Masks are mandatory when visiting HOTA at this time. Stay safe, and please make sure you keep up to date with Queensland Government guidelines at

Shining the spotlight on local artists

21 Jul 2020

Shining the spotlight on local artists

We say it all the time but we love our homegrown artists – the depth of talent and creativity in this city blows our mind and we’re always looking for ways to support and promote the great stuff that happens here.

Our Fireside program in July has been all about celebrating local artists and the line-up has been a real who’s who of local talent including Cheap Fakes and Volcanic Lovers, Stories in the Key of GC with musician and storyteller Cold Ghost (aka Fletcher Babb), spoken word, hip hop, artist insights, and music and conversation with the likes of Eddie Ray and The Oogars. We also partnered with local organisations like Blank GC, Gold Coast Music Awards and Lovestreet Studios to really celebrate all things Gold Coast.

And while we couldn’t be happier to be presenting live events again it’s not the only way that we support local artists. Every year our Creative Development program offers funding and in kind support so artists can develop their ideas. The work that has came out of this program has been truly outstanding and has led to further development and performance opportunities for many of the artists involved. Fletch Babb, who used the successful pilot of his Stories in the Key of GC to apply for further funding to develop the concept further, explained:

‘The pilot event’s success became the testimony to my grant application. I was able to qualify that success into a strong proposal to do more of these nights in 2020, with the idea that I continue to develop and strengthen the concept and creative workflows. As well as growing the audience. I am very excited in working with more GC storytellers and artists this year and delve deeper into the greater GC narrative,’ Fletch said.

And when the world was turned on its head early this year we put our money where our mouth is and created a quick fire Rage Against the V(irus) fund to help keep artists creating when everything around them was being cancelled. Over the eight weeks we supported more than 84 artists to create new works and we had a ball rolling the results out over our digital channels. Some of the highlights included: Truth, a new song and accompanying music video by local Kombumerri man Lann Levinge inspired by his land and family;  Two the Pointe, a behind-the-scenes look at the journey of creating the rare ‘Pointe Adagio’ circus trick, from acrobatic duo Zion Martyn and Poppy Fairbarn;  Time Has Fallen Asleep, a video work from visual artist Aaron Chapman using content from EarthCam to show how the world responded to lock down; Snapshots from Surfers, a new colouring book created by illustrator Eric Koo inviting young artists to imagine new scenes inspired by different locations across the Gold Coast; and A Quiet Chaos, a ‘make it yourself’ augmented reality experience where you can create your own interactive art gallery at home from visual and interactive designer Elke Gill and architectural designer Drew Magnum.

Both the Creative Development program and our Rage Against the V(irus) fund connected us with some incredible artists, and we’ve been proud to support their journey in creating some fantastic new works. So, when restrictions started to ease, we jumped at the chance to bring their works to a wider audience and Fireside was born. And with most of the July events selling out we can tell you share our love for local artists – watch this space for more announcements about Fireside soon!