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 per 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…
Last Updated: 28th February 2017
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. The exhibit features the work of around 20 sculptors using 3500 tonnes of sand. The exhibit runs for 4 months from Boxing Day (26th December) through to Anzac Day (25th April) each year. Each year the exhibition has a different theme, such as “Land of Imagination” in 2017. It’s open every day, with an admission charged ($14.50 for adults in 2017). There’s also workshops and lots of activities for kids on offer.
2017 Dates: 26th December 2016 to 25th April 2017
More Info: https://www.sandsculpting.com.au/frankston-waterfront/
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 since 2008. It takes place both outside on the Esplanade and in Bindarra Reserve and inside the Brighton Surf Life Saving Clubrooms. It’s held every summer from late January to the first week of February, with the final day coinciding with the Brighton Jetty Class Swim.
2017 Dates: 25th January t0 5th February 2017
More Info: http://www.brightonjettyclassicsculptures.com
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, during March, to complement the Bondi event. The festival is held 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.
2017 Dates: 3rd to 20th March 2017
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 in March 2018. 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.
2017 Dates: Not held in 2017
More Info: http://lornesculpture.com
Swell Sculpture Festival at Gold Coast, QLD
2017 will mark the 15th time that the Swell Sculpture Festival is held at Pacific Parade, Currumbin. Taking place during mid-September each year, part of the attraction of the festival is the wide-ranging program of events, as well as over 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.
2017 Dates: 8th to 17th September 2017
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 on the second weekend in October each year, 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 Friday is also the Lockhart Picnic Races, making this the perfect weekend for an authentic rural Australian experience.
2017 Dates: 7th to 8th October 2017
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 21st time in 2017. Each year it’s held from late October to early November. Claiming to be the largest free to attend sculpture exhibition in the world, this festival has charmed both locals and tourists, and in turn inspired so many of the other sculpture festivals around the country. It’s 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.
2017 Dates: 20th October to 6th November 2017
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. The exhibit generally runs during November each year.
2017 Dates: 28th October to 3rd December 2017
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)