Sexualizing the City
Gold Coast City Art Gallery
The Arts Centre Gold Coast
135 Bundall Rd
Until Dec 2
Love it or hate it, there's no ignoring the Gold Coast, Australia's beacon of sun, surf, glitz and hedonism. For since its infancy in the roaring twenties, the Gold Coast has ingrained itself in the psyche as Australia's el dorado, where people go to live it up and let their hair down.
With the ensuing years came surfer boys, bikini girls, pyjama parties and meter maids, all of which served to cement its reputation as a wild and sexy city that it still holds today. Yet underlying this unshakeable and superficial image there has been a whole lot more to the Gold Coast than sex and bikini clad girls. And it is this fascinating retrospective that draws on the rich cache of designers, fashion, entrepreneurs and attractions who have shaped the coast and the associated themes of freedom, promise, allure, raunch and a world turned upside down .
On show are a rich and intriguing display of visual images (artworks and vintage posters) and relics of the last century as well as works by past and emerging artists, designs by the likes of Paula Stafford, a fashion trail blazer who introduced Australia's very own version of the French bikini in 1952, the Gold Coast's famous designer Ivy Hassard, and the P from the iconic Pink Poodle which was the Gold Coast's most famous go-to motel in its hey-day.
In association with the retrospective are talks by Paula Stafford and Ivy Hassard's daughter and a breakfast debate by the Gold Coast's movers and shakers as to whether these are the last days of the Gold Coast as a 'sexy' destination.