Swell Festival 2016 – part 1

Up before the sun and with a hit of caffeine, Hubby, Bundy and I were ready to head south to Currumbin, host to the 2016 Swell Sculpture Festival. Sunrise and sunset are the best times to experience the festival, fewer crowds and better light for taking photos. Bundy loves the festival, it is his chance to run around on the sand and meet a few new faces (or sniff new butts to put it in dog terms). Alphy the turtle is the big hit this year, as are the huge deck chairs but I really love the dog walker sculpture and the timber freight boxes lying on the sand. With so many sculptures I have decided to break up the photos and share them in two lots, you will see more of the dog walker and other wonderful works of art sometime next week.

Which one is your favourite?


Bundy let loose at the beach

Normally I don’t like letting Bundy off his leash in public areas, there are a number of reasons for this but primarily I don’t want him accused of being aggressive because he is a staffy. Bundy is great with other dogs and generally ignores the noisy, over-excited ones when we go for a walk, however he does not like them trying to get amorous with him and he will tell them where to go in a not-so-polite fashion. Knowing this makes me a little anxious. My husband is completely the opposite so when we took Bundy to a dog friendly part of the beach recently he spent the majority of the time off lead, zig-zagging across the sand and running up to greet any person who walked by. There were only a few dogs around and for the most part Bundy ignored them, he is much more focused on being with us now that he is older and less inclined (thank goodness) to take off and disappear into the dunes. There was one large dog that he took a liking to, they played around on the top of a sand dune before zooming down the dune towards the water, I am shooting more in manual mode now and was too slow to capture their fun on my camera but I did get one shot, albeit incredibly contrasty (technical term 😉 ).

Two black doggies go to the beach

Summer means going to the beach and our doggies just love the beach. Loading up the car with bottles of water, portable drinking bowl and towels we headed off to the coast early in the morning to avoid traffic and the hordes of people that usually end up at the beach mid-morning. Bundy loves a car trip regardless of the destination, but Maxi knew that we were going somewhere special and once we got closer she could smell the salt air and her happy, excited face appeared.

Parking spots aplenty at that hour of the day, we chose a great spot by the water and under shade. As soon as the dogs were out of the car it was noses to the ground and it took all my strength to stop them from dragging me down to the water while Marty unloaded the necessary gear. Maxi loves to swim, Bundy loves to wade, Maxi and Bundy both love to roll in stinky dead things that they dig up and they both always end up covered in sand.

The car ride home is always a quiet one, Bundy lies down for a nap on the back seat and Maxi settles in her position so she can look out the window. Happy, tired dogs 🙂

Swell: the final series

Thank you to everyone who liked my shots of the Swell Sculpture Festival in previous posts: series one and series two, I now present the final series of photographs from the festival and I hope that you’ll like them as much as the earlier images.

A familiar sight on surf beaches all around the world, this piece of work attracted alot of attention and it had me wondering how they managed to keep the towels in position overnight.

Bundy loves attending the Swell Sculpture Festival, not only does he get to ride in the car and go for a paddle in the surf, he also gets to pose with the sculptures and assist with providing a sense of scale to the artwork.

This really didn’t look out of place on the beach, the large rock close to the horizon is known as ‘Elephant Rock’ and you can see the high rise landscape of Surfers Paradise in the background.

There is always a nautilus shell featured in the exhibition.

Water tanks are normally pretty plain and boring, you will find one in most Aussie backyards but they certainly don’t look like this and I can’t imagine that it would hold much water anyway.

I’m guessing the motion of waves inspired this sculpture (no I didn’t read the exhibition program), those made by water and by humans.

Like many native species, the tiger and koala are struggling to stay alive in our constantly changing environment. In Australia, Tiger conservation is a highly promoted and supported, however our native Koala which is in danger of disappearing from our region as a result of growth in development and traffic, has only recently been acknowledge as being in danger by our government. It is shameful that the majority of the Australian population take this beautiful creature for granted, its plight has become ‘invisible’.

A daylight shot of the giant mosquito featured in series one, this thing is huge!

Sums up the festival perfectly 🙂

Swell: series two

As promised, part two of my series of photographs from the 2012 Swell Sculpture Festival and there are still a few more to come.

No, the ice cream truck wasn’t a sculpture but I love the ‘retro’ appearance and who doesn’t like enjoying an ice cream by the water.

Almost Wordless Wednesday: Swell sculptures

The Swell Sculpture festival is on again and I plan on cruising down the Currumbin esplanade sometime this weekend to view and photograph the amazing sculptures on display in the open air. Today I want to share some of my favourite Swell sculptures from the last few years.


Art on the beach

Swell Flag Sculpture on the beach

The Swell Sculpture Festival is held each year in September, this year is the 9th year of the event and I always try to spend a couple of hours meandering through the art, dodging other onlookers and feeling the sand between my toes. The art is free to see, the backdrop is the blue sky and white sand of Currumbin beach on the southern end of the Gold Coast in Queensland. You can buy programmes, vote for your favourite sculpture or just sit in a cafe across the road and enjoy the view.

Shark sculpture on the sand at Swell Sculpture Festival

For the last two years we have used the event as a day out with the dogs, last year we went in the afternoon which meant it was cooler for two black dogs and the changing light as the sun set enhanced the sculptures. This year it was mid-morning, no dogs because it was much too hot and on a beautiful Sunday we knew that there would be too many people about and navigating with dogs the size of ours can be difficult in a crowd. Parking was not free, for $5 we parked in the car park of a the Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary, the money going to a good cause and we were guaranteed a place to park.

The range of sculptures is always fascinating and after a few years attending the event you can identify the particular style or medium used by an artist: metal, resin, timber, stone, plaster or clay. The sculptures are usually lined up along the esplanade with only a couple located on the beach however this year there were many more on the beach and I particular liked the green polar bear and reflective sculpture, they do have proper titles but I was stingy and didn’t buy a programme. The heat coming off the sand and the glare of the sun on some sculptures proved too bright in some instances, we stood in the cool water watching as the waves rolled in, the water splashing our legs cooling us instantly and the ocean breeze certainly helped as well.

Green Polar Bear at Swell Sculpture Festival

Green Polar Bear sculpture on the beach

In the end the heat was too much for us and it was getting close to lunch time, the soft serve ice-cream we bought from a lovely lady in an ice cream van was delicious but we craved real food and some air conditioned comfort. Next year I think we’ll venture down in the afternoon, being the 10th anniversary of the event I imagine that there will be some spectacular displays and celebrations.

Reflective sculpture at Swell Sculpture Festival

Totem pole sculptures featuring fish and penguins