The Blank White Walls of a Contemporary Art Space

The Walls Gallery
Miami, Gold Coast


On a quiet side street in Miami, Gold Coast, in a block of industrial units you will find The Walls contemporary art space squeezed between a pool shop and a mechanic. If this isn’t contemporary reality of Gold Coast then what is? The Walls is something you don’t quite expect, something that might just surprise you and something you will likely enjoy whole-heartedly.

The Walls works by inviting expressions of interest from artists annually and selects approximately 12 artists to form the exhibition calendar. The chosen artists are invited to exhibit for 3 weeks at a time and paid a fee to help facilitate the show. It’s an even playing field for local, Australian and international artists, which creates an intriguing mix of backgrounds, nationalities, ambitions and mediums.

So far in 2014 The Walls has seen installations of forms and colour in Chris Bennie’s part-documentary, part-abstract and part-science fiction piece Fern Studio Floor; a Cosmology. It is a series of image-based works, videos and installations in < 3 by Nat Patton and Making Friends; a collaboration between Australian David Creed and Angela Rossitto, and New Zealander Justin Jade Morgan.

Leisure Kitsch is brought to The Walls in April by two Sydney based artists Bonita Bub and Marilyn Schneider. The first time collaboration of these two artists has created a piece that toys with the notion of isolating a structure from its purposeful, functional environment, introducing it to a gallery context. It becomes an object of nothing but colour, form and materials.

They take the colour palette from images of marine furnishing in yachts, bars and resorts in the famous American counterparts of the Gold Coast; Miami, Florida, and draw attention to lifestyle parallels.

Gold Coast artist and creator of The Walls exhibit, Rebecca Ross, had a vision of creating a contemporary art space on the Gold Coast dedicated to presenting experimental and innovative artwork. She saw a gap in the way art was presented on the coast and found a need for a permanent platform for artists to connect with their peers, and to engage in dialogue beyond the local geography.

Her vision took a concrete shape and form in 2013; an opportunity had presented itself through a studio residency in Rabbit + Cocoon creative precinct. Rebecca was able to open her studio to exhibit other local contemporary artists. By the end of the year the art had outgrown the space and she had to relocate. Rebecca also joined forces with fellow local artist, Dylan Quirk, to direct and coordinate the art space and its program.

Rebecca has come full circle since she graduated from Miami High School. She studied art in Brisbane; worked, lived and traveled overseas as well as across Australia before returning home to the Gold Coast.

Her own artistic ambitions had engaged her in working with mixed materials and textiles to produce works that reflect geography and cartography. And now she is using her artistic connections, vision and determination to put Gold Coast on the contemporary art map.

As Rebecca points out, there are still too many misconceptions and ideas based on the Gold Coast from some time ago when the city was seen as just a beach town and tourism centre. Rebecca and Dylan were very aware that if they were going to create a permanent platform to exhibit contemporary art, it had to attract attention from Brisbane and beyond. From the overwhelming response they have received, it’s clear they have succeeded. Exhibitions on the Gold Coast are becoming increasingly desirable, interesting and artistically fulfilling; and we, as an audience, are welcoming it with open arms.

So whether you are an art lover, an aspiring artist or simply a proud Gold Coaster pop around to The Walls and surprise yourself with an artistic experience in our own backyard! Despite all the jargon of an art connoisseur and the sometimes slightly scary reputation of contemporary art; this exhibit will entertain and inspire you regardless of your background.

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The Walls is located at 4/18 Mountainview Avenue, Miami and open on Thursdays 3.00pm – 8.00pm, Fridays – Sundays 10.00am – 3.00pm or by appointment.
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