HOTA: Home of the Arts

Commissions from Judy Watson and Ramesh Mario Nithiyendran mark the opening of the Home of the Arts Gallery, in Surfers Paradise, this month.

HOTA Gallery’s inaugural exhibition, ‘Solid Gold: Artists from Paradise,’ and its first public opening, take place this week in Surfers Paradise. Two significant public art commissions in the gallery’s grounds mark these events in Queensland – and, indeed, in broader Australian – art.

Judy Watson, a Waanyi artist, responds to the site on which HOTA stands. Watson’s sculptural work – layered into a delicate intensity, as many of her installations are  – is situated amongst Indigenous native plantings along a pathway forming a topographical representation of the Nerang, in its pre-colonial conditions. This garden is a collaborative work, with sculptures by Quandamooka artists Libby Warward and Elisa Jane Carmichael also appearing through the space.

Nithiyendran’s work sits outside the entrance to the gallery, unreserved and exuberant. Co-commissioned in partnership with the Melbourne Art Foundation, it engages with historical traditions of idolatry, and the public display of the human figure and face. What kind of attention, debate, or reverence, Nithiyendran seems to ask, might we mean to incite in the display of such works? His figure calls upon the full breadth of our notion of monumentality, drawing wayward streams of connection between historical religious and political works and the monuments (Merinos, bananas, prawns) of contemporary Australia.

Significant new works from two artists at the forefront of contemporary sculpture and public art, these commissions signal the entry of a public institution serious about a commitment to fostering arts practice in Australia.

Commissions: Judy Watson and Ramesh Mario Nithiyendran
HOTA, Surfers Paradise

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