What is it that makes outdoor sculpture festivals so popular in Australia? Is it the wonderful weather, the many possible beautiful locations or does the country have a far higher number of sculptors by capita? Regardless, there are many wonderful sculpture festivals that occur right throughout the year and around the country. Time your visit to coincide with one of these…
Sand Sculpting Australia at Frankston, VIC
The art of sculpting massive sculptures from sand has been growing in popularity around the world since the art first came to prominence in the 1970s in California. The largest display of sand sculptures in Australia occurs each year at Frankston, about an hour south east of the Melbourne CBD. Running from Boxing Day (26th December 2015) through to Anzac Day (25th April 2016), the current year’s exhibition has the theme “A Day at the Zoo”, and is the work of 20 sculptors using 3500 tonnes of sand. Open every day with an admission charged ($14 for adults), there’s also workshops and lots of activities for kids on offer.
Brighton Jetty Classic Sculptures Exhibition at Brighton, SA
The only annual event of its kind in metropolitan Adelaide, the Brighton Jetty Classic Sculptures Exhibition has now been running every year for 8 years. Taking place both outside on the Esplanade and in Bindarra Reserve and inside the Brighton Surf Life Saving Clubrooms, it’s held every summer, with the final day coinciding with the Brighton Jetty Class Swim. This year it’ll be held from the 29th January to 7th February 2016.
Sculpture by the Sea at Cottesloe, WA
Organised by the same team that heads up Sculpture by the Sea in Bondi, in 2005 the sculpture event was transported to the opposite side of the country and the opposite part of the calendar, held every March, to complement the Bondi event. This year’s festival will be held from 4th March to 20th March 2016 at Cottesloe Beach in Perth, in between the sea wall and North Cottesloe and on the surrounding grassed areas. One of the best times to visit is sunset, as the sun dips towards the Indian Ocean.
More Info: http://sculpturebythesea.com/cottesloe/
Lorne Sculpture Biennale at Lorne, VIC
Held every two years at the picturesque town of Lorne on the Great Ocean Road, the next Lorne Sculpture Biennale will be held between the 12th March and 3rd April 2016. Dozens of sculptures will stretch along the Lorne foreshore between the pier and Erskine River, plus there’ll be smaller works on display inside St Cuthbert’s Church. The program will also include regular workshops, talks and more, held every Saturday and Sunday, plus selected Fridays and Mondays.
More Info: http://lornesculpture.com
Swell Sculpture Festival at Gold Coast, QLD
2016 will mark the 14th time that the Swell Sculpture Festival is held at Pacific Parade, Currumbin. Taking place between the 9th and 18th September 2016, part of the attraction of the festival is the wide-ranging program of events, as well as the 50 sculptures from local, national and international artists. Highlights include yoga sessions, free twilight talks and laid-back music concerts every Saturday and Sunday. It’s also a short walk from the Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary, making it easy to visit both on the same day.
More Info: http://www.swellsculpture.com.au
Spirit of the Land Festival in Lockhart, NSW
Located in the souther Riverina region of NSW, the highlight of this annual festival in Lockhart is the National Farm Art Sculpture Award, defined as sculpture constructed from recycled metal, farm materials and elements of the land. Held this year on Saturday 10th and Sunday 11th October 2016, there’s also fine arts and indigenous art exhibitions, market stalls, live music, a fireworks display and the chance to take a farm tour. The previous day (Friday 9th October 2016) is also the Lockhart Picnic Races, making this the perfect weekend for an authentic rural Australian experience.
More Info: http://www.spiritofthelandlockhart.com.au
Sculpture by the Sea in Bondi, NSW
The original Sculpture by the Sea in Bondi will be held for the 20th time in 2016, between the 20th October and 6th November. Claiming to be the largest free to attend sculpture exhibition in the world, this is the festival that charmed both locals and visitors, and inspired so many of the other sculpture festivals around the country. Held upon the picturesque Marks Park headland, south of Bondi Beach, and extending down onto the sand at Tamarama Beach, typically there are over 100 sculptures on display. To avoid the weekend crowds, it’s best to visit during the week.
More Info: http://sculpturebythesea.com/bondi
Sculpture in the Vineyard at Wollombi, NSW
What goes better with a sculpture exhibit than also enjoying a glass of boutique wine? This is the premise behind the annual Sculpture in the Vineyard festival, that takes place around the historic village of Wollombi, located at the southern end of the Hunter Valley wine region. With other 100 large scale sculptures installed around the village and at local wineries, it’s a great wine to have a fun day of art, food and wine. This year’s exhibit will run from the 31st October to the 29th November 2016.
More Info: http://www.sculptureinthevineyards.com.au
Have a favourite sculpture festival in Australia that has been left off the list? Let us know in the comments below!
(All photos from the Bondi Sculpture by the Sea Festival, copyright of Travelnuity)