Honestly, the Gold Coast just gets better and better, in particular (and for the purpose of this story) our arts and culture game.
It’s due in large part to The Arts Centre, a magical place where on any given day there’s art exhibitions, stage shows, ballet and live music to feed your culture-thirsty souls.
Next up on their agenda is SlideShow – an edgy, cabaret-style series that will run from Friday October 6th to December 9th in the Basement, home of your former favourite, Comedy in the Basement.
As with all the best things in life, it’s a pop up event that will bring something a little bit unique to the Coast. It’s part cabaret club, part laidback piano bar and will feature a show called The 27 Club that uses the music of Cobain, Joplin and Winehouse to explore the phenomena of the club scene. But that’s just one of many shows that will appear throughout the pop up period.
You’re encouraged to sip cocktails while enjoying the show and the idea is to learn something new, do some deep thinking and meet some cool new pals along the way. Sounds like a good time to us.
It’s uninhibited, musical theatre about everything from botox to 80s vampires and it’s probably going to blow your mind.
Every week there’s a new show so that’s your weekend entertainment sorted for the next two months. You’re welcome.
LOCATION: The Arts Centre, 135 Bundall Road, Bundall
COST: Adult $35, table of four $105
Words by Kirra Smith.
The Gold Coast is known for many things, one of which is definitely our beautiful waterways. Slightly lesser known perhaps is our rich Aboriginal history, wildlife conservation efforts and the passionate locals sharing the stories.
That’s about to change though thanks to Kayak the Gold Coast’s new ‘Heart of the Gold Coast’ half-day tour package.
Incorporating a unique spin on their original tours, ‘Heart of the Gold Coast’ takes guests on a cultural experience unlike anything the Coast has seen before.
The package begins at the Burleigh Jellurgal Cultural Centre where guests watch a short film on the Gold Coast’s Aboriginal history including ancient burial sites and the unique ways of the Yugambeh people who lived in Burleigh Heads over 4,000 years ago.
After receiving an ochre blessing, the tour heads out onto Burleigh Hill where guests are taken on a sub-tropical hike and told stories of the Aboriginal people who lived there thousands of years ago, how they lived and hunted food and how they believe the mountain was formed.
The hike comes complete with stunning views of the Coastline and a dolphin sighting if you’re lucky.
It’s both an educational and spiritual experience and you can’t help but be awe-struck by the passion with which the Indigenous tour guides share their people’s history and beliefs.
A delicious morning tea follows and then it’s sunscreen, life jackets and onto the kayaks for a leisurely cruise down the ridiculously beautiful and tranquil Tallebudgera Creek.
A quick stop over for a dip, past the (huge) local Osprey’s nest and guests pull up to the purpose built kayak ramp at David Fleay Wildlife Park.
Maybe you’ve been to Fleay’s but if not (guilty), there is a lot to learn about the man who paved the way for animal conservation in Australia.
David Fleay was passionate about keeping animals in enclosures the same as they would inhabit in the wild and after moving to the Gold Coast from Melbourne, he and his wife purchased land next to the creek and did exactly that.
With constant research and conservation techniques, he created a wildlife park resembling local wetlands.
The package includes the park’s Creatures of the Night show featuring an absolutely delightful sugar glider and a Bilby who literally buries his head in the sand.
We’re a lucky bunch here on the Coast, surrounded by enriching culture, both natural and historic and people whose passion it is to share that culture with anyone willing to listen.
‘Heart of the Gold Coast’ is an incredibly enriching tour package for both locals who may be unaware of our extensive Aboriginal history and visitors who want to experience our incredible natural wonders while also learning about how they came to be.
· Pick up and drop off from your hotel
· Indigenous history + kayak + wildlife park entry
· Morning tea
· Water, sunscreen & paddling lesson
· Small groups and personal service
· The best of Burleigh Heads
· Toilets + café
· Complimentary photographs of kayaking
Tour package runs from 7.30am until 12pm through Kayak the Gold Coast.
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’ll see the precinct increase in size with an incredible new six-level Gallery that’s due to open 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
There is absolutely no doubt that good things come out of hard times and it’s absolutely incredible to see Gold Coast businesses rallying around one another, and the public in general at a time when we most need each other.
The latest business to come out in support of those who have lost a significant amount of potential income is Home of the Arts (HOTA), our premier art and cultural precinct who have obviously also been adversely affected by the state of the world.
Despite that though, the team at HOTA have announced a new artists support fund that will see them offering up to $1,000 cash for projects that take no more than one week to develop and deliver.
Criena Gehrke (CEO at HOTA) said that artists are the lifeblood of HOTA and without them, there is no Home of the Arts and they need to know they are supported now more than ever. True.
It’s called the Rage Against the V(irus) Fund and it’s designed to turn downtime into a spark for innovation, using digital technology.
For Gold Coast based artists, it’s the perfect opportunity to follow through on an idea they’ve had swirling around for awhile, develop something a bit left of centre or experiment with something completely new. Creativity with no bounds, what a brilliant idea.
If you’re thinking of applying, the projects must have an online outcome, which could include a podcast, audio file, Facebook live event, video content, streaming, Instagram or other digital platforms.
The opportunity is open to artists, collectives and organisations, or artists who have a strong connection to the Gold Coast, with successful applicants to be notified within seven days of applying.
What are you waiting for friends, get out there and make something while you have some time up your sleeves.
Expressions of interest for the HOTA Artist Fund – Rage Against The V(irus) are open from Friday 20 March to Friday 15 May, with all projects to be completed by Friday 29 May, 2020.
Good one HOTA.
Words by Kirra Smith