Meet the artists behind Solid Gold: Art and Activism

16 Apr 2021

Meet the artists behind Solid Gold: Art and Activism

As we prepare to welcome the public to the new HOTA Gallery opens, we’re taking this chance to introduce the of 19 artists and collectives who are bringing to life the first major exhibition, SOLID GOLD: Artists from Paradise.

A passionate dedication to our city, the exhibition will welcome Gold Coasters to their HOTA Gallery for the first time.

Meet three artists who are featured in SOLID GOLD, who wield their creativity to create and inspire change. Pushing the boundaries of their mediums, they produce art that matters; giving a voice to the causes impacting their communities.

You can also read about some of the other artists featured in the Exhibition here and here.

libby harward solid gold HOTA

Libby Harward

A descendant of the Ngugi people of Mulgumpin (Moreton Island) in the Quandamooka, Libby Harward creates artworks that break through the colonial overlay to connect with the cultural landscape, which always was, and remains to be there. Her political practice, in a range of genres, continues this decolonising process.

Michael Candy

Michael Candy is a Gold Coast based new media and kinetic artist, possessing a special interest in mimesis, technological archetypes, and the discourse that exists within these parallels. Candy has developed a rationale of instinctive engineering, which he uses to investigate contrasts between nature and technology, and how these concepts transfuse within modern social ideologies.

michael candy solid gold HOTA
claudia de salvo solid gold HOTA

Claudia De Salvo

Claudia De Salvo is a Gold Coast based ceramicist, whose practice explores the conceptual, sculptural, and functional potential of the medium. Repurposing her experience as a sculpture and installation artist, De Salvo has become an in-demand feature of national exhibitions over the years.

Quick bites from Libby Harward 

How does it feel to be part of the first major exhibition at the new HOTA Gallery?

Having lived on Yugambeh country for a number of years and having historical connection to Yugambeh Country and the Gold Coast I feel very proud to show my work at the opening of the new HOTA Gallery. I am looking forward to seeing the SOLID GOLD show and what the other artists have created and how the works will be curated.

How did activism find its way into your art? Or is it more a case of art itself being a form Activism?

I didn’t title myself an activist. There are many stronger and more dedicated Aboriginal Activists out there than me. I guess a strong path had been paved for me by other QLD Based Aboriginal artists whose work I am attracted to, there are too many to name. I recognised that visual art is able to speak about important issues and is not as censored as other area’s such as media or theatre.

I think through art I can represent the complexity of the things that affect me as an Aboriginal woman that, navigates and tries to understand two often opposing systems, that of Indigenous culture and that of the western systems we are forced to operate in.  I am drawn to art that has something important to say or do because there is a lot of urgent issues that need addressing that’s why I made the DABILBUNG series about protection of Aboriginal Cultural Heritage, our land and water ways.

Do you have any advice for artists who hope to use their platforms and voices to draw attention to causes they believe in?

Make art matter. Use the power of art to make change.

What do you hope audiences take from your upcoming work, Bloodletting? 

I hope people will be physically affected by the work in a way that insights them to look further into the DABILBUNG series and educate themselves on the over extraction, commodification and depletion of our waterways and surrounding life which is resulting in the continued genocide of Aboriginal people who rely on these waterways and water-ways ( ways of protecting water) and feel a deep sense of urgency to support Aboriginal people to protect our waterways and bring them back from the edge of extinction. I hope they see that our water our life-force is being bled-out by corporate greed and want to talk about it with their friends and family.


Exhibition Corporate Partner