Finding sunshine on the Gold Coast under the clouds is a real pleasure hunt.
The Gold Coast is shining, vibrant and prosperous more than ever, regardless of the recent weather and economy hiccups. Can we still find the shine on the Gold Coast under the shady clouds? Shine without the sun?
Absolutely! I am not talking about the weather and economy, rather the local quality of life, community well-being and community engagement. Who cares for us and for the future of our young and talented generation? If you don’t know yet, – please follow me. I have found the answer.
I found a shining crowd yesterday, 9th of December, at the Showroom of the Gold Coast Art Centre. No need for extra light! The room was full of sunshine! The vibrant crowd of guests and performers were smiling at each other and anticipating the beginning of the event. The organizers caring for the young and talented artists, singers, musicians and performers met us at the door.
The organizers and facilitators of the Creative Juices Networking Event – Mariam Arcilla, Andrew Trump and Daniel Carroll kindly confirmed that I was booked in to find out all about it. My friend Ceresse and I took our places close to the stage.
First, the young lads from the punk rock band “Skinwalkers” politely presented their song and clip. The song was inspired by the documentary “Oasis”. “Here is your shining city; and their filthy, abused young lives”, summarized Doug Anderson of this film clip on Sydney Morning television, on 10th April, this year; but the darkness of the real life become an inspiration for a song. To enable them to fly to Sydney to make a CD and DVD, and to become a part of a national Salvation Army media campaign, Skinwalkers were helped financially. By whom you may ask? I am happy to answer. They were helped by Regional Arts Development Fund (RADF) that provides small, fast-turnaround funding for arts and cultural projects. They were helped and now they are helping to shed a light on some of the most important issues within our community. Good on you Skinwalkers! Thank you GCCC and QLD government! You make me feel proud of being part of a caring community.
Next was Antony L. Walker, an Indigenous artist who started to paint under the guidance of his grandfather and grandmother. Already, he is the 2010 Overall Winner of the Gold Coast Indigenous Art and Design Award. In 2008 he was the Peoples’ Choice winner for the same award. Living behind many solo and group exhibitions, he received a Career Development Grant from Arts Queensland. His few paintings with pertinent stories were presented to us on the stage screen and on stands around the room. He talked quietly but passionately. You could hear in, and sense from, his voice just how deeply he cares for his ancestors and their stories. I was not imagining that sentiment. At the end of his presentation, Antony concluded that his art is the way he keeps the culture of his grandparents alive and accessible. I wonder if we who were listening to him, now fully understand that he is preserving the history of our country for the generations to come. By helping artists like Antony, our local and federal governments are helping us. I still cannot wipe the happy smile from my face; I am shining from within.
Mariam Arcilla presented the next performer, and wow, the tall yet tiny blond and quite shy girl who had been sitting next to me walked onto the stage. She was Holly Terrens, a song writer, singer, flutist and piano player, who has been surrounded by music since childhood, at home and at church. She writes about what means the most to her: her faith, her life experiences and the coastal environment she has grown up in. As an artist, Holly wants to challenge herself, without being clever just for the sake of it. Today, her music ranges from classic piano-driven songwriting to richly layered and superbly produced pop rock. Holly is already working with producer Brendan Anthony to bring her music to life in the studio with a group of gifted musicians and sound engineers. Holly played and sang two lovely songs for us and I wished that more ‘Gold Coaster’s’ had been there to listen to and see this rising talented star, and to appreciate just what real financial help can support.
Believe it not but the next performer was a doctor who is an expert in everything: psychology, zoology, cardiology and ‘artsology’… He immediately separated us by the sound of our voices: girls are the angels and boys are the beasts. He invited us to his coffee shop that has a very sexy coffee machine… I hope you guessed this straight from the first sentence – ‘artsology’; the doctor is a comedian and his performance was based on a high interaction with his audience. You could not see his face but you heard his confident voice, “I am looking for customers for my coffee shop!” The volunteer was a lovely petite woman from the row behind us. She brilliantly played along with him all the way to the end. We all enjoyed it. I have to unmask him for you, and tell you all I got to know about him, Brin Pritchard.
With a bachelor of Education in Drama and Post Graduate Diploma in film, Brin went to Paris and studied with his hero Jacques Lecoq. Brin has a long list of credits as an actor, theatre writer, director and teacher in Australia and the UK. He has performed for companies such as Emerge, Underground and Evacuations in shows: “Callisthesia” at the Brisbane Powerhouse; “Batavia” at JWC and “A man with 5 children” by Nick Enright. With Mercury’s Wings directors, Claudine Stephen-Smith and James Anderson, he played Horatio in Shakespeare’s “Hamlet”, performed in Samuel Beckett’s “Endgame” and most recently acted in “Twelfth Night”. No doubt Brin Pritchard is a talented performer but to my surprise I found that he is also an awesome sculptor, and he sings and plays his beautiful Maton guitar. But hey, for a doctor who knows everything, including ‘artsology’, I should not be surprised.
Brin relaxed us and prepared us well for the next part of the Creative Juices Networking Event in which Andrew Trump took the leading role. It was time to introduce ourselves to each other in 30 seconds with the given microphone. One elevator speech was followed by another, if you know what I mean; if not, read my article on elevator speech.
Anyway, after short introductions we were served like real stars, with cute and tasty finger food with tempting aromas on round trays that appeared and disappeared in front of us. The whole showroom filled up with people talking showcases, exchanging business cards and making initial arrangement for meeting in the future. Honestly, in my notepad I wrote, “The Creative Juices Networking Event of 9th of December was successful and must become a tradition for years to come. It was well organized and well received. It was free but very meaningful in its core. It brought together young, talented and exemplary members of our Gold Coast community to engage in cooperative relationship for the better future of “Gold Coasters” and to acknowledge the result of help given to them by local and federal government. It created an internal feeling of pride and made us shine from within, regardless of clouds and uncertainty outside. It reminded us that we must become united in order to help ourselves by helping others, and that is exactly what happened at the end. People were talking about cooperation and mutual help, they felt the power of working together and their eyes were filled with sunshine.
If you need support and help as an artist, musician or performer please find out more at this link: http://cultural.goldcoast.qld.gov.au/
Or join the Gold Coast Arts and Culture on http://www.facebook.com/goldcoastartsandculture
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