Speculating on the potential and possibilities to develop culture in the Gold Coast, professor Sir Peter Cook and Gavin Robotham, directors of CRAB Studio, investigated this idea through the making of a large hanging sculptural piece: The WRAP, and a set of drawings and watercolors. The result is a public art exhibition, ‘Speculator’ in collaboration with Bond University, in Contemporary Temporary Gold Coast Arts Gallery, Surfers Paradise, Australia. The ‘WRAP’ aims to inspire that architecture can be the catalyst for transformation. More images and architects’ description after the break.
Bond University final year architectural studies students showcased their semester’s work that considers possible future transformations for the Evandale Parklands to become the cultural heartland of the Gold Coast. The ‘WRAP’ essentially encloses the existing buildings within the precinct in a fluid meandering of curved walls and intimate spaces that provoke the notion architecture can be beautifully creative, yet innovatively functional that is non-conforming and all defining, an iconic symbol embracing culture resting in a crafted landscape.
Professor Sir Peter Cook’s speculations, thought a set of 8 watercolors, explores the potential for developing culture in the Gold Coast, creating ‘arty’ interfaces such as the Artwalk, the Artboat, the Artstram, and Comfo-Art terrace. The exhibition presents some interesting similarities to one of CRAB studio’s project: the Soheil Abedian School of Architecture, currently under construction.
Evandale Artwalk – Philosophers’ Tree
Along the Artswalk another patch where – in the great tradition of Discourse, a writer can read, or have their work read, a thinker can expound. A collecting-place for the intellectually inclined, but essential to have a display of books and to have them (as well as Kindles) on sale. Inspiration : Some years ago I was invited to the “Schloss Solitude’ near Stuttgart and did indeed, give a discourse from under a famous tree, under which decades of cultural figures had spoken. It shouldn’t replicate the music platform.
Evandale Artwalk – Music
Along the Artswalk, there comes the odd extension and, amongst the trees a group playing Schubert – or whatever (could be jazz or something cool), ; key thing is to be able to wander past if it doesn’t appeal, or hover if it does – or sit comfortably if it really does. But why not use our contemporary a/v techniques to tell the bystander what it’s about – in a chirpy, not ‘educational’ way / But give the guys a bit of acoustic boost with a moulded baffle. Inspiration : I was amazed when in Tel Aviv, some years ago, the sudden immigration of a million Russian Jews led to innumerable string quartets appearing – not just in the concert hall – but under canopies, outside burger bars and other unlikely spots (good musicians too, not squeaking). Of course a bit of popularization too may be necessary : the Schubert blurb might have to delve into his dubious private life, along with the C sharp minor stuff.
Evandale Artwalk – Arts Movie-Glade
At night, parts of the boardwalk can be infiltrated by screens showing a variety of movies. Not just one big screen with ‘tonight’s movie’ but a genuine scattering of choices, even permitting – or encouraging- the perambulation or as a backdrop to Romance amongst the trees. A cute sound installation system is now possible using smartphones or directional speakers. Inspiration : You may want to be up-to-the minute watching a bit of ‘Hugo’, or do the tenth re-run of ‘Mama Mia’, but for the more discerning an introduction (maybe) to the ‘Parapluies de Cherbourg’ at Cathertine Deneuve’s most gorgeous moment. ‘Art Films’ are not really a different genre, and watching a movie shouldn’t be a precious activity. Also, we shouldn’t shut off the Artswalk at night.
Evandale Artwalk – Comfo-Arts Terrace
A bit of a special place, with a supply of high-level liquor (do I hear cocktails –even?) and a comfortable loll on Comfo-Veg* seating. Some special boarded pads for performances ….maybe there are some non-lolling listeners behind us ? Or should it be a very special place? Inspiration: It should not necessarily be inconsistent with a generally popular or ‘populist’ scheme that there is a special, extra luxuriant place. Comfo-Veg was a success a few months ago, where we installed it in Los Angeles and look forward to installing it in the reading rooms of the Soheil Abedian School of Architecture nearby.
Evandale Artwalk – Artsboat Art and Shows – Locally
An adjunct to the Artswalk installation. It can, of course, be moored most of the time alongside the boardwalk and act as an additional stage. It can then visit various water-based locations around the Gold Coast and beyond. In the cooler part of the year it can collapse-down into JUST being a gallery. Inspiration: Lots of lagoons –so it seems an obvious idea. When once, in Oslo, I went onto a car park that was actually an old, re-used ship and I thought : why do we scrap so many ships?. So this item could be pretty cheap. I’m not sure whether it’s the ‘King and I’ or “Riggoletto” that’s on stag ! It could also be used for ballroom dancing… cat shows…beauty contests. Anything Cultural!
Evandale Artwalk – Artstram Ocean Link Point
Getting on the tram at the beach should whet your appetite for what is to come – yet also be able to send itself up a bit (the canopy?). The tram itself needs to be a bit quirky and intriguing. In this case the painting reproduced is an Australian Icon – but not of course the original on the side of a tram – come on! Inspiration: Perhaps it is too obvious for words, but Sidney Nolan’s “Ned Kelly’ series is, after all a springboard of Australian art –as-communication : who, but a really confident artist would tackle such a subject, and the tram running by is a reminder – but the artwork needs to be big. On the other side of the tram why not Fernand Leger – just to cosmopolitanise the situation ! The canopy – well I guess it’s a bit of 1950’s Goggie architecture pulled-in from Los Angeles, it is a beachtown scene, after all.
Lakeside Gallery Pavilions
Could be delightful : the pavilions could – and should – be of every kind and form. The city has to decide how far ‘art gallery’ can be interpreted. An opportunity for painting-pits, street artists and a stroll around culture without feeling claustrophobic about it. Important that the spacing of the pavilions is more space between than pavilions….otherwise the ‘park’ is destroyed. Inspiration : London’s Cork Street – and now Curtain Road, New York’s West Broadway – and now Chelsea, Los Angeles’ La Cienega at Culver have variously been scenes where a Saturday stroll becomes a social as well as a cultural experience. Why not on the Artwalk too? Meanwhile, the placing of pavilions amongst trees is an old trick of the Kyoto garden-makers as well as the English 18th and 19th centuries: Stourhead or Rousham, for example.