Skip links
Published on: Uncategorised


Contemporary cultural precinct HOTA, Home of the Arts today announced details of 19 new artist commissions to be unveiled in the first exhibition presented in the new HOTA Gallery, opening to the public on 8 May 2021SOLID GOLD: Artists from Paradise will launch the Gallery’s inaugural exhibition program, with a series of major new indoor and outdoor works from emerging and established Australian artists and collectives, each with a personal connection to the Gold Coast region. 

Criena Gehrke, HOTA CEO said: ‘You don’t get to call yourself Home of the Arts without having a deep commitment to local artists. The Gold Coast has a rich history of innovation and creativity, so it’s absolutely fitting that we’re putting our local talent front and centre in the first ever exhibition in the new Gallery.’ 

‘Exclusively developed by HOTA, Solid Gold: Artists from paradise reflects a diverse and modern city and positions local artists in a national conversation.’

Presented throughout the Gallery and the surrounding HOTA parklands, SOLID GOLD: Artists from Paradise (8 May – 4 July 2021) will include large-scale sculpture, weaving, textiles, ceramics, painting, photography, immersive video and installation. Commissioned by the Gallery, artists including Hiromi Tango, Michael Candy, Elliot Bastianon, CJ Anderson and Libby Harward have created work exploring the relationship between people and place, the human impact on the natural world, as well as the urban environment and beauty of the landscape.  

Commissioned artworks presented in SOLID GOLD: Artists from Paradise include:

  • Torres Strait Islander artist Lisa Sorbie Martin’s suspended sculpture will be installed in the new Gallery’s 11-metre-high foyer. Created with 120 fibre-optic strands, the luminous work will remain in the gallery for the duration of its opening year. 

  • Melbourne-based artist Jason Haggerty will relay real time wave data from the region’s coastline to create a hypnotic digital installation spanning 14 metres. 

  • Ali Bezer’s practice explores the experience of sound processed as image and has created an 8-metre aluminium and bitumen sculpture, coated in blue and silver, to represent the repetitive sound of the ocean at shore break. 

  • Japanese-Australian artist Hiromi Tango will present a new immersive installation with the colours of the rainbow looping out over the visitor. 

  • In the parkland surrounding HOTA Gallery, Gold Coast artist Erica Gray will present a series of soft sculptural forms using textiles to represent corals and other elements of the coastline. 

  • Samuel Leighton-Dore, playing with the definition of what a ‘cloud’ is defined as in a digital era, will create an interactive cloud installation, merging ceramics with augmented reality.
  • Gold Coast based ceramicist Claudia De Salvo will present a performative sculptural work featuring 100 clay vessels on a large plinth that are filled with water.
  • Quandamooka artist Libby Harward will explore water systems and sovereignty in a new film work, positioning herself among pipes and hoses against a background of mangrove and tea tree swamp muds from Gold Coast wetlands. 
  • New media artist Michael Candy, internationally renowned for his installations exploring social experiments and ecological interventions in public space, will suspend a visual recreation of the sun inside the gallery. 
  • Women’s Collective Whatu Manawa, whose works preserve traditional Maori practices within contemporary art, will create a Pātaka (storage house) with woven Tukutuku panels.
  • Canberra-based artist Elliot Bastianon, currently featured in the NGV Triennial, will present abstract works incorporating his signature style of immersing materials in copper sulphate to create a crust of blue crystals. 

  • Probing the intersection of politics and ecology Nicola Moss’ collaged works highlight the importance of green spaces amid congested urban environments. Based in the Gold Coast Hinterland surrounded by the natural world, Moss has, for the first time, painted large-scale collages of the valley she lives in.  

  • CJ Anderson, extends his practice in object and furniture designs, to create distressed sculptures questioning the need for perfection in design. 

  • Interdisciplinary artist Mimi Dennett, known for immersive site-specific installations and collaborative performances,will present aliving sculpture of edible, exotic and Indigenous plants that will be embedded into the landscape. 
  • JIL Studio will incorporate endemic and rare plants nestled within a sculpture of curves and voids to reflect irrevocable change on local topography.
  • Mary Elizabeth Barron, drawing on her practice ofcombining traditional craft techniques with an innovative use of recycled materials, has created a large-scale bobbin lace charting the Nerang River from the hinterland to the ocean, forming a contemporary portrait of the city.

  • Contemporary figurative painter Abbey McCulloch will present vibrant paintings merging the human figure with dramatic landscapes, matched with ceramic sculptures distorted into beautiful, bright and strange shapes, presenting a vision of the individual in a wild and rocky world.

  • Aaron Chapman, known for his work across a range of mediums including public art, photography and sculpture, will present a series of large-format photographs documenting the iconic yellow-hooded lifeguard towers dotted along the length of the Gold Coast.

  • Kirsty Bruce, celebrated for her richly detailed and multi-layered artworks, will present a series of artworks inspired by images in magazines which evoke a sense of vulnerability, melancholy, dramatic tension or introspection. 

Tracy Cooper-Lavery, Director, Gallery and Visual Arts, HOTA said: “Solid Gold features commissions by some of the most exciting visual artists working in Australia today, each with strong personal ties to the Gold Coast. The exhibition showcases the thriving creative wealth of the region and provides important support to local and Australian practising artists. You can forget everything you think you knew about the Gold Coast.  We are home to incredible artists, our City Collection is more than you ever imagined, and our major exhibitions are ambitious and unbound by tradition.”

Opening on 8 May 2021, the new $60.5 million HOTA Gallery will be the largest public gallery outside a capital city in Australia, spanning six levels and presenting a dynamic program of world premiere international exhibitions, Australian exclusives and new commissions. Designed by award-winning Melbourne-based architects ARM, the gallery will include over 2000m2 of AAA rated, international standard exhibition space and 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.


SOLID GOLD: Artists from Paradise 

8 May – 4 July 2021

Sat-Thu 10am – 5pm / Fri 10am – 8pm 

HOTA Gallery, 135 Bundall Rd, Surfers Paradise 

Free – Timed ticketing (bookings open in early 2021)

Selected artists: CJ Anderson | Mary Elizabeth Barron | Elliot Bastianon | Ali Bezer | Kirsty Bruce | Michael Candy | Aaron Chapman | Abbey McCulloch | Mimi Dennett | Claudia De Salvo | Erica Gray | Jason Haggerty | Libby Harward | Jacob, Isaac and Lachlan Hough (JIL Studios) | Samuel Leighton-Dore | Nicola Moss | Lisa Sorbie Martin | Hiromi Tango | Whatu Manawa Collective

Media contact: