You may recognise local artist and muralist Courtenay McCue of CRT Designs work from around town. Her colourful murals have graced the walls of The Avenue, Raw Espresso, Blessed Health Foods and Cafe 7. In addition to her permanent masterpieces doted around the Gold Coast, Courtenay has also had exhibitions at the Swell Sculpture Festival, HOTA, Sand Safari and the Brisbane Street Art Festival. This impressive lineup has led to a recent collaboration with Placemakers* Gold Coast who were engaged by Hutchinson Builders to transform the exterior fencing of their Queen Street Village site during construction. So now you can view CRT Designs installation around the site on one of the busiest intersections in Southport. The vivid creation consists of 50 design panels around the site, a mural spanning a stellar 120 metres!
Inside Gold Coast spoke with owner of CRT Designs and artist Courtenay McCue about how she became an artist, her projects to date and what’s in the works.
How long have you been a Gold Coast local?
I’ve been a Gold Coast local since l was 4 years old, way back in 2002.
What do you love most about living here?
Definitely the people that live here in our beautiful city and the stunning coastline.
Talk us through how you came to be an artist?
I have always loved art since school and met some artists’ who did it full-time, I couldn’t believe we never got taught that it was possible at school. So then I believed that it was possible and kept pushing and never stopped! Still haven’t.
How would you describe your work?
Vibrant, happy, uniformed chaos with love.
What inspires you to create your pieces?
I am always inspired by my surroundings in my day-to-day life and popular culture in what is happening in the world. It has evolved over the years and especially a lot within the last year. I am excited to see where it takes me.
What projects have you been excited to work on this year?
I was excited to work on my HOTA Rage Against the Virus project called “No Weekends” which was an art/fashion project during the middle of COVID lockdown on the Gold Coast back in April. The collection was made up of five uniforms designed for people who have been locked inside for so long they have forgotten what day it is. Inspired by a greatly exaggerated perspective of the Covid-19 pandemic. Then I was excited I got the phone call from Placemakers* Gold Coast about the Hutchies mural, which has been my biggest mural to date! And at the start of the year I was stoked to work with sculpture artist Clayton Blake on a collaborative installation at Sand Safari.
Any advice for upcoming artists who dream of going professional?
Only advice would be to be positive, keep going with what you like doing and believe in yourself as an artist. Don’t do work in trade for exposure, know your worth!
What is your plan for the rest of 2020?
I have an upcoming artist feature at Forge Forward in Fortitude Valley which I am super excited about. I have wanted to dive into fashion design since studying it back in 2013 but never had the time to really focus on it properly. So I’ve locked myself into this exhibition to just focus on it for myself and as an experimental project for me which I am loving. Learning so much as I go.
Tell us your favourites on the Coast:
Cafe for breakfast: Best croissants ever from Le Café Gourmand in Mermaid Beach
Coffee spot: Randy Wallhole in Southport
Restaurant for dinner: Cha Chas, Broadbeach!