Visit this open air art gallery with a difference.
September is the time of year when Currumbin Beach comes alive with the creative displays of the Swell Sculpture Festival. Located on the beach between Elephant Rock and the entrance to the Alley, are outdoor sculptures by local, national and international artists. The variety is part of the appeal for me, as is the fact that you can walk through and between some of the pieces and wonder at the creative minds at play. The exhibition program, which can be bought at the huts at the start and finish of the sculpture kilometre, is well worth the $5 charge. The handy little booklet offers a more meaningful insight into each of the artists' intentions with a short synopsis of each item. The beach setting is great. We visited on the first day, towards the end of the afternoon, which affords a double bonus viewing of sundown and then early evening when many are lit up.
I loved watching how the pieces create discussion, puzzlement, amusement and inspiration, between all ages. According to the Swell website: "The free to the public exhibition attracts visitation of around 190,000 over 10 days." The top award this year, by the way, is the $15,000 Swell Sculpture Award. Now for that money, I could definitely discover my creative side. All the sculptures are for sale too. The Information hub is open from 9am to 5pm - vote for your favourite sculpture in the People's and Kids' Choice Award and get info about Twilight sculpture walks and artist talks etc. The Sculpture Festival is free and open all hours, so call a friend or take your family for a stroll along the beachfront and judge for yourself.
Without giving away too much and spoiling your viewing surprises, some of my favourite sculptures have to be the ones featured in this article. What a fabulous festival.
A caravan, badly damaged by the Bundaberg floods back in 2011, is one of the more unusual artworks on view, from award winning Chris Bennie, who works primarily in video art. So don't be surprised when you see people peering through the windows watching the video presentations inside.
It's a great spot. You can climb Elephant Rock lookout for a different perspective of the festival, enjoy a meal at the life saving club, relax on the beach in the beautiful September sun or join Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary for an acoustic afternoon (on Sat 14th and 21st Sep) in support of the Currumbin Wildlife Hospital.
The Currumbin Beach ocean walkway between the Currumbin Surf Life Saving Club and the Alley is approximately 1km and is located along Pacific Parade Currumbin Beach.
Note the parking along the foreshore is limited and will be very busy particularly over the weekends. However you can park at Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary, which is only a short walk away. In fact if you can cycle there, there is a secure area for bike parking on weekends and you will receive drink bottle and bike repair kit as a thank you for reducing your carbon footprint. You are also encouraged to send your favourite photo from Swell to the website.
Get down to the beach and enjoy this open-air art gallery with a difference.