If you think art is only for the rich and famous, the Gold Coast will prove you wrong this September. Whether you’re looking for a unique and ethereal experience, are trying to peek at the vision of creatives, or simply want to hang out with some of the quirkiest and most interesting people this side of the world; the SWELL Sculpture is sure to provoke thought, tug at emotions, and be a feast for your senses. It’s not just about the visual, SWELL gives you experiential art at it’s finest, making it not just palatable but also awe-inspiring for people of all tastes and ages.
How it all began
Kylie Mitchell-Smith and Natasha Edwards first shared the idea of creating a new type of art experience for anyone and everyone in 2002 while their four small children played alongside them. This bold concept eventually led to the SWELL Sculpture Festival, a free avenue for anyone to have access to incredible art — in the form of an outdoor exhibition on the beautiful beaches of Currumbin.
Growth in art and community
While an impressive six thousand people attended the first ever SWELL Sculpture Festival in 2003, it’s come a long way from having just 23 sculptures on display. They’ve expanded from an incredible team of local artists and creatives to inviting some of the best and most renowned artists both nationally and internationally. Apart from their featured artists, the patrons and volunteers are continually growing.
SWELL has also become more interactive in the last few years, with a spectacular lantern making workshops and a lantern parade in 2006. From this point forward, all efforts were geared towards connecting people, art, and place. This made SWELL a premier avenue for nurturing new artists, attracting features and apprenticeships from high calibre artists, and building greater art appreciation within the community.
This September is going to be the biggest and most exciting yet. The 2016 SWELL Sculpture Festival is set on a unique collaboration between two of the most significant cultural events in the Gold Coast, reminding you that there’s more to art than just the visual. This year, SWELL joins forces with the Gold Coast Music Awards, showcasing the coast’s proud music scene and some of the most stunning sculptures this part of the world has ever seen. The purpose is to inspire creativity in all forms and continue the mission of driving cultural growth of the region.
Submit your art
If you or your organisation wants to showcase your art, SWELL is open to proposals in relation to public art, installations, master classes, workshops, outdoor performances, live music, and more. Just fill in this Expression of Interest form.
Be part of the growing volunteers, patrons, and supporters of SWELL!
Be a SWELL Friend
A little bit goes a long way. Be a SWELL Friend from $50 and receive a sticker to show off your love and support!
Be a SWELL Supporter
Be the first to know SWELL updates and get access to behind-the-scenes talks and special events by being a SWELL supporter from $500.
Be a SWELL Patron
Be a part of the foundation that brings this event to life. By being a SWELL Patron (from $1000), you can sponsor an artist or artwork you love, or even fund a workshop. As a thank you for your incredible support, you will be one the few to receive invitations to our private functions, art studios, tours, and have privilege of having special dinners with the SWELL artists and creative team. You will also have acknowledgement in the SWELL program and website.
The SWELL Sculpture Festival is taking place in Pacific Parade, Currumbin, Queensland 4223 from September 9th to 18th, with the exhibition hours open from 9AM to 5PM. If you’re going by car, you can take the M1 Motorway or the Gold Coast Highway if you’re coming from Brisbane and NSW. More details in the SWELL Sculpture website.
Remember that finding parking is going to be difficult during this event. You’re going to want to steer clear from the Currumbin Beach because it’s going to be the busiest. The Currumbin RSL has a FREE Park & Ride service to Swell from 9AM to 4PM on both SWELL weekends, with shuttles departing every half hour. The Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary Car Park, on the other hand has a $10 all-day parking service. While there are no shuttles from the sanctuary, you’re going to have a short and lovely 400m stroll to the venue.
Your other Gold Coast airport parking options are:
- The Currumbin Alley car park on Pacific Parade (weekdays)
- Palm Beach Parklands car park on Currumbin Creek
- Surrounding street parking including: Teemangum St, Tomewin St, Duringan St, Thrower Dr