Gateways to the Gold Coast revealed

21 June 2017

A world-renowned design studio will put the Gold Coast’s name in lights through two unique works at the city’s busiest entry points.

The successful design for the “Gateways” major public art commission, by New York-based LOT-EK artists Ada Tolla and Giuseppe Lignano, was revealed today by Gold Coast Mayor Tom Tate and Commonwealth Games Minister Kate Jones.

The work, titled HI-LIGHTS, will feature nearly 100 modified highway lights and poles, closely spaced at different heights. The lights will appear to spell out the city’s name in the northern installation and feature the letters GC at the southern site.

Mayor Tate said the Gateways would “bookend” the city and become an iconic “welcome” to visitors and “welcome home” for residents.

“Together, they will create a sense of arrival and welcome for locals, visitors and GC2018 athletes, regardless of whether they visit us from the north or south,” Cr Tate said.

“This is the latest of many arts and culture projects underway. Locals and visitors will see a very different Gold Coast, a city more mature in its cultural offer, before, during and after the Games,” he said.

Both artworks will be located in high traffic zones, in the north along the Pacific Highway and in the south near the airport on the Gold Coast Highway.

The northern artwork will stretch 100 metres and reach a maximum height of 11 metres. Gold metallic paint will add to the geometry that echoes and amplifies the rounded letters at each location.

Minister Jones said the City of Gold Coast and Queensland Government’s investment in the Gateways art commission would ensure the legacy of the Games extended beyond the sporting venues.

“These signature landmarks will deliver lasting legacies from the Games. It’s all about the transformation of the Gold Coast to a boutique, international city and that’s a great Games legacy in itself,” Ms Jones said.

Gold Coast submissions featured strongly in the process with more than a quarter of submissions from local artists.

Division 14 Councillor Gail O'Neill announced another opportunity for local artists – a mentorship opportunity with LOT-EK.

“We’re offering a $10,000 grant to an emerging or early career artist as a professional development opportunity through a mentorship with LOT-EK,” Cr O'Neill said.

The City will work with the selected local artist and LOT-EK to develop a program tailored to their aspirations and professional development needs in public art.

LOT-EK will collaborate with Brisbane-based, Urban Art Projects, and Sydney-based Office Feuerman, to deliver the Gateways Public Art Commission.

Final installation is expected by the end of this year.The Gateway Public Art Commission is co-funded by the State Government and City of Gold Coast. This is a $2 million artist commission – the commission includes design, fabrication and installation for artwork at both a northern and southern site.

LOT-EK is internationally renowned for ‘up-cycling’ everyday objects, in this case re-purposing street lights. 

“We’re rethinking the light poles, cantilever arms, and fixtures to be found all along the highway,” Giuseppe Lignano said.

“On the highway to the Gold Coast, you might see the same light fixture hundreds of times, until seeing a hundred such fixtures, uniquely arranged, means you’ll never see them in the same way again,” he said.

The artworks address the unique tradition of Australian roadside attractions.

“We like that the it works in different ways from the “front” and “back”, how it reads and misreads both as text and object,” Mr Lignano said. 

Gateways to the Gold Coast revealed  photo