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A stunning festival of light to set the Gold Coast sky a-GLOW

GLOW festival is back with a shimmery program for 2019.

As if our little stretch of coast wasn’t shiny enough, GLOW, the light festival is back to light up the skies and our lives once again.

Inspired by all things shimmering and move-in-the-dark, Home of the Arts (HOTA) will be transformed from August 1st to 3rd with stunning installations, interactive projections, mind-blowing performances, live music and art spaces for the kids.

So everything you need for a sparkly weekend under the Gold Coast, mid-winter stars.

Featuring artists that have travelled across the globe to be at this festival, GLOW will stimulate all five of your senses with creatures emerging from the dark and the magic of colour seen in a whole new light.

Whilst EVERY single event is worth treating your eyeballs to, there are a few that come very highly recommended.

A major drawcard of the festival will be majestic, luminous, inflatable horses, brought to life in grand-scale by puppeteers from renowned French spectacle company Cie Des Quidams in an enchanting parade of the imagination. So that’s special.

Borealis is the work of Swiss artist Dan Acher and it’s an absolutely spectacular Northern Lights experience right here on the Gold Coast (much cheaper and guaranteed unlike the real thing). The sky will be blanketed in colour and accompanied by an ethereal soundtrack with guest appearances by the HOTA Choir. It’s going to be absolutely incredible, DO NOT MISS THIS ONE.

Parallelism by Meagan Streader is an immersive light installation where you’ll walk through a maze of towering structures created with hundreds of lines of electroluminescent (big word) wires. If you’ve never experienced anything like this before (probs not), prepare to have your mind blown.

Next up, on the list of must-views is Mountain, a theatrical performance melding acrobatics, dance and aerials to create a captivating spectacle on a giant performance wall brought to life with projections and light (sounds like we can watch and they can do). Mountain will wow audiences as the performers leap, swing and dance with incredible acrobatic skill against stunning imagery of Australia’s natural habitats. Sounds pretty good to us.

The Glow Bubble Garden will be delighting kiddies the entire weekend and for the parents, the Lakeside and Lawn Bars will be pouring beverages into the night.

There’ll also be specialty food trucks on site, so you can plan to spend the entire weekend wandering around the light-filled space.

The Gold Coast is set to get lit in a whole new way.

Can’t wait for this one.

LOCATION: Home of the Arts, 135 Bundall Rd, Bundall
WHEN: August 1st to 3rd, 2019

Words and photos by Kirra Smith

9 epic Gold Coast street art murals

Water Walls Project mural by Kiel Tillman (image supplied)
Water Walls Project mural by Kiel Tillman (image supplied)

If you’ve done any travelling overseas — or taken a casual stroll through the back lanes of Melbourne — you might have noticed a culture of street art and murals that simply leave you in awe. Not one to be far behind, the Gold Coast has been creating urban-based pieces of art at an impressive pace for the last several years, further confirming our slow burn and steady rise as a hub of culture in the land down under.

You may pass by these pieces without noticing them, or worse, not even know of their existence. And for the sake of the hard work and talent that has gone into them, we think that would be an utter travesty. And as our art scene is only going in one direction (up), we thought it fitting to give you the lowdown on the city’s most notable and impressive pieces of outside/mural art! (listed from north to south).

Water Walls Project — Hope Island
As part of an installation for the Commonwealth Games, Creative Road commissioned local favourite Kiel Tillman (and others) to create some street art on bare spots across the Coast as a legacy to the games, with exceptional results. This piece is an impressive bird painted on the side of an unassuming little building facing the road — therefore, it’s unlikely you’ll miss it.
Where: Oxenford Southport Road & Pendraat Parade, Hope Island

Abbott Park, Parkwood
The Gold Coast City Council commissioned local artist Fiona Hutchinson-Mackenzie to create a community art mural in Abbott Park. Unfortunately, the drive behind it was mostly to deter vandalism. However, good things can come from bad. The beautiful, brightly coloured piece depicts the Surfers Paradise skyline and a little basketball action to boot.
Where: Abbott Park, Parkwood

HOTA Exterior, Evandale Lake (image supplied)
HOTA Exterior, Evandale Lake (image supplied)

Golden Walls — Ichiban Lane + Davison Lane Southport
You may have ventured past these dreamlike alleys in the Southport CBD and wondered how on earth it’s possible to paint something so good. Well, get this, some of the work was completed in one day and completely improvised — yes, you read that correctly. The artists behind the alley art are world-renowned Brisbane artist SOFLES and Lachlan Hansen – an artist of 40/40 Creative on the Coast. If you’re in the area, we say treat your eyeballs to some clever artwork hinged on depicting Asian cultures within the community.
Where: Off Scarborough Street, and Davison Lane, Southport

HOTA, Bundall
Created by Melbourne-based artist Mike Makatron, the pieces were commissioned to brighten up the cultural precinct, and what a great job he did of it! When you go to check out the newly opened Gallery — as if that isn’t enough — be sure to seek out these two outbuildings. They are a feast for the eyes with so many colourful aspects that you can expect to lose some serious time gazing up at them.
Where: HOTA, 135 Bundall Road, Bundall

Mexicali, Nobby Beach
No doubt you’ve spied this pretty piece on your travels to Nobby Beach on a margarita fuelled odyssey of fun. Designed and painted by local legend Luke Day, the colourful creation has quickly become a favourite Instagram opportunity for, well, pretty much everyone with a phone. In enchanting hues of pink and blue, it’s so Gold Coast, it hurts!
Where:1/2223 Gold Coast Highway, Nobby Beach

AWOL External Mural (Image: © 2021 Inside Gold Coast)
AWOL external mural by Kiel Tillman (Image: © 2021 Inside Gold Coast)

AWOL Brewery, Burleigh Heads
The innovative crew behind Black Hops are right back at it again with their sister project, AWOL Brewery. With inventive work taking place inside, there was a call to ensure their space looked the goods inside and out. Kiel Tillman was naturally brought in to create some funky and unprecedented illustrative work — be sure to check it out, and don’t forget to grab a beer!
Where: AWOL, 4 Hibiscus Haven, Burleigh Heads

Tugun Fruit Market, Tugun
Does this man ever stop? He’s created countless cool projects over the years, but this one we feel is the jewel in the crown of Kiel Tillman’s talents. The Welcome to the Gold Coast mural painted onto the side of Tugun Super Market is nearly impossible to miss, and for those who have just touched down in the sunshine state: what an entrance!
Where: 499 Gold Coast Highway, Tugun

Southern Cross University Mural (image supplied)

Southern Cross University, Bilinga
Involving over 50 litres of paint and taking over a month to create this incredible ten storey high artwork is quite an artistic achievement. Created by Guido van Helten, a Brisbane-raised artist, the piece depicts an ultra-realistic-looking man and a woman looking back toward the campus. Taking it in makes you wonder how somebody could paint something so realistic, while at the same time not being able to see the bigger picture (literally).
Where: Gold Coast Airport, Terminal Drive, Bilinga

The Pink Hotel, Coolangatta
The bracing sight of The Pink Hotel in Coolangatta is a somewhat (welcome) sensory overload by anyone’s standard. Like many, we were excited when the dilapidated corner building was given an entirely new lease of life nearly three years back. Part of that is the ever-changing mural wall on the north-facing side closet to the beach. The artwork has recently undergone a new design in conjunction with Stone & Wood and artist Jamie Peters (AKA @poongoat) – but keep your eyes peeled because it won’t take too long for it to change again!
Where:  171 Griffith Street, Coolangatta

Words by Alex Mitcheson.

The Pink Hotel exterior (Photo by @sydneygirl63)
The Pink Hotel exterior (Photo by @sydneygirl63)

Glow Worm Caves

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