It’s no secret that the Gold Coast has been a smouldering hotbed of artistic talent and appreciation for a little while now. You don’t have to look far to see impressive murals and art inspired spaces in pretty much every suburb we have.
The highlight is of course the Home of the Arts (HOTA). Formerly the Gold Coast Arts Centre this hub of creativity has seen some vast renovations and improvements over the last few years. Being on the cusp of opening an entirely new gallery building means an exciting period awaits the venue and all those who plan to visit it.
Now, to throw some facts and figures around, the new $60.5 million HOTA Gallery will be the largest public gallery outside a capital city in Australia. Designed by award-winning Melbourne-based architects ARM, the Gallery will include over 2,000m2 of AAA-rated, international standard exhibition space, a dedicated Children’s Gallery, and will be home to the $32 million City Collection, consisting of more than 4,400 artworks (including one of the largest collections of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art in regional Australia).
An impressive building needs an impressive centrepiece and the folks at HOTA have not dropped the ball on this one.
Commissioned Melbourne Art Foundation (MAF) and HOTA, Sri-Lankan born, Sydney-based artist Ramesh Mario Nithiyendran has created a monumental six-metre-high sculpture which is on display on the lower ground entrance to the Gallery.
Predominantly composed of bronze, Nithiyendran has combined a range of materials including concrete, neon and fiberglass to create a multi-coloured avatar reflecting the vibrancy of the HOTA Gallery building.
Holding a smiling neon companion and standing on a geometric plinth, this is the artist’s largest sculpture to date and his first ambitious work in the public domain.
This significant artwork will welcome visitors inside the new HOTA Gallery with outstretched arms and expressive and commanding tones when the doors open to the public for the very first time on Saturday 8th of May.
“The work gestures to a range of global sources that link to my cultural background and contemporary culture,” said Nithiyendran.
“I hope local and international visitors engage with the work by considering the meanings and significance of idolatry and sculptural monuments in public spaces.”
To celebrate the opening weekend of the Gallery, HOTA will present an eclectic music program on its Outdoor Stage all day on Saturday 8 and Sunday 9 May. To further amplify the local flavour, a pop-up market will sell the finest artisan wares by Gold Coast makers, accompanied by pockets of local food and drink. The full program for the opening weekend will be announced next month.
Gold Coasters can get their hands on tickets for the HOTA Gallery opening weekend, simply by signing up via their website to receive a special booking link, which also puts them in with the chance of winning a weekend away! – Sounds good to us!
Words by Alex Mitcheson.