Having a Swell time

You always know when it’s September on the Gold Coast.  No, I am not talking about the change in the weather from Winter to Spring, I am talking about the interesting and amazing sculptures that appear on and around the Currumbin Beachfront.  It must be the annual Swell Festival (now in it’s 14th year).

Heading down late on Saturday afternoon, I grab my camera bag, packed with filters and lens as well as my tripod.  The weather is perfect; it’s warm, the sun is shining and the festival is sure to be busy.   Arriving at Currumbin, I start my exploration of Swell down at southern end, near the Surf Club.

With my Nikon in hand I start to wander and check out this years 50 plus sculptures that are on display built by local, national and international artists.   There are so many innovative, artistically challenging  pieces on display that it is so easy to get caught up at each piece for hours, taking pictures and admiring the talent of each artist.


Like each year before, I try to get unique and interesting perspective shots of the sculptures I love the most.  Walking along at this time of day I am blessed with a little colour starting to show up in the sky as the day turns to dusk.  These colours just enhance the sculptures and in some cases add that wow factor.



By the time I reach Currumbin Rock, day has turned into night and now the sculptures are lit up and take on a life of their own as I make my way back down the beach towards the surf club, and the car. I am still trying to take photos of the sculptures, even in the dark.  As I am walking the music fills the air and I come across what has to be my favourite sculpture of this year’s Swell Festival, John Cox’s See Life.  I settle down in the sand with camera on tripod as this sculpture lights up in set sequences and colour combinations. I am swept away by the beauty of the sculpture before me and at that moment I am at peace with the universe.


At the end of the night I am relaxed and fulfilled as I pack up the car and head home, closing the door on another year of Swell.

Until next week.



A trip to Swell2014

It’s Spring time, it’s September and on the Gold Coast that can only mean one thing, it’s Swell Festival time.

Swell Sculpture Festival is held along the Currumbin Beach Broadwalk and displays over 50 sculptures built by local, national and international artists.  The festival is in it’s 12th year and is a free event held over 10 days each September (see Swell website) I have been going to Swell for 4 years now and each year the creativity and talent of the artists simply stuns me.  It is amazing.  This year I would have to say has been my favourite so far, with varied and imaginative creations.

Thursday morning last week was a typical Gold Coast day, the sky is blue, the sun is shining and the temperature is perfect.  I decided to take the morning off and pack the camera bag and head down to Currumbin to check out and photograph Swell2014.  2 1/2 hours later I was exhausted, my calf muscles crying out in protest but totally exhilarated from a productive yet relaxing morning, I came home with over 200 photos and as they downloaded I did a quick happy dance at how wonderful they looked.  They tell the story of this truly amazing and wonderful event.

I promise I will not show you the 100+ that I have chosen but I would like to share with you my favourites as I relive my blissful morning on Currumbin Beach.

One of the first sculptures I came across was the Instagram frames.  I love my Instagram, actually my daughter jokes that she knows what I have done that day without seeing me just be looking at my Instagram at times 🙂 .  What could I frame with a photo? Will it work on an angle? Will it work while not in focus? Or is it better to show a wide angle of all the frames?  I tried them all and came up with a great little collection.

Instagram Frames - My Collection

Instagram Frames – My Collection

Walking down the beach I came across “Clouds”.  Cool!  I wondered how many clouds are in the sculpture, 2 or 3? Clearly 3.  Again so many choices, how many different ways can I photograph this?  What do I frame in the cloud?  I had so much fun experimenting.

"Clouds" at Currumbin

“Clouds” at Currumbin

OMG! the “Sea Ball”, I stayed at this sculpture for close on half an hour.  I think I looked at every piece of steel (maybe photographed them too), I really wanted to climb all over and into this, as I felt like a child again in the playground, in the end I just sat back and enjoyed the moment.

"Sea Ball" A Playground Memory

“Sea Ball” A Playground Memory

Just a little further down the beach is the horse (Correct nane – “Erebus”).  What a spectacular display, it is not every day you see a horse on the beach, such detail and made in a way that you thought you saw and felt the movement of this horse.  It also seems to be a crowd favourite, so patience was required to ensure I got the photos I wanted, but well worth the wait and I walked away with a smile.



Many sculpture’s later I’ve made my way off the beach and onto the park next to the beach, I am struck by the steel leaves of “Paradise – Girt by Sea” The sun is glinting off the steel and enhancing this metal archway in the most beautiful way.  I could imagine a wedding on the beach with the bride and groom making their way beneath it.  Wow – just imagine it.

"Paradise - Girt by Sea"

“Paradise – Girt by Sea”

I could go on and on about my morning and turn this into a guinness world record blog 🙂 but I promise I won’t.  Do yourself a favour if you are on the Gold Coast during September go down to Currumbin and experience Swell for yourself, it is open 24 hours a day.





Until next week.