Swell sculpture reflects dreams by the sea

·2-min read

Beachgoers encountering the massive Dream Gazebo at Queensland's largest outdoor sculpture festival will be impressed by the fact they can climb inside it.

"It's a really beautiful piece, it's almost not art," creator Jasmine Mainsbridge told AAP.

"You don't need an intellectual approach, people just want to hop in there."

The two-metre-high steel installation on the Gold Coast is one of 70 works in the 2022 exhibition - and its even more impressive when one considers how it got there.

Mainsbridge's creations are an industrial process.

A fabricator in western Victoria manufactured her gazebo's aluminium frame, another made the marine-grade stainless steel exterior and a third cut the pink perspex roof.

The artist has seen her production costs increased by a third due to the recent hike in material prices, with the steel component alone costing more than $7000.

The seemingly solid sculpture was made in parts and flat packed, something Mainsbridge learnt the hard way.

"The first sculpture that I made was one big solid cubic mass, and it just cost me so much money just to get from my house to Melbourne," she said.

The artist from Hamilton from Hamilton in western Victoria has been sculpting for the past four years and sees her works as a three-dimensional extension of her geometric paintings and murals.

But it's a constant experiment to see whether materials, costs, logistics and deadlines can be reconciled with the ideas she wants to express.

Dream Gazebo was finished just three days before it was trucked to the Gold Coast.

With state borders open again, Mainsbridge was on the beach for the first time in two years to help install her work.

"I just get really happy when I see them come to life because they've been in my head for so long," she said.

The artist hopes to find a buyer for the $15,000 work.

"It's good when I sell them, basically I'll make another one, it's kind of like a sculpture breeding program."

Swell began in 2003 with 20 sculptures.

Now in its 20th year, the event has attracted more than 150 artists, with works stretched across more than 1km of sand.

Now in it's 20th year, the Swell Sculpture Festival has attracted more than 150 artists, whose works stretch across more than 1km of sand on Currumbin Beach.

Memorable sculptures in recent years include a giant, inflatable head of a snorkeller that appeared to be partially submerged in the sand, titled Damien Hirst Looking for Sharks, by Danger Dave.

There was also Superegg by Jaco Roeloffs - a 500kg egg-shaped installation made from 3000 used Nespresso coffee pods.

The Swell Sculpture Festival is on until September 18.