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YEAHYEAHCHLOE (image supplied)
YEAHYEAHCHLOE (image supplied)

If you’ve been to the HOTA Gallery recently, you would have been delighted by the ever-pink and cutest set up in the Children’s Gallery of the epic $60.5 million building. Named ‘Dumpling Dreams‘, this exhibition is the handy work of the Brisbane-based artist, YEAHYEAHCHLOE, and encourages kids (and adults) of all ages to let their imagination run wild. Running until Monday 18th April 2022 this epic exhibition is guaranteed to make your heart sing. So while the exhibition is running, we spoke to YEAHYEAHCHLOE, and got to know her artistic process and what’s on the horizon for the mover and shaker.

What do you love the most about the Gold Coast?
It’s amazing natural landscape.

Tell us a bit about you.
I’m an artist currently based in Brisbane and I work across digital, painting and sculpture. I studied art at university but didn’t really follow it through at first, it wasn’t until I started playing with digital mediums in 2016 that I started taking my practice a bit more seriously. Initially, I grew my community through Instagram, and it all launched off from there for me.

Dumpling Dreams by YEAHYEAHCHLOE at HOTA (image supplied)
Dumpling Dreams by YEAHYEAHCHLOE at HOTA (image supplied)

What do you love the most about being creative?
It allows me to connect to the world around me.

Where do you draw your inspiration from?
My work is an extension of my own lived experiences – the connections I make, my experiences, how I feel and the people I meet along the way.

Explain to us the process you go through when creating a piece of work.
I will usually start off digitally sketching out ideas and concepts on the iPad and then go in and lay down linework and colours. From there, sometimes the work will be finished and sometimes I go on to develop it further – into a painting or an animation or a sculpture.

What is your favourite piece of art you have ever created and why?
I don’t really feel like I have favourites – they are all my children. Some have more of a personal connection for me but usually, I like to keep that to myself.

YEAHYEAHCHLOE at work (Photography by Studio Gentle, 2020)
YEAHYEAHCHLOE at work (Photography by Studio Gentle, 2020)

What do you consider your greatest career achievement?
It’s hard to define ‘greatest’ – the things I consider achievements have all been great in their own way – whether it’s getting asked to collaborate with a brand or making new connections or even a personal creative breakthrough – it’s a bit cheesy – but they all hold ‘greatness’ in different ways.

Tell us what it was like when you found out you were going to be featured in the HOTA Children’s Gallery?
It was exciting – it was a real moment of possibilities.

What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?
Keep going.

What is one thing you are looking forward to in 2022?
Hopefully travel!

YEAHYEAHCHLOE at work (image supplied)

What can we expect from you in the next 12 months?
More works, more NFTs, more juicy peeling videos…

When you come to the Gold Coast, what are your favourites…
Café: I like the Portuguese tarts at Custard Canteen
Coffee spot: At my friends house – fellow artist Samuel Leighton-Dore
Restaurant: Rick Shores, but keen to try Labart!

How do you choose to spend your weekends?
Weekends are for a little bit of work, food, family and friends.

Dion Parker

He’s been a Gold Coaster for the past 25 years but 2018 is the one he’ll never forget because just last week artist Dion Parker was crowned co-winner of the Neumann Family SWELL Sculpture Award.

His sculpture, created with fellow artist Andrew Cullen, Prickles the Unhugable Bear, stands 3.5 metres tall on the sands of Currumbin Beach as part of the 2018 sweSWELL Sculpture Festival.

We sat down for a chat with Dion about the message behind the giant teddy bear and how the piece of art went from conception to creation.

How long have you been a Gold Coast local?
About 25 years.

What do you love about living here?
I love the lifestyle. I’ve spent most of my time on the southern Gold Coast, I love the beaches and the hinterland. I now live in Tallebudgera Valley, it’s really peaceful and quiet and I love that you don’t have to drive too far inland and to feel like you’re in another world.

Tell us about your sculpture in this years’ SWELL Sculpture Festival…
Prickles the Unhugable Bear was created by myself and another local artist, Andrew Cullen. We came up with the concept over a few beers and decided the idea of a giant barbed wire teddy bear was a good one. The statement we’re trying to make with the piece is that teddy bears are generally quite huggable, you think of love and affection when you think of a teddy bear. Kids are given teddy’s and they might give them a name and go on adventures or tell the teddy their secrets and to do all that sort of stuff, they use their imagination and creativity. These days it seems like kids are just handed things like tablets, phones and video games to play with and I believe they don’t encourage that creativity and imagination. When teddy bears get worn out, someone might stitch the eye back on but these days when something breaks, it gets thrown out and you get a new one. It’s not really a good thing to be encouraging children to create a throw away society.

Why do you think Prickles’ message is an important one?
Both Andrew and I have children and we both grew up without the Internet. I remember when Sega Master Systems and the original Nintendos came out, Mum always told me not to spend too much time on them and to go outside and play. I think that’s even more important these days.

What does it take to build a sculpture like yours?
It’s quite a process and months and months of work. Once we had the idea, I sat down and did a sketch, then we made a maquette that was 25cm tall and a very close representation of the Prickles you see on the beach. Both of us have entered SWELL about 15 times between us and we’ve learnt a lot as artists about what can help to have a successful festival. It was at least two months of sculpting, we made the body in six pieces then transported each one to the beach separately, wired it all together and had a crane lower the head on.

How did it feel to win the Neumann Family SWELL Sculpture Award?
Both Andrew and I believed we had a piece that, if we could make what we thought we could, we were in with a chance but when we saw the quality of the other sculptures, we realised it wouldn’t be an easy thing to win. It was a massive surprise and relief when they read our names out, we were so happy.

What are your thoughts on the Coasts’ growing art and culture scene?
I started taking art seriously in 2011 and since then the scene has grown amazingly. I think the Coast has a really strong underground arts scene and it’s a really good time to be an artist on the Gold Coast at the moment. There’s a lot of new creative spaces appearing and a lot of support for artists. I have a studio behind Dust Temple in Currumbin and there’s a really good community there. Festivals like SWELL bring thousands of people in because it’s such a beautiful location and I think lots of people who might not go to an art gallery go for a look and that brings money and awareness into the local community too.

What’s on for the rest of 2018 for you?
Andrew and I plan to enter some more festivals interstate with Prickles. I’ve just got a job with HOTA, installing exhibitions, so I’m really excited about working in a creative industry and doing something I’m really passionate about.

What’s the best piece of life advice you’ve ever received?
The harder you work, the luckier you get and I really feel like that has been the case with us at SWELL this year.

Tell us your favourites on the Coast…
Beach: Definitely The Alley
Café: Dust Temple
Restaurant: Zipang in Currumbin
How does your weekend usually look: I spend time hanging out with my son, lots of time at the studio the last few months so I’m excited to have some leisure time for the next few weekends

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.

5 must-do’s at HOTA’s Pick ‘N’ Mix series

Pick N Mix at HOTA Outdoor Stage (image supplied)
Pick N Mix at HOTA Outdoor Stage (image supplied)

The Gold Coast’s favourite cultural playground, HOTA, Home of the Arts, is the place to be this summer with a brand-new and exciting program – Pick ‘N’ Mix – taking place. Expect a medley of nostalgia and fun, including 80’s concerts and roller nights. Pick ‘N’ Mix is dedicated to art, interactive experiences, sunset cocktails and a whole lot more.

Here’s our pick of a crammed lineup of the goings-on.

Fridays on the BIG Lawn with Inside Gold Coast
Our very own event series is getting bigger for summer. Grab some drinks, hear live music, and wave goodbye to a big week. It’s the Fridays on the Lawn that you know and adore but elevated for a summer takeover! And as a result, HOTA have picked up the artists and the Lawn Bar and moved locations to the ‘Big Lawn’. So prepare to take in the Outdoor Stage in all its glory! Get amongst some Lawn games, and let the summer vibes start your weekend off on the right foot.
When: 14, 21 & 28 January 2022

Pick N Mix Yoga at HOTA (image supplied)
Pick N Mix Yoga at HOTA (image supplied)

Summer Flow Yoga
Paired with the sounds of nature and live music, start your summer Sundays with yoga. Join yoga guru Ian Cariaga to experience yoga with strings, sitar, and zither before perhaps taking a meander through the HOTA Markets (open until 11.30am) or the Palette High Tea at Palette Restaurant (available from 10am).
When: 16, 23, 30 January 2022

Arts Mixtape: Yours for Summer
HOTA Gallery’s inaugural summer exhibition is brimming with an assortment of themes, ideas and mechanisms, including photography, painting, sculpture and video by some of Australia’s foremost artists. From retro-fused moments, mesmerising scenes, and definite nods to the spirit of a Gold Coast summer; expect a touch of cheekiness! The humble mixtape (for those of us who remember cassettes) has been there for life’s significant moments. Art Mixtape: Yours for Summer takes this ideology and is a mashup of recollections of summers past and of the art that still speaks to us today.
When: Throughout summer

Roller Nights
Grab your roller skates, blades or scooter and wheel your way to HOTA forecourt for an amusing social skate evening in the outdoors, complete with DJ, a pop-up bar, and tasty treats. It doesn’t matter if you’re a beginner or a pro, a roller derby superstar or roller newbie; the hosts will guide you through activities, games, and rollerography for a wheelie-good time! (Pun fully intended.)
When: 13 & 20 January 2022

Dumpling Dreams by YEAHYEAHCHLOE
Grab the kids and head into HOTA Children’s Gallery for this interactive experience. Brought to you by the beloved Brisbane-based artist YEAHYEAHCHLOE, you’ll only be limited to your imagination in this space. Creatives (of all ages) can craft and cook up a world of dreaminess within an infinitely colourful space. It’s worthy of a visit, even just for an insta post at minimum!
When: Throughout summer

Words by Alex Mitcheson.

Dumpling Dreams by YEAHYEAHCHLOE at HOTA (image supplied)
Dumpling Dreams by YEAHYEAHCHLOE at HOTA (image supplied)
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