It’s hard to believe that Robina Town Centre is 20. Those who’ve been on the Gold Coast a while would remember what Robina was like before the centre opened. Whether you like shopping or not, there’s no question that Robina Town Centre has become the suburb’s thumping heart.
And its evolution as something much more than a shopping destination continues as it marks its 20th anniversary.
As part of a two-month series of events, Robina Town Centre has commissioned a celebratory centrepiece, a one-of-a-kind, interactive art installation by American artist Charles Gadeken. The artwork, called Aurora, is a towering 9m tall weeping willow with a trunk 2.5m in diameter and a 12m wide canopy. And it’s come all the way from Burning Man to the Gold Coast.
Making its debut at the much bucketlisted Burning Man in Nevada, Aurora features more than 40,000 LED lights that transition slowly through the colour spectrum, reflected off 4200 hand-beaten copper leaves.
At night the installation will come to life, with mesmerising interactive light displays. A combination of unique technology and sustainable energy, the public artwork allows participants to “paint” in light using Aurora as their canvas.
Aurora is controlled by an interactive website which allows the public to design and play with the lights within the tree. Via that website people can curate a signature light transition, giving Aurora their own personal touch and making the tree an ever changing public artwork.
Artist Charles Gadeken said he is creating an environment of mythical beauty that “instils a sense of awe, wonder and joy to those who experience it.”
“It acts as a unique and unexpected element placed in the world that empowers and transforms the viewer at the moment of participation,” he said.
Aurora will be located on The Promenade from Thursday 28 April until October 2016. To complement the installation’s arrival at Robina Town Centre, the community, in collaboration with Charles Gadeken, will create a freestanding replica Aurora tree.
People will contribute to the artwork by personalising a pre-cut copper leaf that is then affixed to the tree. The result will be an inspiring artwork to be donated to the Gold Coast community. The project will also raise funds for Make-A-Wish Foundation, with a gold coin donation collected from every participant.
The Community Art Project will be on display until mid July.
In addition to Aurora, an interactive exhibition shedding light on the history of the Gold Coast will be installed. The aim is to encourage locals to discover iconic moments, landmarks and people that helped influence and make the Gold Coast what it is today. The exhibition will be presented through video and physical displays.
The exhibition includes a vintage meter maid bikini and crown, Stephanie Gilmore’s first prize Roxy Pro trophy, a Paula Stafford original bikini, vintage GC landmark memorabilia including a Gold Coast Monopoly board and more.
More at robinatowncentre.com.au.