The Gold Coast has come a long way since the 1990s, when it was more famous for pub fights and botox than today, where there are amazing places to eat, an emerging music scene and of course, art. Bringing a touch of class and culture to Gold Coast Highway at Mermaid Beach, Byron Arts Magazine (BAM!) Gallery is showcasing a diverse range of quality photography and art in the gallery space, which are all available to purchase.
With a range of both renown Australian and international artists, the small space is absolutely brimming with diversity and enough intriguing artwork to absorb you for hours, transporting you from the relatively noisy highway, to the world of your imagination.
Kicking off the opening in style, BAM! Gallery’s launch party on Saturday afternoon was an event that had Gold Coast locals flocking to the space, sipping on drinks provided by Stone and Wood and Brookies Gin and nibbling on delicious and very moreish delicacies provided by Light Years. However, the night was not about the food and drink, people were there to see art and given the fact the gallery space was crowded with admiring art lovers, BAM! Gallery seems to have delivered.
Alana Wilson, Co-Director of the gallery, said she was really looking forward to bringing the art space to Gold Coast locals to enjoy for the next three months.
‘We’re really happy with the plethora of talent we’ve managed to acquire for this exhibition,’ she said.
‘It’s such an honour to showcase a couple of our favourite international artists, Renato Grome and London-based Nasser Azam, as well as local talent like Jack Bailey and Courtney Cook. The best thing about the gallery is also the fact that everything is for sale, so if you really like one of the pieces, you can make it yours,’ she said.
Alongside the aforementioned talent, there is also emerging artist, Cassandra Scott-Finn, as well as Archibald finalist Blak Douglas and his tongue in cheek art. BAM! Gallery also features renowned Australian artist James Gleeson and his chilling paintings, as well as art from the late Frank Hodgkinson and abstract landscape painter, Vicki Stavrou, from the Northern Rivers.
BAM! Gallery has enough diversity for everyone – as people discussed the timeliness of Bailey’s photograph of a sunset at Mount Warning, shrouded in smoke and proffering a harsh reminder of the drought, Courtney Cook’s moving sculptural piece, ‘You Are My Rock, You Are My Mirror’ brought a meditative and reflective aura to the gallery, leaving onlookers mesmerised by the ever-rotating mirror and the eye-catching crystal at its’ centre. Then there were the two hauntingly beautiful pictures by James Gleeson from his series, ‘Judgement of Paris’ that made your skin crawl given its’ surreal sense of despair, and Cinzia Gaia’s seductively enticing black and white photograph that left you creating your own narrative to the slice of the story she’d shared.
As the vibrant art space began filling up with appreciative Gold Coast locals, all mingling with the artists themselves and the Directors of the gallery, Pheobe Brown, co-director, said she was so excited about not only the launch being such a success, but also being able to highlight the talent of both local and international artists.
‘It’s not everyday you can walk into a pop-up gallery in Mermaid Beach and see the likes of Nasser Azam or James Gleeson hanging on the wall, let alone be able to purchase their artwork,’ she said.
‘It’s such a pleasure to be able to turn our passion for art into something everyone can enjoy and we’re going to ensure that our gallery is the talk of the town, so watch this space,’ she said.
BAM! Gallery is a must-see space – it’s a place where you can forget about who and where you are, and instead, immerse yourself in another world, a combination of fantasy, reality and the surreal. A world in which you get to choose what it means to you, and how you interpret it.