Giant sculpture on display at Helensvale Library for Northerly SWELL

A giant sculpture has officially taken up residence at the Helensvale Library and Cultural Centre ahead of this year’s SWELL Sculpture Festival.

The iconic 1940s crane truck sculpture is titled The Scavenger, and was constructed of scrap metal salvaged from the sea by Boonah artist Christopher Trotter.

It was originally displayed at the inaugural SWELL Sculpture Festival 15 years ago, before making a return for this year’s Northerly SWELL.


Mr Trotter said The Scavenger was brought to life through the creative recycling of waste material from a broad cross-section of industries, and represents sustainable solutions for future generations to preserve the health of our oceans. “It is an interesting historic object I describe as a sort-of spiritual or aquatic themed Mad Max machine that has been cruising the ocean floor gathering up remnants of the waste dumped by mankind, which have then been transformed into something useful that will withstand the ravages of our environment,” Mr Trotter said.

“My artworks grow and develop over time, and like the components they are made from, sometimes they are turned upside down and seen in a new light and completely recycled into a new piece. “The Scavenger, like the rest of my work, has grown and changed over the years, and people will be able to go along and discover details they wouldn’t have previously seen, and be able to appreciate how my body of work has evolved over the years,” he said.

SWELL co-founder and curator Natasha Edwards said the Helensvale installation provided an important prelude to the main event, while allowing more Gold Coast residents to experience this significant artistic and cultural community event. “In 2017, we again extend this iconic celebration of culture, community and coastal life to an even bigger audience, as Northerly SWELL allows us to encompass a greater area as we endeavour to develop the depth of artistic expression and appreciation within the Gold Coast region and beyond,” Ms Edwards said.

City of Gold Coast Division 2 Councillor William Owen-Jones said Northerly SWELL was a popular cultural attraction for residents who enjoyed the spectacle of outstanding sculptural works displayed at Helensvale during the exhibition. “We are very excited to see Christopher Trotter’s unique interpretation of a 1940s Ford truck installed at Helensvale, and to have this fantastic opportunity for the northern residents of the Gold Coast to be able to experience these incredible artworks that are part of the SWELL Sculpture Festival enjoyed by our southern Gold Coast counterparts for 15 years now,” Cr Owen-Jones said.

The iconic 1940s crane truck on display for Northerly SWELL can be viewed during usual opening hours at Helensvale Library and Cultural Centre until September 17.

The SWELL Sculpture Festival takes place from September 8 to 17 and includes live entertainment at SWELL Sounds, masterclasses, kids’ workshops, night lighting, artist talks, yoga amongst the sculptures and much more. For more information or to view the SWELL Sculpture Festival program, visit