FIBRO COAST AT THE ARTS CENTRE

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By Benjamen Judd

There are many iconic images that people associate with the Gold Coast – the beaches, the people, Meter Maids, a vibrant night life that can compare to any of the major capital cities and of course our high rises. The architecture of the Gold Coast is now as much a part of our identity as the pristine sand and neverending surf that brings people from all over the world to our coastline. But it wasn’t always like this and Fibro Coast, a new exhibition at the Arts Centre Gold Coast, is exploring those simpler times.

In the era before motels and resorts, a holiday at the Gold and Sunshine coasts usually meant either pitching a tent and camping by the beach or staying in a simple cottage owned by family or friends. Simplicity, informality, individuality and increasingly a design that acknowledged a connection to outdoor living were the hallmarks of these humble places. Despite rapid change to the urban fabric of the Coasts currently taking place, a few of these buildings remain, and hold with them many layers of memory of this holiday history of relaxation and escape. Fibro Coast aims to creatively re-engage with the cultural, artistic, architectural and design legacy of the humble fibro beach house, and through the work of artists and architects allows us to take another look at these quiet and disappearing places.

The exhibition features works by artists who holidayed here from the 1920s such as Vida Lahey and Lloyd Rees and then continues with new work by contemporary artists who have been invited to respond to the continuing resonance of these structures within the rapidly changing beach front environment.

This is the final week that you will be able to see Fibro Coast (which closes on Sunday, 23 March) and it is also a free event. We encourage everybody whether you’re a long time local or just a weekend guest to check it out and see how much has changed in the last 50 years.