The burgeoning Gold Coast art scene is set to flourish.
The burgeoning Gold Coast art scene is set to flourish.
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.
Things just keep getting better around here Gold Coasters.
First, we were allowed out of our homes, next we were gifted quite a few exciting new venues, then we could dance again and now, a world-class art gallery, the largest public gallery outside of a capital city in Australia. Look at us go!
Let’s dive straight into that last thing shall we. Yes, it’s Home of the Arts long-awaited gallery (called HOTA Gallery) and it’s set to open on April 10th in 2021. It will span six levels and will present a jam-packed program of world premiere international exhibitions, Australian exclusives and new commissions, all of which celebrate artists from across Australia and the world.
We are quite literally jumping up and down with excitement!
HOTA Gallery will launch with Solid Gold: Artists from Paradise (10th April to the 20th June 2021) and it will be presented across the Gallery and the HOTA parklands, and feature major new commissions and art work by emerging and established Australian artists with a connection to the region, including Hiromi Tango, Michael Candy, Abbey McCulloch, Samuel Leighton-Dore and Libby Harward.
Celebrating the diversity and richness of the Gold Coast, the exhibition will feature sculpture, painting, video, photography and installations, both indoors and out.
In a world premiere exhibition exclusive to the Gold Coast and Australia, HOTA Gallery will present Contemporary Masters from New York: Art from the Mugrabi Collection (13 November 2021 – 27 February 2022) featuring approximately 70 works from some of the world’s most influential contemporary artists.
Get excited to see in your own backyard works from Jean-Michel Basquiat (largely recognised as boosting the prevalence of graffiti artists into galleries), Andy Warhol (a man who needs no introduction, but just in case… uber famous for leading the pop art movement with his Campbell Soup Cans and Marilyn Monroe works), Keith Haring (a pop artist who advocated safe sex and raised AIDS awareness in the 80s), Richard Prince (most recently known as the Instagram artist) and Jeff Koons (a sculptor most famous for his Balloon Dog sculptures).
It’s the first time these incredible works will have been shown in Australia and we are so grateful to the Gold Coast team at HOTA who have been working tirelessly to put this amazing collection together.
The inaugural exhibition in the new dedicated Children’s Gallery is World Upside Down (10 April – 10 October 2021). Working with Queensland artists Lowana Skye-Davies and Alinta Krauth, the Children’s Gallery will be an immersive space filled with interactive art and hands-on making activities, inspired by the themes found in the first two major exhibitions, Solid Gold and Lyrical Landscapes.
Alongside the premiere exhibitions presented in the main space, HOTA Gallery will also present works from the $32 million City Collection. Consisting of more than 4,400 artworks (who new we had that many in storage waiting for our eyes to feast on?), the collection includes one the largest collections of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art in regional Australia.
So that’s a lot of epic things already and there’s plenty more to come (ie rooftop bar anyone?), stay tuned for more information as further exhibitions are announced. What an epic time to be a Gold Coaster.
LOCATION: 135 Bundall Rd, Bundall
WHEN: 10th April 2021
The Gold Coast’s local art scene has blossomed exponentially in the last few years. Galleries, installations and murals have popped up all over the Coast and local artists are making themselves known both here and on the national scene.
If you’re looking for a unique way to spend a day on the Gold Coast, we’ve got just the answer. Here’s a list of local galleries to help you get your art fix.
Wayne Sorrenson Gallery
World-renowned landscape photographer Wayne Sorrenson opened his very own gallery in Miami in 2020 so we, the lucky Gold Coasters get to peruse his breathtaking art anytime we like. Within the gallery, there’s a huge selection of framed artwork to purchase, as well as a range of gift ideas including acrylic blocks, greeting cards and calendars to name a few. It’s all absolutely magical and a lovely stand-in for the international travel we aren’t allowed to do right now.
Where: 40 Lemana Lane, Miami
Anthea Polson Art
Anthea Polson Art specialises in contemporary emerging Australian art and sculpture, including investment works. A regular exhibition programme showcases the work of emerging and established contemporary artists.
Where: 29 Tedder Avenue, Main Beach
Maverick Hair & Art Space
Maverick is a small gallery hosting community art exhibitions and events throughout the year. Headed up by artist Byron Coathup and partner Hayley, the space (also boasting a hair studio) caters for art and design lovers and offers beautiful gifts for purchase from both near and far. Don’t be afraid to head up the stairs and check out the gallery.
Where: First Floor, 1/17 Griffith Street, Coolangatta
The Hive Burleigh Heads
The newest of the bunch, The HIVE was opened very recently by Jo Ellings, a Gold Coast artist who has been creating stunning works for over 30 years and is now sharing that talent with the likes of us. Within the gallery you’ll find an array of stunning works to take home with you or, if you’d like to stay awhile why not grab a ticket to one of their workshops and become an artist yourself. There’s also a regular meetup and music night if you want to meet some like-minded folks.
Where: 5/3 Park Avenue, Burleigh Heads
Level Up studio + gallery
The space is designed to provide access to art experiences for young people and adults within the local community and beyond, through public programs hosting a range of creative activations, such as art workshops, artist talks, school holiday workshops, networking events and an exciting monthly exhibitions program. Emerging artists can apply for space and we can all pop in there to check out the magic. So good.
Where: 72-82 Marine Parade, Coolangatta
The Walls Art Space Miami
The Walls is an interactive space that began in 2012 aiming to serve as a hub of creative practice, critical dialogue and innovative thinking around contemporary art. Their annual program focus is to curate monthly exhibitions in conjunction with their successful local artist in residence program.
Where: 4/18 Mountain View Avenue, Miami
Created by the good people at ArtWork Agency, AW Space is a pretty art gallery slash workshop slash event space showcasing the work of a team of folks whose names you’ve no doubt heard uttered once or twice. They are Claudio Kirac and his equally impressive partners in crime Paul Bow and Laura Strange. All talented within their own rights, the team have combined their forces to create a stunning space filled with beautiful works. Do yourself a favour and get in there.
Where: 2/53-55 Cronulla Avenue, Mermaid Beach
Stop in for a delicious brunch overlooking the ocean and take in the collection of local art and handmade goodies next door while you’re there! The space combines works by local artists with a new store filled with locally made homewares, clothing and creative pieces.
Where: 275 Boundary Street, Coolangatta
19Karen Contemporary Artspace
A stunning space filled with bold new art (and all for purchase!) by emerging, mid-career and established Australian and International artists. Exhibitions curated by Terri Lew rotate regularly, ranging in style and genre from pop culture, surrealism, realism, street art, abstraction and to the still undefined.
Where: 19 Karen Avenue, Mermaid Beach
The Gold Coast’s premier cultural precinct, HOTA (Home of The Arts) has been showcasing visual and performing arts since 1986. With an array of exhibitions, cinemas and dining/bar facilities, there’s something for everyone throughout the entire year. In 2021, we saw the precinct increase in size with an incredible new six-level Gallery that attracts with world-class exhibitions (including Andy Warhol, Jean-Michel Basquiat and more) plus a showcase of incredible local artists.
Where: 135 Bundall Road, Surfers Paradise
A refurbished warehouse (a piece of art itself) in the heart of Currumbin Waters, Dust Temple and its creative space Hinge Gallery hosts local, national and international artists, musicians and poets. There’s also a fantastic café / coffee shop, so stay awhile and soak up the creative scene.
Where: 54 Currumbin Creek Road, Currumbin Waters
If there is one thing we value even more than usual since living in this strange new world (besides midday margaritas), it is mindful creativity and spending time on something that allows us to switch off for a sec.
It’s trying new things, being immersed in making something just for the sake of it, releasing your worries. Sounds heavenly right? Well it is and you can do all of it at Burleigh’s new art gallery and workshop space, The HIVE.
Found on Park Ave, right next door to Erva Nail Spa, The HIVE was opened very recently by Jo Ellings, a Gold Coast artist (and incredible woman) who has been creating stunning works for over 30 years and is now sharing that talent with the likes of us.
Jo has spent time studying in Japan and Italy and as a teacher locally, so all her passions have combined into creating a space where Gold Coasters can go to both peruse world class art and try their hand at making something themselves.
The space itself is brightly lit by natural light that pours in through the front windows, artworks hang from every available space, leather couches make up a cosy chill corner and tables at the back are set out for workshops.
And there are many workshops you’re going to want to get involved in friends. From film photography to watercolour and The HIVE’s specialty, Fresco painting, you need to gather the crew and book yourselves in quick smart.
In case you’d never heard of it before now (same) Fresco – meaning fresh – is the technique of creating master murals upon freshly laid plaster and the result is absolutely magical.
If you’re thinking you’re probably not at that level quite yet (also same), never fear, Jo goes through several preparation techniques to help link your brain to your hand and get you in the zone before you move onto the plaster work. We tried it, it’s very cool.
Plus Jo is very patient and nurturing so you definitely won’t feel like you can’t do it once you’re there, quite the opposite in fact.
Of course, you can purchase all the art within the gallery including some of Jo’s own and some absolutely mind-blowing pieces (think metre tall painted poppies) by a pair of Italian brothers she met while abroad and then had come to stay in her home for a month last year. They’re some of the most incredible works we’ve ever seen.
So, whether you’re in the market for a new feature piece for your home or you’d simply like to practice the art of mindful creativity for awhile, The HIVE is your place.
The perfect addition to Burleigh Heads, packed with good vibes and exactly what we all need.
LOCATION: 5/3 Park Ave, Burleigh Heads
HOURS: Tuesday to Saturday 10am until 4pm, Sunday and Monday by appointment, Wednesday and Thursday 6pm to 8pm
Words and photos by Kirra Smith