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Gold Coast Artist Kellie North

Kellie North is an award-winning Gold Coast photographer and visual artist whose evocative work has been featured in international publications like Conde Nast UK and Australia’s Home Design Magazine.

Most recently though, several of her pieces were chosen to feature in a winning room on much-loved home renovation show The Block.

We sat down for a chat with Kellie about how her work came to be on one of Australia’s most-watched shows and how the human form inspires her to create such incredible work.

How long have you been a Gold Coast local?
I was born and did my schooling in Mackay then worked for a while before heading off travelling for many years. After travelling in North and South America, Mexico, UK, Europe and India my now, husband and I returned to the Gold Coast where we settled and had our two children.

What do you love most about our sunshine city?
What is there not to like, we really do have it all here. For a photographer and an artist it is so easy to find stunning locations, it offers such diversity with the ocean, beach, hinterland, rainforests and rock pools.

Tell us how three of your stunning artworks came to be on The Block?
It was a Thursday night when gallery owner Nancy Donaldson called me and asked if I could get three artworks to the Block site in St Kilda, Melbourne before Sunday. My instant reaction was ‘YES definitely’. I booked a flight to Melbourne and took the artwork directly to the shows site myself.

Why do you think these particular pieces were chosen?
This collection of prints are quite soft and ethereal in their look, so I think they suited the theme and interior style of El’ise and Matt. They wanted to create a room with a sense of romance, luxury and heritage and they thought these pieces worked well in that style.

What did it feel like getting that call to be involved?
I was absolutely thrilled to get the call and overwhelmed all at the same time. I knew I had to transport the pieces down to Melbourne within a few days and a courier was unable to get them there in time for room reveal. For an artist to have their work shown on a hit TV show like The Block is a real gift and something I am extremely thankful to Art Lovers Australia Gallery owners Nancy Donaldson and Jarrod Knight and to Perth couple El’ise and Matt for.

What’s been your journey to becoming an artist?
For most of my life I would have to say I have been a self-taught photographer doing my apprenticeship either on the job or out in the field and have always upgraded my skills with small courses online or in a college from time to time. Until 2014 when I decided to study a Diploma of Professional Photography with The Photography Institute. During my studies I was exposed to other inspiring photographers and genres that opened my eyes to the artistic side of photography and how an image could become a piece of art and not just a captured moment. This is where I would say I started to develop my voice and style as a photo artist. I learned the techniques in professional workshops or online I needed both within my shooting process and Photoshop to keep my flow simple and effective.

How would you describe your work?
With a lifelong interest in dance and womens stories, and wanting to create a piece of art from start to finish without the use of models, I turned to self-portraiture as a form of visual storytelling. I dived into the relationship between nature and femininity: sometimes playful, other times dark and mysterious, yet always conveyed with a strong thread of emotion. The style of photography I am most drawn to is definitely the Fine Art/Digital Photo Art. Together with photography I have always loved graphic art and working at my computer, so when I discovered the world of Photoshop and how you could use it as a tool to create realistic images with compositing, textures, colour manipulation etc. my world fell into place. I love the human form, dance and movement and creating characters with costumes and props to set a scene, hoping the viewer can immerse him or herself into the story possibly taking on that character and relating to it in some way.

Where do you find inspiration for it?
It doesn’t take much to get my creative juices flowing to be honest, it could be going for a hike in the bush, the light on a glorious afternoon when the sun has just hidden behind the mountains, a rock hop along the beach, a shell, a butterfly, a rock with a hole big enough for me to fit into. Women are a big influence, I love stories and listening to peoples stories and the reciprocity of telling my own and I try to do this through imagery.

What’s on for you for the rest of 2019?
I am up for whatever comes my way. I love collaborating with artists so I look forward to any opportunities for that to happen. I want to keep creating, and working on another series of prints to release towards the end of the year and then perhaps some down time over Christmas with my family.

Tell us your favourites on the Coast…
Cafe for breakfast: Café D Nor – haha! This is what my husband calls our kitchen, as he whips up such a great brekky we rarely go out for breakfast.
Coffee spot: Dust Temple in Currumbin
Restaurant for dinner: Etsu in Mermaid Beach
How does your weekend usually look: If we are not camping, we head to our local markets grab some prawns and yummy food, head to the beach and catch up with friends.

Pilates guru Kirsten King

She is the Gold Coast born Pilates guru loved the world over for her unique blend of technical knowledge combined with a passionate modern approach to healing and strengthening the body.

And excitingly for us, Kirsten King owner of Fluidform Pilates (Sydney) and instructor for a slew of professional athletes and celebrities, will this weekend teach one of her high vibe classes at Eden Health Retreat in Currumbin on Saturday August 24th.

We sat down for a chat with Kirsten about what we can expect from the weekends’ event and how we can practice Fluidform Pilates from the comfort of our living rooms.

What’s do you love most about visiting the Gold Coast?
I love visiting the Gold Coast to see my family. My Mum and Dad and other extended family still live here and any chance I get to come back and spend time with them is so special, not to mention I get to go and visit the best beaches in the world. I have so many fond memories of growing up on the Coast, it really is like coming home.

Tell us how your business Fluidform Pilates came about…
I studied for my Pilates certification in the UK and taught there for a little while and then just after my oldest daughter was born my husband and I moved to Sydney. At that time I discovered Fluidform Pilates and began teaching there which quickly turned into me buying into the business and shortly after that buying out the previous owners in full. Since then I have opened a new studio in Clovelly and also just launched Fluidform at Home, an at home Pilates subscription program. My goal is to allow as many people as possible access to Pilates and that is what I work towards across all elements of the business.

Why is Pilates something everyone should be incorporating into their lives?
Pilates brings about both physical and mental change. With a regular Pilates proactive you’ll see your body change as you become stronger and more flexible, posture improves and your body feels and looks better as overall functional movement is improved. Alongside all the physical change comes the mental strength and positivity that comes from improving your physicality. It really is a life changing practice and I see that every day with my clients whether it’s helping them through injuries or pregnancy or simply improving their overall health through regular Pilates.

What’s unique about Fluidform Pilates?
We are for everybody. Anyone can benefit from Pilates and we focus on having an inclusive and supportive approach in our studios and our online program. Our approach to Pilates blends the traditional training with a modern sensibility to create programming that is effective and relevant for current lifestyles.

Tell us about your event at Eden Health Retreat on August 24th…
Last year I had a week at Eden and it was life-changing. I left feeling really inspired to create a Pilates focused Eden experience and this year that is exactly what we have done, starting August 18th. For those who can’t make the full week, we are holding an outside mat class on the 24th that includes breakfast and a Q&A with Sylvia Jeffries and I. The class will be a challenging workout and the Q&A will be a chance to understand more about the way I approach Pilates.

You’re bringing along some exciting guests, what do they have to share with Gold Coasters?
Pip Edwards and Sylvia Jeffries will also be attending the retreat and mat class. Sylvia will be interviewing me for the Q&A and Pip will be joining in the mat class with all our guests. 

How can people who don’t live in Sydney experience your classes?
Fluidform at Home! It is accessible from anywhere in the world via laptop or mobile. We release new workouts and accompanying calendar each month to keep things fresh as well as other special things like a fortnightly Facebook live class or Q&A with me. FFAH is now five months old and we already have the most beautiful community of committed women and men who keep telling us how much they have benefitted from it.

What’s on the agenda for the rest of 2019 for you?
At the moment we are planning some live events across Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane to give me a chance to meet more of our Fluidform community. Other than that you’ll either find me teaching at one of the studios or spending time with my husband and three daughters!

Chats with Gold Coast musician Emma Hudson

Emma Hudson is a talented local musician who at 24, has only just embarked on what’s destined to be a successful career.

The bubbly singer and songwriter performs across the Gold Coast and is set to release her debut EP within the next couple of months (which is definitely going to be filled with good time tunes).

We sat down for a chat with Emma about creating music from emotion and why making the jump is the best thing you can do when it comes to following your dreams.

How long have you been a Gold Coast local?
I was lucky enough to grow up on the Coast! In fact, I’ve lived in the same street since I was a baby.

What do you love most about living here?
The views and the lifestyle. It’s so relaxed and everyone’s so friendly. And I love that I can go from beach from to valley in the same day. It’s wild.

How long have you been a singer / songwriter?
I grew up playing guitar but only gained the confidence to start writing and perform about 18 months ago! Since then, I’ve had so much support from family, friends, and strangers and I’m so grateful for where the whirlwind of a journey has taken me so far.

Have you always known this is what your career would be?
Absolutely not! Music was always a passion, but I actually completed a Bachelor of Psychology before this. I didn’t think there were jobs in the music industry, but it turns out I was super wrong! If I’d have known then what I do now, I would have started this a long time ago!

Where you do you find inspiration for your music?
Whenever I have a strong emotion, songs just kind of pour out of me. Whether it’s love, anger, loss, whatever. My song themes range a lot but the one thing in common between them is that they mean a lot to me. I pour my soul into them.

What have been some of your favourite local gigs to play?
Tonic on Chirn has a special place in my heart. It’s the first gig I ever played and since that day, they’ve become like a family to me. The vibe is so relaxed and the food is amazing too, so that helps.

What advice would you have for someone wanting to make music their career?
Make the jump. It’s not as scary as you think. The music community on the Coast is so welcoming and supportive; if you put the work in, you’ll thrive.

Plans for the rest of 2019?
I’m in the middle of some really exciting stuff at the moment! I’ll be releasing an EP within the next month or two, which is crazy to me. I’m collaborating with some other artists, gigging more, and getting a few other things together that I can’t talk about yet. But a lot is happening!

Tell us your favourites on the Coast:
Cafe for breakfast: Barefoot Barista has a to-die-for acai bowl (did someone say ice-cream for breakfast?)
Coffee spot: Espresso Moto has the best vibe for some creativity flow with my caffeine.
Restaurant for dinner: Harvest Buffet at The Star is my go-to for a cheat night.
How does your weekend usually look? If I’m not gigging, tutoring, or studying, I’m spending time with my son playing games and running around. My life is crazy hectic but I wouldn’t have it any other way!

 

Chats with Gold Coast artist Dan Mason

The Gold is absolutely brimming with local creatives, some brand new and some having been a part of establishing our local cultural scene.

One such longstanding artist is Dan Mason, a painter who will this week paint a live portrait at his pop-up show The Journeyman.

We sat down for a chat with Dan about his unique ability to create incredible art with knives and what to expect from this weekend’s show.

How long have you been a Gold Coast local?
I went to Miami High School in the late ‘80’s, surfing everyday before and after class. My working/ocean time ritual is pretty much still the same to this day.

What do you love most about living here?
Our clean slice of the Pacific Ocean

Tell us about how you came to be a full-time artist?
While at Uni in the mid 90’s, I worked as an old-school Photographic Retouch Artist (with brushes), designed, built and painted furniture in my garage and always yearned to work for myself honouring the gift of creative consciousness. I took the plunge ‘full-time’ at the start of ’03 after returning home from an overseas trip, where I became scarily ill. It was then that I decided that life’s too short to not do what you love – or at least give it a red-hot go.

What’s unique about your work?
I’d loosely suggest that I’ve spent between 200k-300k hours, with an emphasis on perpetual experimentation and painting in my studio. Remember, they’re only mistakes if you don’t learn from them. My painterly approach has metamorphosised into a delicate attack, with palette knives in hand & thick impasto oil movements.

Tell us about The Journeyman…
Firstly I’m painting a new portrait live in the gallery both days. Hopefully the cleaning bill after I leave isn’t too big! This two-day show is allowing me to connect with collectors who have acquired my artwork from Red Hill Gallery in Brisbane, over the past fifteen years, as well as some new faces. I guess I’m most known for my abstracted sensibilities and there’ll be most of the thick abstract oil paintings that I’ve created from the past twelve months on show AT 2005 PRICES! I’ve been developing my love of portraiture in recent times and will have a few 100x150cm pieces ready to go to good homes too. I’ve also created many very affordable smaller framed works for those who only have small walls to fill. They’re half their normal price for the weekend – that’s two-for-one.

What advice do you have for anyone looking to make their passion for art into a full-time career?
Be good at what you do and work harder than everybody else. Build relationships. Be very humble.

What’s in the works for the rest of 2019 for you?

I’m obsessed with developing my portraiture and painting people who contribute generously to our society. More of this is what I’m aiming for.

Tell us your favourites on the Coast…
Cafe for breaky: Neighbourhood Espresso, Currumbin Waters
Coffee spot: Dune Café at Palm Beach Parklands
Restaurant for dinner: Balboa Italian in Palm Beach
How does your weekend usually look: Hanging with my wife and two young sons at the park/beach. I love working in my backyard landscaping and gardening on Sundays too – it’s my outdoor ‘man-cave’. If I’m lucky, I get to watch one game of AFL on the box each weekend.

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