BROWNS English Language School‘s trip to HOTA (Home of the Arts), an iconic Gold Coast destination where art, entertainment, culture and lifestyle meet. A place that locals love, and visitors must see.

HOTA has cinemas, theatres, comedy gigs, live music, dance, talks, workshops, festivals and many other events. There is also a beautiful adventure trail and sculpture walk beside Evandale Lake, where many people swim and relax on the family-friendly beach. On Sundays, there is a bustling farmer’s market with food stalls, things to buy, music and a friendly atmosphere.

A group of Intensive General English (C1 level) students visited HOTA on 12th May 2023. They had previously been studying how to write art reviews; here, they review two of the current exhibitions: ‘Lost in Palm Springs’, and ‘Australia’s Playground’, as well as the building itself. 

Review – by Maria LARRACHEA EFFA:

The Home of the Arts, known as ‘HOTA’, is an art-based facility that houses an exhibition of paintings and other expressions of art. 

There is a paid exhibition of modern and pop art, ‘Pop Masters’, and three other free exhibitions that have a variety of conceptual art, architecture, urbanism, nature, photography and also video and photo projections.

Most of the displays are focused on the city of the Gold Coast. In a variety of ways, they express the atmosphere of the place, creating a very fun and interesting impression of it. My personal perception was that the Gold Coast is a very active and illuminated city with a very large variety of activities to do and a very rich flora. I really like the way they display this because the gallery is also a place where a lot of tourists and visitors can go, and I believe it creates a very good impression of the place.

Something I really liked about the building and the displays is that even if you are not the biggest fan of paintings, there are still other things that really catch your attention, such as the organisation of the place, the decorations in the main and top floor, the things that hang in the stairwell, some displays that aren’t technically inside the exhibit, the incredible view of the city and even the building itself.

The highlight for me was the way that they organised and distributed the art among the floors leaving the impression of moving from floor to floor and then reaching the top of the building, where you get to observe the greatest and final display, the skyline of the Gold Coast. 

Review by Joao GOBI KUSKOSKI:

Our visit to HOTA provided a sharper look at the artistic aspects present on the Gold Coast.  Even in a short period of time, the experience of the visit could bring the desired result. From the arrival at the building to entering it, the building itself is a work of art in a modern city; the blue of the glass and the grey of the concrete, paint the horizon with small greenish scribbles of nature and some tiny houses around. Its vibrant colours make it a painting on the horizon. The construction, with its stairs and windows joining each floor, demonstrates architectural care, not just simply a building, indeed, the whole place is ‘Art’. Having a play of lighting from its glass, that seemed to converse with the works around it, and the beautiful panoramic view that HOTA provides, a view of a modern horizon, constantly changing and expanding, make the location of the artistic hub, a small Eden in the midst of the growth of constant urban expansion to the heights.

After arriving, we went to the exhibition floor. The floor reserved for photographs, and in particular, the houses, captured me more. Everything was arranged so meticulously, with background music that made me dive into images that seemed more like small models, so untouched and static in time. Empty houses, perfectly organized with each object in its place of belonging, along with one of the works below, there seemed to be a blueprint of the house, giving a colder and more meticulous depth, almost surgical, to an environment that, until then, had always escaped this. Our home, being a place of feelings and sensations, and not just a mere sheet with drawings perfectly calculated by an architect. The entire arrangement around the photographs of these homes, although empty, perhaps not of people but a sense of belonging, made the photos detached from reality, a dollhouse ready to be filled by a perfect family with a perfect life.

I believe that my little personal experience brought more of this vision and made me feel more attached while observing the works because for a house to be empty, people don’t necessarily have to be absent from it, you just have to feel like an outsider in a place that should be your last refuge, and now a house turns into a mausoleum, where you, the former resident, move through it without being there anymore, almost like a wax museum, where you are more of a visitor than someone that belongs there.

I really intend to go back there to see the houses better, and perhaps appreciate them more calmly, something that ironically is frozen in time.

There were other works present as we made our visit, ranging from realism to abstraction, but as I said, the houses in the end were the ones that captured me, either because I am far away from home or for the fear that as time goes by, I won´t miss my home, as, like in the works, my home is already empty, perfectly frozen in time, abstracted from our time. These photos brought me to think a lot about the question of how we live in the moment of Impersonation of Spaces, and sooner or later, our houses will suffer the same. The place we call ‘home’, is nothing but a box to rest, in the face of an excruciating and uncertain routine. In the end, our home no longer feels like ours, but just another empty space that we pass through, frozen in time.

Review by Ambrosio ROJAS ECHAVE:

This exhibition is free to visit and has works from many different artists. As well as the exhibition floors, there is a rooftop bar and a wonderful view of the city that is worth seeing.

When you enter, there are free lockers where you must put your things, because you can’t enter with a big bag or a backpack.

The art that is exhibited can produce a range of feelings in you and the difference in the techniques of the paintings and photos provide an interesting contrast. Some of the paintings are abstract and others very realistic, but each one makes you feel different, from the moment you see it. Some pieces use recycled objects to form a completely new one and others use them as a canvas.

My favourite paintings are the ones related to nature and urbanism. There were paintings that mixed the right amount of abstract and real nature, which make you feel like it could be real, because of its colours, but at the same time know that it was abstract, because of its shapes.

Many paintings were difficult to understand, but there were descriptions, next to the artists’ information, which made the context and the meaning or message of the painting a lot clearer and easier to understand.

Overall, it is a very good exhibition, where you can appreciate many different types of art and also various artists and have a good time seeing things that you normally don’t see. I recommend going to HOTA, 135 Bundall Rd, Surfers Paradise, QLD 4217.

Since 2003, BROWNS English Language School has delivered world-class English Language training to international students from around the world. More than 35,000 students from 102 nationalities have completed a BROWNS program, making BROWNS one of the leading private ELICOS provider in Queensland for adults and young learners.


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