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Byron Shire
May 18, 2021

Sculpture festival and Solar Ark successfully launched in Mullum

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Mullumbimby Ingenuity Festival opening 2019. Photo Jeff Dawson.

The second annual Ingenuity Sculpture Festival opened in Mullumbimby’s Palm Park last night with a great turn out of artists and locals. The Bunyarra dance group opened the festival with a number of dances that included the presentation of the three metre long hand-painted pennant flags that the Bunyarra Culture Collective, a group of First Nations women created to feature at the festival.

The Bunyarra dance group opened theMullumbimby Ingenuity Festival last night in Palm Park, Mullumbimby. Photo Jeff Dawson.

The First Nations women have been working under the guidance of local artist Anne Leon, to create the series of hand-painted flags that local Arakwal leader Delta Kay told those gathered represented climate change and the dances they had just performed.

The festival has a mix of temporary and permanent sculptures thought the park and celebrated the permanent installation of three pieces: the winner of last years acquisition prize, GerminationUn Ring and the winning sculpture of the Mullumbimby Chamber of Commerce and Creative Mullumbimby ‘Spirit of Chincogan’ sculpture competition, originally called Elevate, that has been renamed Echoes of Chincogan.

The opening also launched the Innovative Solar Ark a solar powered shipping container, set up to be an off-grid artistic venue and workshop, accessible to community groups.

‘It was a terrific turn out at last nights opening which was incredible,’ said festival Curator Dev Lengjel.

‘To have the Bunyarra Culture Collective and dancers as part of this was awe inspiring. This is an amazing show and the standards of the art work on display is very, very high. We even have 12 year old Estar Constable who has done a piece on metamorphosis.’

There will be 23 sculptures on display, however, there are still a few to go in as a number of the artists were affected by the current fires. One was being put in place last night during the opening another one will be placed today and the final one is to go in tomorrow.

‘We have pushed back the judging of the sculpture until Saturday when they will all be in place,’ said Mr Lengjel.

Mullumbimby Ingenuity Festival opening 2019. Photo Aslan Shand.


There are three main prizes that are being awarded the People’s Choice award that is being supported by Christina Khumri, the RGOL (Retired Gentleman Of Leisure) award for $8,000 and the one off $5,000 Byron Shire Council award.

The RGOL will be judged by said gentleman with the festival curator Mr Lengjel and the Public Art Panel (PAP) acting in an advisory capacity. The RGOL winning piece will be installed for five years in Palm Park with the costs of installation, maintenance and de-installation being paid for by the RGOL.


The exhibition will be on display throughout Palm Park during the Mullum Music Festival 14 to 17 November between 10am and 5pm and then continue for an extra week following the festival following the success of last years event.

Artists and volunteers will be on site from 10am to 4pm each day during the festival to talk to the public about the art. A tour of the sculpture festival will be given by curator Mr Lengjel on Saturday at 10am starting at the Mullumbimby Scout Hall.


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