Gold Coast Sculpture Trail
Since March 2015, the colourful and creative, artist-decorated giant Koala sculptures formed a trail to connect the Northern and Southern Gold Coast regions.
The aim was twofold: Bring together business and creative sectors with local communities to celebrate the character of the City, its cultural identity and the connection to its unique native wildlife. And, raise awareness of koala conservation and support the incredible work of Currumbin Wildlife Hospital in treating, rehabilitating and releasing the City’s native wildlife.
Partnering with the City’s independent entities, Connecting Southern Gold Coast, Broadbeach Alliance and Surfers Paradise Alliance, the Koalas made their way across the Gold Coast over a period of 9 weeks. Despite seeming to just appear at various locations around the City, planning and creation of the Koalas began many months earlier. The Koala sculptures were created from a single original sculpture designed and made by internationally acclaimed Academy Award Winner (Visual Effects) John Cox, at his Creature Workshop on the Gold Coast. From this, 30 fiberglass replicas were cast and a national call for artist submissions was posted. Over 100 designs were received from local and national artists, and from these the final design selections were made.
The artwork, all uniquely creative, included a mix of “distinctly Gold Coast” designs such as Splash, commissioned by Gold Coast Tourism Corporation to reflect the energy, fun, and endless summer holiday spirit that is the Gold Coast, and those that reflect the environmental issues surrounding the native animal, such as Koalas Used To Cross Here by artist Suzi Lucas.
The Koalas were unveiled at the official launch of the Sculpture Trail by Jann Stuckey MP in Queen Elizabeth Park, Coolangatta on 13th March 2015. Following this, the Koalas were positioned in their new home, creating the Sculpture Trail that stretched for 50 kilometres across the Gold Coast region.
The public response was extraordinary with much excitement and intrigue for these larger than life Aussie icons – koala fever had taken over the City! Residents and visitors alike embraced the Koalas, taking a sense of pride and ownership in the City’s newest characters, with thousands participating in the Sculpture Trail, visiting each Koala one by one.
The Koalas were destined for an even greater good, with all proceeds raised from their Auction at the Annual Gala Dinner benefiting their furry counterparts in the wild and the many that require treatment in the Hospital.
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