Nina Shadforth explores how art imitating life can provide a thought-provoking and inspiring way to immerse yourself in your surroundings.
The eye and the hand of an artist can take the ordinary to the extra-ordinary, as is the case with Caloundra Regional Gallery’s incoming exhibition, Constructing Landscape: Urban Visions.
A handful of Queensland-based artists have taken up the challenge put forward by the curator of the exhibition, Jo Duke, to re-imagine and re-purpose the humble traffic cone into artistic statements reflecting on each artist’s individual experiences and perceptions about urban constructs and the broader exploration of ‘landscape’ in contemporary Australia.
Complementary to these works and plugging in to the theme of the ‘urban landscape’ are works by street artists, muralists and contemporary artists, some drawn from the Sunshine Coast Art Collection and others are newly-commissioned works, thus creating a somewhat gritty bent on the Coast’s urban development activities.
Over the decades we have become appreciative of the beauty of bursts of colour, energy and rapid application of spray paint that we see now as enhancing exterior walls – no longer looked upon as vandalism – street art has crossed over as a legitimate artform.
Some examples of street art will be showcased in the gallery (aka. the white cube), but in a literal sense, street art is what it is; ‘art on the street’ and expanding beyond the gallery walls, the exhibition also acknowledges the creations on walls in the laneways and small streets of Caloundra, and includes some of the artists within the show.
To find these murals, one can either wander and discover, or head to the Public Art page on Council’s website where there is a series of Public Art Trail maps available for download – worth a wander after you have visited the Gallery!
The activity of the Sunshine Coast’s creative community has slowly been bubbling to the fore and with it, has brought a fabulous energy and vibrancy around the region that one can discover in small community-run creative spaces, artist-run galleries, commercial galleries, outdoor sculpture events and art prizes such as the SunshineCoast Art Prize a national art award in its 15th year.
For purely the local artists, there is the Local Artists : Local Content art prize, established by the Friends of Caloundra Regional Gallery.
The Region’s creative offerings are abundant and diverse, and you can find something within the urban, coastal and hinterland areas of the Coast… if you know where to look!