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Contemporary cultural precinct HOTA, Home of the Arts has today unveiled a major new outdoor artwork by Ramesh Mario Nithiyendran at the entrance of the new HOTA Gallery and announced how Gold Coasters can get their hands on tickets to the opening weekend.

Commissioned Melbourne Art Foundation (MAF) and HOTA, Sri-Lankan born, Sydney- based artist Ramesh Mario Nithiyendran has created a monumental six-metre-high sculpture, presented at the lower ground entrance to the Gallery.

Predominantly composed of bronze, Nithiyendran has combined a range of materials including concrete, neon and fibreglass to create a multi-coloured avatar reflecting the vibrancy of the HOTA Gallery building. 

Holding a smiling neon companion and standing on a geometric plinth, this is Nithiyendran’s largest sculpture to date and the artist’s first ambitious work in the public domain.

Criena Gehrke, Chief Executive Officer of HOTAsaid:With less than two months before we open the new HOTA Gallery, the unveiling of Ramesh Mario Nithiyendran’s incredible sculpture is both a tease and a promise of the significant, contemporary work visitors can expect when they take a first look into this amazing new gallery.”

This significant artwork will welcome visitors inside the new HOTA Gallery with outstretched arms and expressive and commanding tones when the doors open to the public for the very first time on May 8.

Known for his challenging and innovative references of ideas of monumentality and idolatry, Nithiyendran’s new work is an extension and consolidation of his practice.

The work gestures to a range of global sources that link to my cultural background and contemporary culture,” said Nithiyendran.

“I hope local and international visitors engage with the work by considering the meanings and significance of idolatry and sculptural monuments in public spaces.”

It continues Nithiyendran’s interest in the assumed authority and function of large-scale figurative sculptures that frame the entrances of various architectural forms and civic spaces across cultures and centuries.

Melbourne Art Fair CEO and Fair Director, Maree Di Pasquale, said: “Ramesh’s rough-edged, vibrant, new-age idol is an important addition to HOTA’s growing contemporary collection. And although the pandemic has meant that our audiences will not experience the eighth major MAF Commission at Melbourne Art Fair, we encourage all to celebrate its unveiling at this game-changing Queensland institution.”

HOTA also announced today how art lovers and members of the public can get their hands on tickets for the HOTA Gallery opening weekend, simply by signing up via their website to receive a special booking link, which also puts them in with the chance of winning a weekend away.

Today marks twelve months since HOTA was closed to the public due to Covid. In what has been an extraordinary and surreal year, today we’re delighted to announce how you can register for tickets for the opening weekend of the HOTA Gallery. The City has been waiting for this moment for a long time and we can’t wait to throw open the doors to Gold Coasters on Saturday 8 May,” said Ms Gehrke.

To be one of the first to explore this extraordinary building, sign up at and we’ll let you know how you can get your hands on opening weekend tickets.”

“With all new works from Gold Coast artists indoors, art installations and live music from local bands outdoors, the HOTA Gallery opening weekend will be a real moment of celebration for the city.”

To celebrate the opening weekend of the HOTA Gallery, the latest addition to Australia’s dynamic new arts precinct, HOTA will present an eclectic music program on its Outdoor Stage all day on Saturday 8 and Sunday 9 May.

To amplify the local flavour, a pop-up market will sell the finest artisan wares by Gold Coast makers, accompanied with pockets of local food and drink. The full program for the opening weekend will be announced next month.

The $60.5 million HOTA Gallery will be the largest public gallery outside a capital city in Australia. Designed by award-winning Melbourne-based architects ARM, the Gallery will include over 2,000m2 of AAA rated, international standard exhibition space, 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). 

The gallery’s inaugural program includes world premiere international exhibitions, Australian exclusives, and new commissions, launching with the exhibition Solid Gold: Artists from Paradise, featuring new commissions by 19 established and emerging Australian artists including Hiromi Tango, Michael Candy, Samuel Leighton-Dore and Libby Harward.

Other major exhibitions include Lyrical Landscapes: The Art of William Robinson (31July 2021) and a world premiere exhibition exclusive to the Gold Coast and Australia, Contemporary Masters from New York: Art from the Mugrabi Collection (13 November 2021), drawn entirely from the famed art collector’s private collection. 

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