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A night of intrigue 64 floors up. 

The Gold Coast arts scene is currently blowing the minds of anyone who’s been paying attention and if you’re not one of those people, pick up your act, you’re missing out.

In November the Coast is set to experience a cultural phenomenon so unique that there may not be enough words in the English language to do it justice.

Since we’re all here though, lets give it a whirl.

The Peppers Soul Penthouse will be transformed into an interactive stage to play host to the eccentric Richard Hightower, the richest man in the world at 118 years old. Due to his excess of pennies, and illegal black market organ trading, Mr Hightower is hosting an extravagant party, and everyone’s invited (that’s us).

The experience, because you’re certainly going to get involved, has been described as pleasurable uncertainty (which is nothing like a regular night in Surfers Paradise we promise) and is certain to have you questioning everything you thought you knew about yourself and the arts.

It’s part performance, part dinner party and part immersion into a story so intricate you’ll feel as though it were written just for you.

The brains behind the show are Bleached Arts’ Director Louise Bezzina and Interactive Artist David Pledger who together, have created the party of the year. With sweeping 360 degree views of the Gold Coast no less.

It’s a whole new world and it’s just begging to be explored.

You’re gonna LOVE it.

LOCATION: Peppers Soul Penthouse, The Esplanade, Surfers Paradise
DATES: From November 1st to 5th

Words by Kirra Smith.

Bleach* Festival 2017

Bleach* Festival recently launched their 2017 program.

We chat with Festival Director Louise Bezzina about what’s new and the Commonwealth Games inspired theme.

What’s unique about the 2017 program?

The Festival explores and interrogates the relationship between sport and art, and the playful moments of collaboration where these experiences collide, merge, interact, conflict and complement.

With much of the Gold Coast’s daily life and identity closely related to the outdoors, active lifestyles, sport and recreation, these expressions already form strong associations for the people of the city.

In 2017, in the lead up to the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games, Bleach* Festival and many of our collaborating artists will take inspiration from these concepts, with a highly physical and highly visual program that encourages celebration and expression, as the city comes alive over three weeks.

Any particular show or exhibitions we should look out for?

I’ve been wanting to present Fun Run for a while so I’m thrilled we can present it in 2017 as it works beautifully with this year’s festival theme. Fun Run will see artist Tristan Meecham run a gruelling 42.2 kilometres on a treadmill in the heart of Surfers Paradise in homage to the Greek messenger Pheidippides, supported by hundreds of community performers and athletes.

I’m excited to be working with The Farm and Co3 to present Frank Enstein, a world premiere work commissioned by Bleach* Festival which brings together two of Australia’s boldest contemporary dance companies, Gold Coast/Berlin based The Farm and Perth based Co3 for the retelling of the classic story.

How has the Gold Coast’s cultural scene in general changed since the launch of Bleach* Festival?

There has been a considerable growth in the City’s cultural scene since the festival launched in 2011. There are many professional companies now based here and working from here, some of these include The Farm (the first professional Contemporary Dance Company on the Gold Coast), Everybody Now (Professional Company that specialises in participatory and site specific contemporary performance) and The Walls (Contemporary Gallery Space in Miami) just to name a few.

Why is it such an important thing for the Gold Coast?

The vibrant cultural scene changes perceptions and transforms the city.  There is such an incredible depth to the city that the arts and cultural scene is pivotal in shaping.

Anything else you want Inside Gold Coasters to know? 

Bleach* Festival is truly unique in that it is a festival of place. The Gold Coast’s spectacular physical surroundings provide a distinct backdrop to present a variety of performances ranging from installation arts to music to world premiere theatre works. This year the Festival will visit 23 Gold Coast locations and take over 60kms of the coastline from Coolangatta to Helensvale.

The Gold Coast has a growing, youthful and energetic arts community who aren’t afraid to take risks, so it’s a really exciting time to be part of this developing industry, particularly in the lead up to the Commonwealth Games.

Check out the full program here.

Blanc de Blanc

After an epic introduction to the Gold Coast earlier this year, Blanc de Blanc is back in the Aurora Spiegeltent at Broadwater Parklands from the October 5th to November 5th.

A bubble-filled world of fantasy awaits with the burlesque, circus-style show bringing the finest cabaret and acrobatic talents from around the world.

Every act in the show is inspired by champagne and includes elements of comedy, audience interaction and giant balls flying through the air. Think pumping music, acrobats twisting high above the crowd, dancing, singing and a little bit of skin.

The round, circus-style tent is filled with mirrors, a stage placed in the middle of the room and the audience up close and personal.

It’s a giant party like nothing you’ve ever seen before – illuminating and exciting.

Directed by Scott Maidment, who recently worked on Madonna’s Rebel Heart tour, and choreographed by Kevin Maher (of Justin Bieber and Britney Spears fame), Blanc de Blanc has sold out around the world due to its wild, risqué moves.

In reality, words are inadequate to describe the wonder that is the world of champagne cabaret.

Without giving too much away, Blanc de Blanc is a must-see. Particularly if you need a little more excitement in your life. Tickets available here – get in quick!

LOCATION: The Aurora Spiegeltent, Broadwater Parklands
COST: From $55

An art lovers guide to the Gold Coast

Wayne Sorensen Gallery (image supplied)

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 (Image: © 2020 Inside Gold Coast)

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

AW Gallery (image supplied)

AW Space
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

Café dbar
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

HOTA Gallery (image supplied)

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

Dust Temple
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

Dust Temple (image supplied)
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