Inaugural Sculptures at Killalea festival draws large crowds

The picturesque setting of The Farm was transformed into an outdoor gallery at the inaugural Sculptures at Killalea festival.

The Sculptures at Killalea festival attracted dozens of artists and sculptors who showcased their respective works.

Works were placed by the sea from a mix of award-winning artists as well as supporting some of the Illawarra’s talented creatives.

The free event took place from October 13-16 within the grounds of Killalea State Park.

Artists, sculptors, locals and Aboriginal artists were all vying for a share of more than $10,000 in cash and prizes on offer.

Kao Kreative organised the multi-day event in collaboration with Killalea State Park staff.

Kao Kreative’s Courtney Beaton said favourable weather conditions on Saturday meant the event was estimated to have attracted thousands of locals and tourists alike.

She anticipated between 6000-7000 people would have passed through the gates on Saturday. 

“There’s a lot of Illawarra-based artists, and some from as far as Melbourne have travelled up to showcase their work,” she said. 

“We’ve had live music all day, live artists, cold beer, and lots of sculptures to explore. 

“Overall we've had 54 submissions and welcomed thousands of people through the gates - it's been a hugely successful event. 

“It’s just been a great day out.”

The judges’ favourite sculpture received $5000 while other winning categories include a community award, people’s choice and children under-16 years.

The event also had an ‘Artist Alley’ exhibition, which aimed to support the region’s most talented creatives – be it visual artists, weavers, drawers, resin artists and more.

The winner of the major prize ($5000) was Michael Greve with his piece, Daphne.

Runner-up and winner of the Hanson Community Award was Berry artist Michael Purdy.

In the junior (under-16) category, Shellharbour-based artist Nate Mathein won with his driftwood piece, The Sum of Me.

The multi-day community event was also presented by The Shellharbour Club. 

“It’s so rewarding to help bring a large-scale, free event like Sculptures at Killalea to our local community,” chief marketing officer of Shellharbour Workers Club Ltd Brooke Formica said. 

“We’re thrilled to not only assist in attracting tourists to our beachside city but to add to the Shellharbour tourism experience.”

She said the event sought to promote the popular site to a new and potentially national audience.

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