Renowned Australian installation artist Clayton Blake has been announced as an exhibiting artist at the upcoming 2019 Sand Safari Arts Festival to be held in Surfers Paradise from February 8-24.
Blake, who is renowned for his awe-inspiring creations that combine exciting elements of both sculpture and architecture, is one of many celebrated artists set to show their works throughout the precinct at Asia Pacific’s foremost sand and sea-inspired arts event.
An initiative of Surfers Paradise Alliance (SPA) the family-friendly, free cultural event provides a creative platform for Gold Coast locals and visitors to the area to celebrate the sun, sand and sea Surfers Paradise is famous for.
Guests at this year’s festival will have the opportunity to experience two of Blake’s sea-inspired creations. The first installation titled ‘Borrogura’ meaning ‘Sea’ consists of eight enormous octopus tentacles emerging from the silvery sand of the iconic Surfers Paradise beach.
The elaborate tentacles, crafted from a colourful array of hand-cut acrylic hexagonal tiles, range in height from two to six metres, creating the illusion of an emerging creature of the deep.
The second installation created to co-exist with Blake’s ‘Borrogura’ is titled ‘Jubei’ and is an equally extravagant exhibit of over 400 soldier crabs inhabiting Cavill Mall and the Surfers Paradise sign, appearing to be on a migration to the water’s edge.
Consisting of shiny, mirrored blue stainless steel balls ranging in diameter from 200mm to 300mm, each crab in the creative army is fitted with legs and eyes to enhance the artwork’s crustacean-like appearance.
The two exhibits which have never been displayed before, are a testament to Blake’s ability to create large scale, contemporary installations that challenge and excite and are sure to create a spectacle on the sand at this year’s event.
Successfully creating expansive works that respond to or reflect their environments, ‘Borrogura’ and ‘Jubei’ promise to challenge and distort the viewers’ preconceptions of structures and space.
For Blake, the two works of art pay tribute to the strong connection Australians have with the ocean and the indigenous history that is connected to the area. “Both ‘Borrogura’ and ‘Jubei’ serve as an acknowledgement to the Yugambeh people and their language as the traditional custodians of the land located in South East Queensland and North East New South Wales,” says Mr Blake.
I want people to enjoy the sculptures and connect with the importance of acknowledging our indigenous ancestry.Clayton Blake
Although the 2019 festival marks a first appearance for Blake, he has exhibited extensively throughout Australia and the world at notable art and cultural events including Burning Man USA, known as the world’s largest sculpture exhibition, along with Sculpture by the Sea, SWELL Sculpture Festival ( Winner – Kids’ Choice Award 2017, Bendigo Bank Artist Peer Award 2016, Neumann Foundation Award 2016, Kids’ Choice Award 2016 ) and Harbour Sculpture, where he won the prestigious Stipend Award in 2015.