An Ecosystem of Art at Sculpture on the Edge

Image source: Contributed

Immersing artists and art lovers alike in creativity, the Sunshine Coast’s premier sculptural festival presented by Arts Connect Inc. urges us to connect with the spaces we inhabit, as Georgia Beard discovers. 

Gazing out over the coastline, sculptures grew, scattered and soared across the vast escarpment of Flaxton Gardens during last year’s Sculpture on the Edge.

From environmental installations to pedestal-mounted statuettes, each artwork shared a deep relationship with space it occupied.

Marine creatures drifted in the open air, long-forgotten flora flourished in the gardens and human figures meandered through the winery halls and sprawling lawns, just as alive as their observers.

The 2022 sculptural exhibit at Flaxton Gardens attracted a record-breaking 6,200 visitors!

Curated from 230 entries, 80 local, national and international artists presented 140 final works, all vying for a plethora of prizes donated by the community.

As the Overall Winner for 2022, Nicole Voevodin-Cash’s Pocket Park Series – Mounges invited us to interact with mountain ranges made from polystyrene and synthetic turf, blurring the lines between the natural and the artificial.

Capturing the movement of a blue-faced honeyeater with COR-TEN steel, Highly Commended went to Gabe Parker for Aves #5, a reminder of the dangers of habitat depletion. Denislav Mitkov Delchev received the Emerging Artist award for Shelter from the 21st Century, a miniscule refuge from the barbarity of ecological destruction made from recycled bronze, wire and copper.

Two inaugural prizes for Local Artist and Reclaimed & Recycled Art went to Amanda Wyatt’s Eco Warriors, a travelling family representing the forced journey of wildlife, and Paula De La Rua Cordoba’s Punto de Fuga, challenging Western society’s historical relationship with nature.

Inextricably connected to their environment, these sculptures urged us to look back on the footprints we leave behind. This year, we’re invited to explore new ecosystems of art for the exhibition’s 13th iteration!

Hosted by Arts Connect Inc. and supported by the Sunshine Coast Council, Sculpture on the Edge returns to Flaxton Gardens from Thursday 23 November to Sunday 10 December.

No longer an ordinary competition, the exhibition is evolving into an art festival with a deeply immersive and inclusive art experience for all attendees.

Expect a high-calibre showcase of indoor and outdoor sculptural or 3D works, exploring a variety of mediums and a spectrum of scales from tiny to enormous. The 18-day program will feature the sensational Sculpted Dinner, live music, artist talks and masterclasses in painting, clay sculpture, paper lantern sculpture and life sculpture for figures and portraiture. 

Artists will have the opportunity to network and expand their professional skills with classes in photographing art and growing art businesses. Monte Lupo Arts and Paintbox will also offer creative workshops for adults, children and people with disabilities. 

In the Year of Accessible Tourism, Director Gretchen Keelty said Arts Connect Inc. aimed to make the event accessible for as many art lovers as possible.

“We are planning adaptations for people with visual and hearing impairment, plenty of places to rest, and programming some low sensory afternoons for people who struggle with sensory overload,” she said.

“We will also be setting up pop-up installations to create unexpected art experiences around the Sunshine Coast.”

Sculpture on the Edge joins a kaleidoscope of arts activations in the region, from Horizon Festival to Australian Wearable Art Festival to The Rangebow Festival to Open Studios Sunshine Coast and Noosa Open Studios.

Together, these events are transforming the Sunshine Coast into an epicentre for the arts.

The generous sponsors behind Sculpture on the Edge lay the foundations for this arts community. 

Once again, Flaxton Gardens and the De Deyne Family will fund the $10,000 Overall Winner Prize and the $5000 Highly Commended Prize.

As a new sponsor, The Opal Cutter has increased the prize for Reclaimed & Recycled Art to $2000, open to works consisting mostly of recycled, upcycled, reclaimed and recovered materials.

Sculpture on the Edge will also introduce Tina Cooper Glass Gallery’s $1000 Artist’s Choice Peer Award, voted by the finalists!

Available to artists living within the Sunshine Coast Council district, the $2000 Local Artist Prize will be sponsored by Illume Creations, while the $1000 Emerging Artist Prize will be sponsored by Montville Art Gallery and Bodo Muche Studio, open to artists practicing for less than five years.

Provided by Montville Chamber of Commerce and Hammond Optometry, the final People’s Choice Award of $1000 will give voters the chance to win an accommodation package from Lovestone Cottages!

As we immerse ourselves in a growing landscape of art, connection is greatest creation we could leave behind. 

Entries are open to all sculptural artists to submit their ideas and creations until Thursday 31 August. 

Visit www.sculptureontheedge.com.au to apply with up to three entries!

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