Swell Sculpture Festival 2023

2023 is a big year for me, Trent Paul Firmin Art has been accepted into this years Swell Sculpture Festival, so I am well and truely stoked to be apart of it. Plenty of research and study has gone into my design. I, in fact, wanted to create it last year for Swells 20th Anniversary, but just wasn’t quite ready. So I decided to enter 2023. My sculpture is titled: Reminisce Surfers Sixty-One, this will be a kind of honouring to Surfers Paradise in the late 50 early 60s.

My initial inspiration was a painting by Betty Quelhurst, named Windbreaks Surfers 61, which feature a range of coloured windbreakers on the beach.

Windbreaks Surfers 61 by Betty Quelhurst On exhibit at HOTA Gallery 2 Fashions in Paradise

Wanting to know more I asked my Dad who moved up with his entire family to Surfers Paradise in 1959. Dad was a keen surfer and knew the windbreakers. They were for hire, from a man named John Paterson. The boards were 6ft x 3ft and you knocked broom handles into the sand with a rubber mallet to keep the windbreaks from falling over and providing shade, privacy, protection from the wind and sand. 

(I reference all the photos found have been archive photos from the City of Gold Coast Reference Library in Southport, Level 1). Also via their website City of Gold Coast Libraries Local & Family History Page.  Please vist to view our rich and colourful Gold Coast Past… 

                                     Windbreaks of Sufers Paradise

 I submit my proposal which was a powepoint presentation. And after a few days wait I recieved the good news of being accepted to present Reminice Surfers Sixty-One in this years Swell Sculpture Festival. So begins my journey of creating Windbreaks for my sculpture, I will blog about my journey and post photos along the way. I hope you come down and visit my sculpture at Currumbin. Starts September 8 2023 – September 17th 2023. 

Visit their website for more details and please support the arts when and wher you can. Thanks for your continued support. TPF 🙂 


John Paterson & Model