There is not an artist in the world who knows more about Australia’s Gold Coast than my friend of many years Scott Redford.
Born in Broadbeach in 1962, Redford has since 1983, continued a prolific art practice which whilst coming from an art historical standpoint has encapsulated everything from local and international pop culture imagery, minimalism, queer art, conceptualism, documentation of local mid-century architecture, surf culture, and a vigorous fascination with memory, desire, nostalgia and place.
Inspired by my daughter’s experience of severe deafness and her sole reliance on the use of high powered digital hearing aids to listen and speak, I wondered what it would be like to NOT have access to modern digital hearing aids and be thrust into a world of silence.
I was also very interested in making a film about deafness which did NOT include sign language as part of the deaf narrative. By way of example, my daughter Della Rosa Evans who plays the part of The Girl, does not know or use sign language as a form of communication.
Catalogue cover Scott Redford Selected Works 1983-1992
The place being Australia’s coastal tourism capital the Gold Coast.
Our version of Miami Florida, Santa Monica or Venice California, Palm Springs, Las Vegas or indeed Florida’s own Gold Coast, or a mash up of all of the above.
The Gold Coast being in Redford’s words, ‘the most post modern and fastest growing city in Australia’,
has continued to be the backdrop to which Redford has based almost 30 years of art practice.
PARADISE WATERS EARLY 1970s
Mid-century beach bungalow, Broadbeach
Typically perceived as the cultural backwater with its co-existence of kitschy glitzy night life, tourist playground, beach culture, and property development, Redford has hailed the city
‘A work of art in itself!’
He optimistically embraces his hometown and in typical Warholian fashion continues to be interested in the idea that pop culture is just as important as what is deemed to be ‘high art’ and that the lines are now permanently blurred!
Redford forever interested in the concept of ‘otherness’ has continued to ask the question: ‘Does locality fail?’
Why is anything which comes from outside the cultural epicentres of the world whether that be New York or Melbourne, regarded as less important?
And in fact similar comparisons can be made regarding the status of New York versus Los Angeles artists. Indeed California is currently celebrating its own history of mass culture in many exhibitions such as the current ‘California Art and Design – Living in a Modern Way’ at LACMA .
Scott Redford gets a birthday wish from me.
To my friend of almost 40 years and to someone who always inspires me…..
The Gold Coast now belongs to the global village.
Surfers Paradise has just ‘entered the building!’
‘Our goal must be nothing less than the establishment of Surfers Paradise on earth!’
‘1962 Scott Redford Selected Works 1983-1992; Scott Redford and the Gold Coast ‘The Content of these paintings is secret, known only to the people of Surfers Paradise Gold Coast City Art Gallery; Scott Redford Introducing Reinhardt Dammn QAG/GOMA 2011; J Watson-Evans; Brisbane Times.com.au