You’ll have heard by now about HOTA – Home of the Arts’ rapid response program to support local artists. The Rage Against the V(irus) Artist Fund keeps artists earning when their livelihoods are under threat. But it also keeps artists creating art for their audiences during these times.
The whole program is about presenting art quickly, for online delivery. The concept presents an opportunity for artists to develop an imperfect and unformed idea… an idea that they may have been formulating for some time. The one thing these projects all have in common is their ability to be executed quickly.
HOTA is expecting to support 50 local artists over eight weeks, with some $50,000 disbursed to those creative workers. There are artists creating in-home concerts, web series, short films, photography, singles and EPs, podcasts, zines, digital art, live interviews and more.
Here are five of our favourites, recently announced:
UNPACKED by Zac Fahey
Zac Fahey has been living and breathing music for the past 15 years. Starting his career as a musician after graduating from university, he eventually gravitated towards the industry, cutting his teeth at label services company Footstomp Music and more recently freelancing with organisations as diverse as BLEACH*, Gold Coast Film Festival, BIGSOUND, ABC Radio, Music Industry College, Blank GC and TAFE Queensland.
In this project, ‘Unpacked’, Zac will launch a video interview series focussing on Gold Coast musicians who have released an exceptional single over the past 12 months. Each interview will dive deep into the inner workings of the song, deconstructing musical parts, discussing inspiration, lyrical content, recording and writing techniques. The interviews will discuss technical aspects of music in everyday terms, appealing to all audiences both musical and not, in a relaxed and casual manner.
DISRUPTING THE DISRUPTION by Lystra Bisshop
Lystra Bisschop is an award-winning writer, growing up in far north Queensland and descending from the Guugu Yimithirr, Birri Gubba, Torres Strait Islander people (Erub Island). In 2018, Lystra was the recipient of the black&write! fellowship, a national writing competition run by the State Library of Queensland, for her manuscript The Upwelling. She has recently also signed a book publishing contract with Hachette. Now the Managing Editor of iconic surf publication Surfing Life magazine, Lystra is also a visual communicator, teacher of the deaf, graphic designer, photographer and storyteller.
“’Rona has been challenging,” she said. “Self-isolation, job losses or shifts from the norm, family working and schooling from home and that pressure of health and financial uncertainties.”
“I’ve had a head start: self-isolation (bedridden for three years), homeschooling (two years), working from home (15 years).”
Lystra will be putting her writing and life skills to use and will write an article for HOTA about practical strategies that work for her in dealing with these times. She’s hoping to inspire artists to keep moving in their creative outputs.
OK, ZOOMER by Artwork-Agency
Zoom has quickly become the go-to for digital meetings. It’s great – until you’re in a serious discussion and realise your washing is hanging behind you and your kids start wreaking havoc and running around in the nude. Enter – Art-Work Agency’s OK, Zoomer Virtual Background series which will be made available for download via the Art-Work Agency website and HOTA platforms shortly.
Art-Work is using this funding to provide resources for their five Gold Coast-based designers and artists to create a series of Zoom virtual backgrounds. The artists have been challenged to “reimagine their ideal working space” and create a background scene in response to this brief, a virtual opportunity to explore the concept of remote work in a creative and uplifting way.
Founded by Claudio Kirac and Paul Bow, Art-Work Agency stems from a belief in doing good work with good people. AW is a fusion of Claudio and Paul’s collective skill sets – a perfect blend of ‘art’ and ‘work’.
“At the heart, we’re a multidisciplinary creative agency working across branding, photography, art and design,” Claudio said. “From creative branding through to large-scale public art activations, we work with people and companies who share our values.”
“We put quality over everything else and believe that well executed ideas equal opportunity and that smiling regularly helps us live longer.”
ORANGE by Daniele Constance
Orange’ is a striking and almost unmissable giant being – moving, living, day by day, viewed from within the confines of a two bedroom apartment in Coolangatta. Striving to be an enigma in an increasingly restricted and familiar environment.
Drawing on performance, choreographic and photographic practices, ‘Orange’ aims to capture the domestic duties, joys, sorrows, absurdities and small freedoms of our new normal lifestyle during the Covid-19 crisis. This photo and short film series follows a largely mundane routine, providing a glimpse into the private world of this individual, who in many ways, reflects all of us.
This work will be a collaboration between performance maker Daniele Constance and photographer/videographer Jorge Serra as they share a living space together during isolation.
Daniele is a participatory artist, art therapist and producer, with a strong focus on socially engaged art making practices. She creates artistic works that draw from direct experience and storytelling, using verbatim, documentary, contemporary and embodied performance practices. She has trained with artistic companies including: Rawcus (Melbourne), Force Majeure (Sydney), one step at a time like this (Melbourne), Ping Chong+Company (NYC), which has given her a strong and diverse embodied performance language, understanding of and continued practice with: dance theatre, participatory art, site specific performance, large scale and long standing community arts projects. Daniele is also the proud Director and Co Founder of social enterprise Suitcase Rummage, which takes place in Brisbane, Melbourne, Canberra, Sydney and regional areas across the country.
THE LIFE OF DUSTY by Dion Parker
His art has been appearing around the Gold Coast for years – from SWELL Sculpture Festival to HOTA’s 2017 Christmas Commission – and now, Dion Parker’s signature character ‘Lil Dusty’ will appear in a series of new animations, launching on HOTA’s social channels in May 2020. Dion will create all the animations from his iPad while the world is in shut down. Fans will be able to tune in every day to discover what daily activities Lil Dusty gets up to!
Dion Parker is one of our favourite Gold Coast artists. He has a multidisciplinary practice which sees him draw, paint and create digital art and animations. His sculptural works use materials such as bronze, timber, cast resin, recycled materials and steel and he is known for his humorous, innocent yet cheeky and beautiful works, predominantly featuring his signature character, ‘Lil Dusty’.
Dion has exhibited 2D and 3D works in group and solo shows around Queensland and interstate. His work resides in public and private collections around Australia and overseas.
In 2018 Dion won the Swell Sculpture Festival Major Award for his collaboration with Andrew Cullen titled ‘Prickles the Unhuggable Bear’, a four-metre-tall teddy bear made from recycled barbed wire and reo bar, now residing at M-Arts Precinct in Murwillumbah.
In 2012 he received the Jennie Neumann emerging artist award at Swell Sculpture Festival.
For the last five years, Dion has created the sculptural trophies and posters for the Gold Coast Music Awards, with winners including Amy Shark, Karl S Williams and Saint Lane.
Follow these, and other artists funded through HOTA’s Rage Against the V(irus) program at hota.com.au/rage-against-the-virus-program/.