Gold Coast City Gallery brings street art megastars

Gold Coast City Gallery brings street art megastars to the Coast in new exhibition Signs of the Time

Works by world-renowned urban artists Banksy and Bambi will feature in the upcoming Signs of the Time street art exhibition developed by Gold Coast City Gallery and on display from 18 February to 9 April 2017.

Signs of the Time brings a major collection of street art exclusively to the Gold Coast including international, national and local urban artists from the collection of Ken McGregor and commissioned work by Gold Coast City Gallery. The exhibition will feature works from urban art megastars including; Banksy’s Nola (White Rain); Bambi, Britain’s best-known female street artist, and her iconic Amy Winehouse portrait Amy Jade; the godfather of stencil art Blek Le Rat’s statement self-portrait The Man Who Walks Through Walls, French Flag, Iranian street artist A1One’s anti-corporation work East Resist and Swoon’s social struggle artwork Street Sweeper.

Gold Coast City Gallery Director, Tracy Cooper-Lavery said the Gallery is pleased to be working in partnership with art collector and consultant Ken McGregor, to bring this unique art form to the Gold Coast.

‘Signs of the Time will feature some of the movements most talked about artists and the Gallery is excited to be bringing a major collection of street art exclusively to the Gold Coast,’ she said.

‘This is a rare opportunity for a local audience to see works by the mysterious and global urban phenomenon Banksy and his female counterpart Bambi, who has an impressive collection of celebrity fans that includes Rihanna, Robbie Williams, Adele and Brad Pitt,’ Ms. Cooper-Lavery said.

Cooper-Lavery hopes the program will be an opportunity to attract younger audiences and the wider community, many of which do not even know the gallery exists.

‘It is time to get the Gallery positioned where it should be; as one of the largest regional galleries in Australia. We want to build our profile and are doing this by developing exhibitions and programs with broad appeal,’ she said.

Ken McGregor is one of many collectors recognising the artistic and aesthetic significance of this new form of art and its influence on almost every aspect of society.

‘In the midst of the growing chaos that defines contemporary society, many authors and art historians have begun to recognise graffiti and street art as a unique form of art, and not just the scribbling of irrelevant nonsense on the vacant walls of public places,’ said McGregor.

‘Indeed, due to its subversive power, this artistic movement had such an impact on society that several cutting-edge underground galleries and some forward-thinking commercial galleries encouraged the artists to exhibit their pieces,’ he said.

Gallery Director Cooper-Lavery agrees the movement is highly pertinent for artists who want to take risks and challenge the norm.

‘From stencils and paste-ups to public installation art, street art is a constantly developing field. Many artists, who may not traditionally have identified as street artists, are now shifting into the movement. It is a great way to expand an artist’s practice’ she said.

In addition to the main gallery exhibition, the foyer gallery will feature an ‘urban laneway’ showcasing original street art commissioned by Gold Coast City Gallery, of local and national urban artists including 40/40 Creative, Lorraine Abernethy, Sarah Beetson, Beastman, Shannon Doyle, Claudio Kirac, E.L.K., Fuzeillear, HA HA, Libby Harward, Paul Parker, Johnny Romeo, Kiel Tillman, SK412 and Matthew Te Paea. These works will be auctioned towards the end of the exhibition with proceeds going to artists and their selected charities.

In conjunction with the exhibition, the Gallery is taking art live to the streets and offering two commissions to artists through the Shedload of Street Art project.

Housed outdoors next to The Arts Centre Gold Coast are two corrugated iron storage work sheds, which the Gallery sees as two ‘blank canvasses’, awaiting transformation.

Artists or artist groups are being called on to pitch their ideas of how they can transform these unassuming sheds into active creative sites. The artists will be in the running for two separate commissions, one for $13,000 and another for $17,000, including materials and production costs. The works will be completed in the week leading up to exhibition’s opening where visitors can view the finished results.

There will be a number of special events held at the Cultural Precinct during the exhibition where visitors can enjoy live music and observe and engage in live art demonstrations and workshops with urban artists. A full program of events will be confirmed in January 2017.

Signs of the Time is a free exhibition open from 18 February to 9 April 2017, at Gold Coast City Gallery, The Arts Centre Gold Coast.

Shedload of Street Art expressions of interest applications close 5pm, Monday 9 January 2017. Full application details are available through Gallery Opportunities on The Arts Centre Gold Coast website
Banksy, Nola (White Rain), 2007, screenprint on paper. Courtesy of Ken McGregor collection.

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