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Four local artists have today been revealed as the recipients of HOTA’s ArtKeeper program, an initiative supporting emerging and established artists to keep creating by putting them on the payroll.

Out of 150 applications received and 11 candidates shortlisted for interview, Gold Coast locals Jay Jermyn, Daniele Constance, Daniel Cabrera (Dani Cabs) and Michelle Le Plastrier have been named the newest team members to join the Home of the Arts.

Following a callout in August this year announcing the $97,000 investment, HOTA was on the hunt to fulfil its commitment to keep artists employed and creating with ArtKeeper.

The program was initiated in response to the conditions produced by the pandemic, and an opportunity to engage artists to create great art, while supporting the City’s cultural and artistic evolution.

As the 2021 iteration of HOTA’s Creative Development Program which launched in 2019,

HOTA CEO Criena Gehrke said this program was a unique offering in this space.

“HOTA stands by its commitment to our artists by providing them with job security and opportunity. As one of the only places in Australia to offer this type of initiative, we’re helping them to weather the challenges of the global pandemic,” she said.

“Artists make an invaluable contribution to society and provide us with the means to contextualise and understand our environment.”

“As we emerge from the most challenging of times, these artists will create new and accessible works with space and expertise but underpinned by job security, a regular income and emotional support that being employed by HOTA provides.”

Each artist has been offered a fixed-term employment contract to work on their proposed art project at HOTA for three days per week until March 2022.

They will be encouraged to take risks, experiment, and create great art in conjunction with internationally acclaimed playwright and artistic director, Wesley Enoch AM, who has been engaged as Artist Provocateur for the roles.

“Artists and creative thinkers shape the way we see the world, explore complex ideas and help bring us together,” he said.

“The Gold Coast is a place full of creative thinkers who often get lost in the shadow of the tourism and lifestyle image of surf, sun and beach. Artistic endeavours, creativity and an entrepreneurial spirit are the human face of the Gold Coast.”

As a musician, industrial designer and contemporary artist from Coolangatta, Jay Jermyn’s work explores the relationship between digital, natural and human phenomena. His time with HOTA will be spent looking at the experiential similarities of electronic dance music and nature, working on a sculptural installation consisting of music equipment, glass and stainless steel 3D printing.

Daniele Constance is a participatory artist with a focus on social, civic and inclusive arts practices. Her works draw from direct experience and social arts practices, often using verbatim, documentary, community engaged, site-specific and contemporary art practices. Daniele will develop three key projects including a large-scale choreographic work responding to the effects tourists play on natural environments; a new work in development exploring temporary structures which engage local native bird life; and an artistic and culinary exchange between the artist and the community, where a meal and a conversation is shared in exchange for a hand-built ceramic plate created in response to that experience.

Described as a multi-dimensional fun facilitator, Daniel Cabrera (Dani Cabs), plays with photo/video, dance, site activation, interactive/physical theatre and clowning to explore and strengthen relationships within community. Dani’s work will entail the development of a sequel to his 2016 solo clown show, Poncho Orange, through research and working in studio with performance techniques such as storytelling, physical comedy, clowning and spoken word.

Michelle Le Plastrier is a multi-disciplinary artist with a focus on hand-building ceramics, exploring the balance between sculptural and functional. Her body of work will include hosting collage workshops that require community participation, hypothetically exploring ways in which flora and fauna may evolve to survive global warming. The workshops will theorise these adaptations, which will then become the basis for larger sculptures in her body of work.

Through the Creative Development Program, HOTA has so far supported 63 projects involving over 120 local artists to date, providing over $230,000 in direct cash support and hundreds of hours of in-kind labour, space, and assistance to develop and deliver new works.

For more information on the ArtKeeper program, visit their website:

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