Sand Safari Arts Festival has reinforced its reputation as one of the Gold Coast’s most popular events, with more than 250,000 people descending on Surfers Paradise for this year’s mind-blowing showcase of fairy-tale favourites.
The 17-day celebration, which concluded on Sunday, 1 March, saw the industry’s best professional sand sculptors transform the Surfers Paradise beachfront into an outdoor art gallery featuring the likes of Little Red Riding Hood, Pinocchio, Cinderella and The Little Mermaid.
The festival also once again featured the Australian Sand Sculpting Championships, with New South Welshman Jino Van Bruinessen claiming the top prize for his incredibly detailed sculpture of ‘The Frog Prince’. – Insert Photo
In a Sand Safari Arts Festival first, the event also hosted ‘Sand Talk – The Art of Conversation’, an immersive art experience aimed at sparking conversations about mental health and support culminating with a human art installation on the sands of Surfers Paradise Beach.
Highlights of the 2020 event included the creation of the biggest sand sculpture in the festival’s history, with a giant-sized scene from Jack and the Beanstalk carved out of a staggering 45 tonne of sand.
“I continue to be blown away by the quality of the sand sculptures and this year’s artists have yet again raised the bar with their ability to turn a pile of sand into the most beautiful creations. Then there is the buzz and excitement the festival brings to Surfers Paradise. The number of people drawn to the event is matched by the size of the smiles on their faces and we are so grateful Sand Safari Arts Festival brings so much energy to the precinct during February.” – Michael Russo, Owner – The Avenue
Much more than just a sand sculpting exhibition, Sand Safari Arts Festival featured a dedicated entertainment zone including The Castle of Ever After, which was home to a range of free activities such as performance art, children’s dance classes, live music as well as the Australian Sand Sculpting Championships awards presentation.
Visitors also had the opportunity to practise their own carving skills at free sand sculpting workshops, could attend hosted sculptor Q&A sessions and were invited to wonder through the Children’s Art Exhibit to view the beautiful works of art created by students from Surfers Paradise State School as part of their annual art exhibition.
Nearby Cavill Mall was also a bustling live outdoor art gallery with eight giant tentacles portraying scenes from beloved fairy tale classics in a street-art manner. There were also a wide array of mediums on show and for sale including live portraits, landscape drawings and body painting. – insert Image
“The event continues to grow every year and it is a credit to all involved that they have yet again set a new standard for the celebration of sand and art.” – Laura Younger, Chairperson – Surfers Paradise Alliance
The free and family-friendly Sand Safari Arts Festival is the foremost sand-and-sea-inspired arts event in the Asia-Pacific region.