judged by Julie Ewington Curatorial Manager, Australian Art, Queensland Art Gallery. The significant development of this key award has been crafted to assist in the development of an artist’s professional profile and standing.

Other awards include the ever-popular Currumbin Beach Vikings SLSC People’s Choice Award, Griffith University School of Humanities Kids’ Choice Award, the Jennie Neumann OAM Emerging Artist Award, Max Fabre Foundation Environmental Awareness Award, QT Gold Coast Artist Award, Groove Café Artist Peer Award & The Way of Design Swell Smalls Gallery People’s Choice Award. The total prize pool is over $27,000.

In addition to the sculptures set among the coastal landscape, Swell Sculpture Festival offers many other events as part of their program and promises a spectacular and creatively engaging time for all members of the family.

Families can enjoy interactive sculpture workshops like Master Classes, The Green Room and Parasol Pictures, providing people the opportunity to let their creative juices run free and design their very own Chinese parasols. The free Swell Sounds will provide entertainment by musicians such as Bobby Alu and Robbie Miller while gourmet food vans will serve up delicious treats nearby.

On the northern end of Currumbin beach at the “Alley” we will present artist talks, video projections and sunset curatorial talks.  New for 2013 will be the ‘The Couch’, hosted by ABC 7:30 Report journalist Kathy McLeish, these sessions will be insightful conversations with exhibiting artists and guest speakers about Art in public spaces.  Forty original pieces or scaled down versions of the beachside sculptures will be part of the Swell Smalls Gallery at The Way of Design Gallery on Pacific Parade, Currumbin Beach.

Festivities will continue into the evenings at the Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary with “Loveit” featuring acoustic sounds from local musicians and gourmet delicacies.

Swell Sculpture Festival is Queensland’s largest outdoor visual arts exhibition in scale and attendance and transforms Currumbin Beach into a vibrant outdoor gallery for all to freely enjoy. “SWELL is a community asset, and one that is obviously enjoyed by all who experience it,” says Natasha Edwards, Founder. Volunteer applications are still open and for more information visit: http://www.swellsculpture.com.au/support-us/volunteer.php

Getting there
Located at Currumbin Beach on the Gold Coast, Swell organisers encourage people to ride their bikes or park and ride. Park all day at the Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary in Tomewin Street for a flat fee of $5 with proceeds going to Currumbin Wildlife Hospital Foundation. Visit www.swellsculpture.com.au for more transport options

Swell Sculpture Festival
September 13 – 22, 2013
Pacific Parade, Currumbin Beach, Gold Coast QLD
Website: http://www.swellsculpture.com.au