Top five battle to design city’s ‘gateway art’

16 February 2017

Internationally-renowned artists are bidding to deliver a major public art commission for a Games-ready Gold Coast. 

Following a world-wide search, an independent panel was united in its selection of five finalists out of a local, national and international pool of more than 70 submissions. The finalists - James Angus, LOT-EK, Callum Morton, Scott Redford and Judy Watson - will now further develop their concept designs.

The Gateway Public Art Commission project is funded by the City of Gold Coast and State Government under the Public Domain Improvement Program (PDIP). The program is a legacy project of the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games (GC2018).

Gold Coast Mayor Tom Tate said the final artwork was expected to reflect the character of the coast, engage with the public and ignite the imagination of locals and visitors.

“It will be something that is vibrant and unique … just like the Gold Coast. I’m looking forward to seeing the final artwork and of course, I hope the local wins,” Mayor Tate said.

 “The hard work we’ve put into developing the local arts and culture sector, including establishing a robust process to commission public art, is paying dividends. More and more artists want to live and work here.”

Gold Coast entries featured strongly, comprising 20 per cent of submissions. Other Queensland entries made up  40 per cent with 25 per cent from other states and the remaining 15 per cent from international artists.

Minister for the Commonwealth Games, Kate Jones, said the State Government had committed $9.5 million to fund priority capital works projects and community infrastructure in the Games’ host and event cities.

“This program will ensure the benefits achieved from the Games spread beyond our sporting venues to public places such as key entrance points to the Gold Coast,” Minister Jones said.  

“PDIP funding is an important part of the GC2018 Legacy Program, which supports enduring economic growth, job creation and the promotion of active, engaged and inclusive communities.’’

The artwork will have a lifespan of 50 years, the selected artists were deemed by the panel to be best placed to create and deliver an artwork that is not only relevant today but also for generations to come.

The Gateways Public Art Commission is expected to create a sense of arrival and welcome for locals, visitors and athletes effectively becoming a “bookend” for the city. Both artworks will be located in high traffic zones. In the north, on the M1 Pacific Motorway, immediately south of the Albert River – the boundary of the city. The southern site is earmarked for a zone near the Gold Coast Highway and airport (yet to be finalised).  

The panel, a cross section of industry and stakeholder representatives, will select the winning entry for noting by Council with an announcement expected by June. Final installation of the northern site is expected in November.


James Angus (b. Perth, works Sydney/New York)
Now based in New York with a gallery in Sydney, the Perth born sculptor and installation artist’s work subverts everyday objects, provoking new ways of looking at the world. His work is held in the collections of many national and international galleries including the National Gallery of Australia, Canberra and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney.

LOT-EK (New York)

Artists Ada Tolla and Giuseppe Lignano founded LOT-EK in 1993, the New York based art and architecture studio blurs the boundaries between art, architecture and entertainment. LOT-EK has multiple international awards in architecture and design.  LOT-EK’s work is represented in key collections including the Museum of Modern Art, New York, Guggenheim Museum, New York and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. LOT-EK reuses existing industrial objects not originally intended for architecture.

Callum Morton (b. Montreal, works Brisbane)

Submission supported by Monash Art Projects (Victoria). Originally from Canada the Melbourne based artist specialises in sculpture, video and public art commissions. His work explores how we encounter, perceive and experience private and public space. Morton’s work has been exhibited nationally and internationally, including commissions in Denmark, the Netherlands and his work is work is held in many major collections including; Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, Monash University Gallery, Melbourne, Queensland Art Gallery Corbett and Yueji Lyon Collection.

Scott Redford (b. Gold Coast, works Brisbane)

Submission supported by Cardno Limited. Scott is renowned for his ironic interpretations of his hometown on the Gold Coast. His practice simultaneously subverts and champions mainstream popular culture. He has exhibited widely both nationally and internationally in Europe and South-East Asia. Redford’s work is represented in major Australian collections including the National Gallery of Victoria and the Queensland Art Gallery/Gallery of Modern Art.

Judy Watson (b. Mundubbera, works Brisbane)

Submission supported by Milani Gallery. Judy is a Brisbane based artist, who works across a range of mediums to explore familial, historical, political and environmental aspects of Australian Indigenous heritage and experience. In 2006 she was the winner of the Clemenger Contemporary Art Award. Her work is held in key state and national collections in Australia as well as British Museum, London; Museum of Modern Art, New York; Sprengel Museum, Hannover; Taipei Fine Arts Museum, Taiwan; Tate Britain; Tokyo National University of Technology. She was the 2015 recipient of the Australia Council Visual Arts Award.



Top five battle to design city’s ‘gateway art’ photo