A CITY BUILT ON A MYTH

AS A MODERN RE­NAIS­SANCE CITY, THE GOLD COAST IS BOTH THRIV­ING AND SUR­PRIS­ING

Life & Style Weekend - - ESCAPE - WORDS: MAR­GUERITE CUD­DIHY

For many years, the trend on the Gold Coast has been to build up. Now, it seems, the city is look­ing

in­ward.

The shift in the art and cul­tural land­scape along the Coast is just the lat­est in a long his­tory of con­tin­ual change and inner re­flec­tion.

In a few years, ev­ery­one may be too busy and spe­cialised for the type of so­cial leisure that the Gold Coast is so fa­mous for, but part of what gives a scene en­ergy is that enough peo­ple are cre­at­ing art to­gether.

Dust Temple, which rubs shoul­ders with in­dus­trial work­shops, sits squat be­tween the beauty of Cur­rumbin Al­ley and the magic of its val­ley.

It takes the shape of an or­di­nary cafe front, but in fact it func­tions as a stu­dio, store, com­mu­nity cen­tre, work­shop, art gallery and event space.

Dust Temple’s Isla Wil­son be­lieves the arts have the power to in­spire, chal­lenge, bring won­der into peo­ple’s lives and ul­ti­mately con­nect peo­ple to one other and the city where they live.

“We’re pro­vid­ing a space for artists,” she said.

“We wouldn’t have thrived if there wasn’t a need for it.”

Ac­cord­ing to Isla, a thriv­ing arts ecosys­tem re­quires tal­ent and col­lab­o­ra­tion, as well as in­vest­ment and com­mu­nity sup­port.

Re­cently, Dust Temple hosted an Empty Bowls event, where they col­lab­o­rated with some of the re­gion’s top chefs and artists to fight hunger and home­less­ness on the streets of the Gold Coast. Pot­ters created and do­nated bowls, then served a sim­ple meal do­nated by a lo­cal res­tau­rant. In ex­change for the meal and hand-crafted bowl, guests do­nated to sup­port lo­cal hunger-fight­ing or­gan­i­sa­tions.

In chart­ing the jour­ney of arts in the Gold Coast and sup­port­ing its growth, Dust

Temple hopes to con­trib­ute to a stronger future for the city’s great art and artists.

When you live in a city that has so long been de­fined by something else – tourism, night-life and golden beaches – you tend to stick to­gether, to sup­port each other.

Burleigh Brew­ing Com­pany chief ex­ec­u­tive Peta Field­ing said there was an un­der­belly of cul­ture, cre­ativ­ity and artists up and down the Gold Coast just wait­ing to erupt into the well-de­served spot­light.

“They have never had a place to show­case or cultivate that,” she said. “But in re­cent times that’s changed here on the Gold Coast.”

Peta takes ev­ery op­por­tu­nity to show­case the arts and is a proud Bleach Fes­ti­val board mem­ber.

Bleach shines the spot­light on renowned Aus­tralian and in­ter­na­tional artists, and sparks con­ver­sa­tion be­tween au­di­ences of all de­mo­graph­ics through a range of events, while us­ing the Gold Coast as its back­drop.

Now in its sev­enth year and wrap­ping up this weekend, the fes­ti­val aims to de­liver ex­cep­tional arts and cul­tural ex­pe­ri­ences to in­spire both lo­cals and vis­i­tors alike.

It’s not just the arts that are be­ing taken se­ri­ously, ei­ther. If you need con­fir­ma­tion the Gold Coast din­ing scene has come of age, look no fur­ther than Burleigh Pavil­ion.

With the added wow fac­tor of a spec­tac­u­lar lo­ca­tion, Burleigh Pavil­ion sur­passes the holy din­ing trin­ity of good food, great am­bi­ence and amaz­ing ser­vice.

Burleigh Head­land is al­ready home to fa­mous foodie haunts such as Fish House and Rick Shores.

Add Burleigh Pavil­ion, with its sub­lime coastal vis­tas and two eater­ies – full ser­vice din­ing in The Tropic or the more ca­sual Ter­race – and you have the ul­ti­mate desti­na­tion for all food lovers.

If an ice-cold coastal ale is more your vibe,

Bal­ter Brew­ery is the real deal.

When Aus­tralian surf­ing stal­warts Mick Fanning, Bede Dur­bidge, Josh Kerr and Joel Parkin­son put their heads to­gether to cre­ate a brew­ery, they had to prove they were the right men for the job. Three years and more than 20 ac­co­lades later, Bal­ter Brew­ery is con­sid­ered not just a pil­lar of the craft beer mar­ket, but a desti­na­tion for great beer, great food and live mu­sic.

But while the bur­geon­ing arts and cul­ture scene is rear­ing its beau­ti­ful head across the re­gion, there is still a sense of small­ness and ca­ma­raderie to it.

There is a fire kin­dling, but it re­mains incredibly frag­ile. The more you try to de­fine the Gold Coast, the more you re­alise it is a city still try­ing to de­fine it­self. In this case, it’s also a fu­tile task – there isn’t one art and cul­ture world, there are many.

If there is one true state­ment about the Gold Coast, it’s this: it is a city built on a myth. The re­al­ity is very dif­fer­ent from its rep­u­ta­tion.

The writer was a guest of Desti­na­tion Gold Coast.

MAIN IM­AGE: Whether it’s from the tap or from their tin­nies, Bal­ter Brew­ery has a beer for ev­ery taste bud.

ABOVE, TOP AND BOT­TOM: Pop into Dust Temple, browse the art and look through the store all while en­joy­ing a brew of Cur­rumbin’s best cof­fee.

ABOVE, MID­DLE: Burleigh Pavil­ion is the ul­ti­mate desti­na­tion for those look­ing for epic beach­front wa­ter views and fab­u­lous fare.

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