Despite the COVID-19 challenges faced by the arts and culture community of the Gold Coast, brand new The HIVE Art Gallery has given local culture vultures a new beacon of hope, as well as a reason to connect, escape and create.
Nestled in the heart of Burleigh Heads on the corner of Park Avenue, The HIVE Art Gallery is the Gold Coast’s newest creative art space where locals can peruse the gallery, connect with like-minded individuals and participate in workshops to learn new skills.
Joanne Ellings, The HIVE Art Gallery Director and long term Gold Coast resident, is a talented artist herself who specialises in Italian ‘Fresco’ style painting, something she says will set The HIVE apart from other contemporary galleries on the Coast.
“We want to encourage locals to express their creativity in new ways, particularly throughout the COVID-19 period,” Jo explains. “By offering a number of workshops, such as Fresco painting, watercolour, still life and film photography to name a few, as well as a daily studio space for artists, we want to add some colour to our coastline and celebrate the incredible talent that surrounds us.”
Fresco painting, meaning ‘fresh’ in Italian, is a style of art which was popularised during the Renaissance. Created by painting directly onto thinly laid, fresh plaster, Fresco offers a permanence and texture which is rarely found in other forms of art, and encourages artists to find the beauty in the ordinary.
Jo is eager to bring this style exclusively to the Gold Coast, following her experience with renowned Iguarnieri Contemporary Fresco Studio in Florence and then a subsequent visit from the Iguarnieri brothers, which left her with many of their paintings.
“I think the creative spirit has really come to the fore in this time. I think people realise we can’t keep doing the same old thing, so they’re looking for something new,” Jo says.
“We’ve all been variously affected and isolated, and it’s given us that time to find a way to connect in a different sort of way – even with ourselves.”
This time of reflection gave Jo the impetus to move her studio out of the house along with the Iguarnieri paintings and set up the space she’d been dreaming of. A lifelong bee enthusiast, Jo found naming The Hive one of the easiest parts of the process.
“The bees thing has always been a personal thing,” she tells us. “I’ve always been inspired by how a colony of such small creatures can produce and nurture each other and keep each other healthy, build incredible structures and hold their community together, and I can relate it to life here and now, where we have to look after each other, and work together to stay well.”
Resident artist and workshop coordinator, Julie Middleton, says that she is thrilled to see the HIVE buzzing with life.
“Artists and creatives are born storytellers… from poetry, to literature, to music and art – we naturally tell tales through a variety of media,” says Julie.
“Here at The HIVE, we’re all inclusive and our doors are open for every artist, whether you want to spend the day in the studio, host an exhibition… or simply stop by for a chat!”
Set to officially launch on Saturday, September 12, The HIVE will become a place to collaborate with other creatives, encouraging even the most timid of souls to release their inner artist.
The official launch event is sold out, but with the gallery open daily 10-4pm (Sunday and Monday by appointment), workshops held Tuesday and Wednesday nights from 6-8pm and “Buzz Nights” on Fridays where you can BYO records to play on the vintage 1950s record player, The HIVE will soon become a place to relax, let your hair down and let your creative mind wander.
The Hive’s website is coming soon. In the meantime, you can follow them on Facebook.