I live on the Gold Coast in Queensland, Australia. Most people just think of the beach when considering my home town; don't get me wrong, our beaches are lovely, but not nearly all we have to offer. Within half an hour either of each other are the bright blue and gold beach and the lush sub-tropical rainforest. I love that! Also, our wildlife is spectacular.
A few years ago now the local council had a debut competition - artwork of any medium that must represent the gold coast. Entrants would go into an art show and the winner would have their piece used in promotional material for the Gold Coast.
My husband and mother got spiffed up with me, all excited and eager to see my work in it's first ever art show. We get to the venue, "where on earth is my piece??" I asked my husband. We looked around and found a staggering array of artwork, many pieces completely figurative and certainly not representative of the Gold Coast, but apparently belonging to the airy, over-dressed and fluffed up 'artists' floating around.
We asked the people on the door what was going on, nearly in unison with a gaggle of other left out artists. The response was, there had never been a guarantee that all work would be displayed (*cough*bullshit*cough*) and they were very sorry. Obviously put on the spot and without any power to choose which pieces to display, the staff at the door were nonetheless made the scapegoats. Many local artists quietly voiced their extreme displeasure that night, particularly when questions about the obvious lack of adherence to the brief many of the displayed pieces advertised.
The shamefaced staff did their best to appease all but it was quite obvious the organisers of the event had not even read their competition entry rules and handed the reins over to self-important local artists with little talent but plenty of connections. It was what a Sopranos fine art mafia competition would be I guess.
One of the works was a photograph of high heeled shoes on the sand. Hmmm.. yep, that represents the Gold Coast.
When we went to pick up my painting there were once again many unhappy artists and the staff were quite obviously sympathetic to the fact that we had, indeed been promised a display but had been left out at the last minute. When I went to my piece and my mother 'quietly' mentioned how so many of the pieces did not meet the brief but mine had, the lady at the counter looked quite embarrassed and was noticeably surprised when I took possession of my work. She commented how well my work represented the Coast and inquired about my age, the answer seemed to surprise her since I was about 23 at the time.
Anyway, I have a work of art I am proud of and my mother refuses to relinquish hold of, lol. I can comfort myself in the fact that the winning entry of a common photo of Surfers Paradise beach would never stick in the minds of viewers like my Green and Gold will.
So, as a homage to my town you have 'Green and Gold' Acrylic on canvas, completely handmade. Even the frame. Size approx 120 cm x 60 cm.
Left side: the Natural Arch. A natural bridge of stone carved from eons of water, about 30 mins from me in the Springbrook National Park.
Middle: Rainbow lorikeet. Local and sometimes annoying little buggers. Can be found everywhere - beach to rain forest. Yes, you can have them as pets but only from registered breeders and NOT from the wild (as some people do)
Right side: 'The Spit' surf beach famous for its enormous sand pumping jetty reaching far out into the sea and where many a fisherman has spent long hours trying to catch something brag-able.
The scene is a blend of the best of the Gold Coast's environment and includes natural and man made phenomena. Bringing the two halves together is a native parrot flying from the shady confines of the rain forest to the buffeting expanse of the surf.
Let me know your thoughts.