A taste of art at HOTA Café

7 Aug 2018

A taste of art at HOTA Café

Local artist Fiona Watson was commissioned to create a mural for a prominent wall in the HOTA Café. The result: a 5.6m long mural, her largest artwork (and first mural) to date. Done in her signature style, it evokes feelings of nostalgia and days gone by.

Fiona Watson is a printmaker, who lives and works on the southern Gold Coast. She divides her time between her art practise and working as a secondary school teacher. She’s been developing her art practise since 2010 (during school holidays!). Her work reflects her love of all things worn and sentimental, the memories and stories connected to them. This is informed by her need to document, preserve and reminisce about the old Gold Coast lifestyle and architecture.

‘My immediate neighbourhood on the southern Gold Coast still holds some hidden gems, though with the continuing development these are often dwarfed by new buildings. Viewing them I wonder who has stayed here over the years and what stories those walls could tell. The best moments are when I discover homes obviously still occupied by their original owners, complete with early model cars, Hills Hoists, patio furniture and concrete pots. Like a little time capsule, their fading beauty is still charming. My media of choice, linoprinting, evokes some of that ‘worn around the edges’ charm of those homes’ she said.

Gold Coast cruising is a prime example of how Fiona uses lino printing to evoke that ‘worn around the edges’ charm. Some may remember learning the craft of lino carving or wood block prints from High School art class, but for others this craft is yet to be discovered.

Linocut is a printmaking technique, a variant of woodcut, in which a sheet of linoleum (yep, from the kitchen floor) is used as a carving surface. A design is cut into this with a sharp tool. The lino is inked with a roller and then pressed onto paper or fabric. The uncarved areas are the parts that print. It’s a wonderful process involving negative and positive space. The printing can be done by hand or with a printing press.

Fiona hand prints, rubbing the back of the paper with a barren which transfers the ink from the lino onto the paper, and then hand colours the black and white design with coloured inks. The style of her current work is very much informed by the nostalgia of the older Gold Coast lifestyle. The holidays people enjoyed here, and the memories attached to these are an integral layer in the storytelling. See more of her work and the amazing process via her Instagram page.

We’re delighted to have another stunning work by a local artist on our walls. This site specific, temporary artwork is part of our commitment to providing opportunities for local artists. We hope you’ll find it inspiring.