July at the Gold Coast Gallery

Three engaging exhibitions across July at GC Art Gallery

Gold Coast City Art Gallery is full of action right now, looking at modern Australia through its own collections, the stories and creative practices of New Zealand Māori living on the Gold Coast as well as 40 years of embroidered memories.


Modern Australia is an exhibition that looks into the Australian history, popular culture, people, environment and history through key contemporary pieces from the Gallery’s own collection. One of the pieces on show is Rosemary Laing’s Burning Ayer #1, a suggestive form of Uluru, formerly known as Ayers Rock. True to a common method and theme in her work, she has used a suggestive form of a significant site and reconstructed it, in this case, as a large mound of mass-produced furniture coated in red dust.

Another view into modern Australia is John Dahlsen’s four-panel depiction of the Gold Coast from an aerial perspective, made from rubbish the artist found walking along the beach.

“Since [1997], I have scoured Australian beaches for found objects which I bring back to my studio to sift, sort, and colour-code for my assemblages, sculptures and installations,” the artist said. “My challenge as an artist is to take these found objects, which might on first meeting have no apparent dialogue, and to work with them until they speak and tell their story.”


Gold and Greenstone which is running in Gallery 1 explores points of engagement, collisions and cultural overlaps and intertwining through the art practices of six New Zealand Māori artists with family connections to the Gold Coast. As a loose collective, these artists represent the first mass trans-pacific migration of Māori communities in eight hundred years. The magnificent line up of artists in this exhibition include highly regarded sculptor, internationally renowned George Nuku, hip-hop musician, producer, and graffiti artist Darryl DLT Thomson, Ta Moko artist Turumakina Duley and an artist and curator of Māori and Pacific arts at City Gallery Wellington, Reuben Friend. The exhibition is an intelligent, contemporary and relevant look into the Māori culture on the Gold Coast, one of the largest Māori population centres in the world.


And from these contemporary landscapes and connections, the Gallery visitor is taken to a very different atmosphere through embroidery. Embroidered Memories in Gallery 2 is showcasing the skills and styles of members of The Embroiderers Guild of Queensland, Southport Branch. The traditional crafts(wo)man skills have gathered a passionate following within younger generations in the past couple of years and those young at heart will find much of worth in this exhibition.


Not a dull day in the exhibition calendar at Gold Coast City Art Gallery and how could there be with an Archibald winning war artist, traditional Māori Ta Moko artist and skilled craftswomen and artisans of embroidery all sharing the same space under one roof! Modern Australia and Gold and Greenstone are open until 19 July and Embroidered Memories until 5 July.

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