This March, the 2018 Lorne Sculpture Biennale (LSB) celebrates the best in contemporary Australian and international sculpture in a free, vibrant festival that enriches and transforms the stunning Lorne foreshore and surrounds on the Great Ocean Road. Over three weekends, Victoria’s most prestigious sculpture festival, now in its sixth iteration, will be an unmissable destination for art lovers everywhere.
Under the creative direction of curator Lara Nicholls in her incoming Biennale, the 2018 event explores the theme ‘Landfall’, presenting major works and new commissions from 41 artists devoted to pressing global issues of nature and endangerment. Astonishing sculptures and installations which explore the intersection of nature, humanity and art, created by acclaimed artists from around the world, are situated across the dramatic sweep of Lorne’s world-famous foreshore. With this event being the largest and most prominent yet, applications from highly-acclaimed international artists have rolled in.
“I was really heartened when one of our major project artists Shirin Abedinirad from Iran, she found us of her own volition. We didn’t approach her, she discovered us through the internet and applied along with a number of artists internationally,” Nicholls states. “This is a really special event in a special part of the world. This Biennale shows a different way for people to present their work and this particular event in the open air and free to the public provides that.”
Born in Lorne, Nicholls, who is the Curator of 19th century Australian Art at the National Gallery of Australia, brings her expertise and passion for art, a desire to achieve gender parity for artists and a need to explore environmental issues to her role. Founded in 2005, the LSB is uniquely located where the Great Otway National Park meets the ocean, a site that naturally lends itself to art that engages with environment and encourages cross-cultural dialogue. The seaside town becomes the glorious venue for an enlivening program of festival experiences, which Nicholls acknowledges the impact it has already had on the area.
“Many of the projects involve community engagement throughout the Biennale including a major project which is called the ‘Living Stage Project’ which has involved numerous members of the Lorne community and the Lorne schools as well,” she says. “But so many things involved with the Biennale are involving members of the Lorne community. It has a great impact socially but also economically by the amount of people it brings to the area.”
A big theme of the Biennale is environmental conservation with Nicholls hoping the event may help people stop and consider the effect on nature.
“We are hoping that the works will make people stop and think and to think in really constructive ways. Art tends to conjure up a deeper and much richer engagement in topics because you become more invested in the piece and therefore you start to learn about the effects of degradation on the environment,” she explains.
“It’s just another way of getting these messages through, but art can often engage you on another level.”
The Lorne Sculpture Biennale runs from now until April 2 on Lorne’s iconic foreshore. For more information, head to www.lornesculpture.com.
Written by Daniel Jubb
Photo by Georgina Humphries – Tents to sea – Photo by Georgina Humphries copy