One of Queensland’s largest outdoor sculpture exhibitions will return to one of the Gold Coast’s most beautiful stretches of sand. Currumbin Beach will host Swell Festival, the stunning outdoor art gallery and will feature more than 50 unique works along the one kilometre foreshore.

Now in its 17th year, the 10 day free and family-friendly event will showcase works of sculpture and digital installation and will be complemented by an exciting program of entertainment and activities including the playful, children focused SWELL Kids Elements area. This unique space is dedicated to small-scale sculptures – the SWELL Smalls Gallery – and will host a variety of adult’s and children’s masterclasses.

Boasting a fan, surrealistic atmosphere of artistic expression, the annual event has become a highlight of the Gold Coast’s cultural calendar. To extend the cultural footprint of the event and connect the northern and southern areas of the Gold Coast, renowned local artist and Swell veteran Ivan Lovatt will also present a new large-scale sculpture in an up-close environment at the Helensvale Library and Cultural Precinct for northerly Swell.

Many of the pieces contain social comments or philosophical messages. The vast landscape and outdoor setting of Currumbin encourages art enthusiast to immerse themselves in the natural environment while engaging with the thought provoking messages of the works. Ranging from geometric minimalism and traditional formalist to metamodernism and everything in between, the sculptures are created using varying methods ranging from wood carving to computerised algorithms. Each piece is uniquely designed, created and curated.

Artists at this year’s festival are in the running to share $27,500 in prize money, with the major winner to take home $15,000 in cash. This year’s award categories include the SWELL Sculpture Award, Emerging Artist Award, Environmental Awareness Award, Artist Peer Award (voted for by artists), and the People’s Choice, Kids’ Choice and SWELL Smalls Gallery People’s Choice awards (all voted for by exhibition visitors).

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