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Andy Warhol and Jean-Michel Basquiat works coming to the Coast

Jean-Michel Basquiat 1985 © Lizzie Himmel. Artwork © Estate of Jean-Michel Basquiat. Licensed by Artestar, New York

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 (image supplied)

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.

Keith Haring 1985 © Jeannette Montgomery Barron / Trunk Archive

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.

SOLID GOLD_Hiromi Hotel - Brain Flower

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

Artist Impression of the HOTA Gallery (image supplied)
Artist Impression of the HOTA Gallery (image supplied)

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.

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.

Jayde Chandler

She’s a former Gold Coast gal who has come full circle, recently securing representation at Mermaid Beach art gallery 19 Karen and if you’ve ever laid eyes on the stunning work of Jayde Chandler, you’ll understand why.

We sat down for a chat with Jayde about what it’s like to fulfil a lifelong dream from the unforgiving Queensland Outback and her advice for anyone looking to take their work to the next level.

Do you get to visit the Gold Coast often?
We have always been lucky enough to get down to the Gold Coast a couple of times a year to visit family which is lovely. It is such a familiar destination to me after completing five years of boarding school at St Hilda’s School, Southport. 

What do you love most about coming here?
It’s always the beaches for me! Coming from outback Queensland means that visiting the glorious Gold Coast beaches are an absolute must do. Now that I have four children of my own, I love sharing favourite spots for some much needed vitamin sea! That and the dining scene, so many great places to eat I can’t name them all!

You recently gained representation at 19 Karen on the Gold Coast, how did that feel?
I am so excited to have gained representation by 19 Karen Gallery. It is an incredible honour to be under the curation of highly respected art collector and curator, Terri Lew. The Gallery is Queensland’s largest Contemporary Art Gallery and is so highly regarded with an amazing selection of Australian and International artists both emerging and established. I am thrilled to be welcomed into the family and eager to see what opportunities lay ahead.

Talk to us about your art, how do you describe it?
I am a self taught contemporary artist, mostly identifying as an abstract expressionist of sorts. I use a mixture of acrylics, impasto and oil sticks to create, multilayered, highly textural translations of the landscapes I have lived in and loved. From a tree lined gully at the back of the property to the hinterlands of Byron Bay, I use symbolic references, to tell a story with vibrant and joyous colours. My work focuses on the perfection of imperfections and I embrace every lump and bump through the use of a combination of palette knives and brushes and at times even my fingers. I aim to spark joy and bring raw personality into my collectors homes, drawing much inspiration from the beauty of nature and a childhood based in the outback.

What was your journey to becoming an artist?
I began painting almost two years ago to fulfil a life-long desire to create and share beauty. I had previously studied interior design but was looking for more freedom and painting had always been something I had wanted to try. It was also a form of escapism and release to help manage the stress of the ongoing drought in Western Queensland. I accepted the challenge from my husband to auction the first piece I ever painted to raise money for drought relief and when it received such a wonderful response I gained the courage to pursue my dreams.

Do you have any advice for someone looking to turn professional with their art?
Just press enter! The hardest part of beginning anything new is actually starting. People tend to put things off or make excuses when everything isn’t perfect or they are afraid that what they produce might not be good enough. You have to start somewhere. Be courageous and just begin, even if it is terrible. You will learn so much about yourself and your practice on the way to where you want to be. It is terribly frightening baring your soul to the world to be judged but what do you have to lose? There is always so much more to be gained by having a go. Create, create, create. If it’s your passion, work your arse off and give it everything you’ve got. You will never regret giving it your best shot. 

How is the rest of 2020 looking for you?
I had a big start to 2020 with my first solo exhibition at Wild Canary Art in Brisbane and have just contributed to Inverell Art Gallery’s Annual Contemporary Art Exhibition. Up next is Merricks General Wine Store’s Annual Traders Fair in Victoria, opening Friday 29th May – 26th July. My priority for the rest of the year is completing all of my commissions and getting fresh new works to galleries and stockists across the country.

Will we be seeing more of you on the Coast from now on?
Hopefully I will be able to visit the Gold Coast more often to hand deliver works to 19 Karen. What a fabulous excuse to visit!

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