The Swell Sculpture Festival is an annual event, held at Currumbin Beach on the Gold Coast (set between Elephant Rock and Currumbin Rock). The festival encourages entries of large art forms from all mediums and the result is Queensland's largest free outdoor exhibition, with a diverse range of art form, from local, national and international artists. Spread along 1km of beach, in a visually spectacular outdoor gallery, the sculpture walk is open all hours so you can enjoy the artwork at any time during 12 – 21 September 2014. A selection of the exhibits light up after dark offering a different and dynamic view of the works. SWELL's artistic offerings encourage public interaction with guided twilight walks, artists' talks, small sculpture, music, performance art, night lighting and a range of hands-on sculpture workshops for all ages. The exhibition program (around $5) is well worth buying, as you can read about each exhibit as you encounter it.
A little aside here: note that the Swell Sculpture Festival Award is $15,000 so if you are arty, I'd be checking it out for next year. There are local and national entries, together with sculptures from the UK, Belgium, Turkey, Germany and Korea. Don't forget to vote in the People's Choice Award. $3000 will be awarded to the lucky recipient.
A fun part of the experience is watching the reactions of visitors to each sculpture and the dialogue that results, as some pieces amuse, confuse or delight the outdoor audience. With "70 sculptures of monumental and imaginative proportions", this event is too good to miss, so save the date – you have 10 days to choose from. It's a fun way to meet up with friends so take a picnic, enjoy the stroll and just appreciate the event. It really is a premier alfresco art exhibition, set in a fabulous coastal landscape.
Parking is at a bit of a premium as the car parks at either end of the trail and the surrounding streets fill up quickly. However you can park at the Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary car park (flat fee $5, proceeds to Currumbin Wildlife Hospital Foundation - Swell's Charity of Choice or National Trust Green Guardian members enjoy free parking) which is then a short walk to the beach. Festival goers are encouraged to use pedal and foot power to get to the venue. There is also the Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary Express. Click here for more info. If you are a visitor to the coast, combine the event with a visit to the Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary and try your hand at the Green Challenge.
Note: Check with the Info Hub ( will be open daily, from 9am - 5pm, located centrally along the 1km stretch of the walkway) or on the Swell website, closer to the event date, for any updates. The final program will be released in August, including details of workshops and activities. Click here for a glimpse back at some of the art from the 2013 event.