Author Archives: Suzette Sayer

About Suzette Sayer

As part of my role as heritage consultant I am constantly on the look out for iconic forms of design and architecture. My current project is a grass roots initiative to create a Mobile Museum that captures the stories of the Gold Coast through community interactions in temporary pop-up exhibitions. The project aims to be facilitated through the Hip! (Heritage in Paradise) Mobile, a vintage style tear drop caravan equipped with a recording studio, and room for exhibition materials. So join us on this journey of discovery and help us uncover HIP! Suzette Sayer

It’s a great place to die…

Pyjamas in Paradise

Pyjamas in Paradise

The Pyjamas in Paradise performance at the GCAC bought back some great memories on Saturday night. Had the best time. You can book tickets here.

Songs from the 50s and 60s straight off my parents old LPs. Flashbacks to the Gold Coast’s early development when ‘big, white, towers’ were only a dream, and Paula Stafford’s bikinis where creating havoc on the beaches. Accommodation like the  iconic ‘Pink Poodle’, the Beachcomber, and Tiki Village, were popular honeymoon destinations. If you didn’t get the  reference to the real Pink Poodle on stage, that was it.

It was a shame they didn’t give the dog credits.

PS. The title is a tongue in check reference, from the performance, to the Gold Coast being a great place to retire to.


To photograph or not to photograph. Archibald Prize 2011

Mother (a portrait of Cate), Del Kathryn Barton

Mother (a portrait of Cate), Del Kathryn Barton

This morning I visited the Tweed River Art Gallery to see the 2011 Archibald Prize which was fabulous. It is one thing to see the artworks on-line, quite another to stand in front of these works and see every nuance and brushstroke.

What did bother me though was the sign in the gallery asking people to respect the artists copyright and not take photos. My question is, since these works are already available for everyone, who has access to the internet to, see, download, print off, mash-up, etc then what is the problem with taking photos?

I would be more than interested in an explanation.

Dennis Nona, Waii – Coming In

Yarwarr, Dennis Nona, 2007 etching

Yarwarr, Dennis Nona, 2007 etching

Dennis Nona, Waii – Coming In

Gold Coast City Art Gallery

30 July – 11 September 2011

Saw this exhibition yesterday and absolutely loved it. Etchings are one of my favourite art forms and Dennis does these on a huge scale. This is a must see exhibition. See my photos from the exhibition on my face book page.

From the biography of Dennis Nona, Freckled Lounge Gallery…

“Nona pioneered the development of the highly intricate linocut prints unique to the Torres Strait Islands. He has documented, in a vivid visual form, the ancient myths and legends of his island and the wider Torres Strait that had previously been transmitted by oral story telling and dance.

He uses a more graphic way of storytelling. Instead of a work based on a single image like that of the traditional Torres Strait Islander art, he introduced many, following what was being done by mainland Aboriginal artists. In this way he could relate an entire narrative in one single work with all the characters and events in one image. To link the work he introduced a matrix of delicately lined clan patterning, so binding the entire story to its place of origin. Since this breakthrough, the intricate designs and bold figurative imagery created by printmakers like Nona, have given local culture a vital reinvigoration. Today they are central to a cultural revival and elders now refer to them to help them to relate ancient stories to others. These were fast fading from common knowledge and being lost to new generations of Islanders suffering the cultural dislocation often imposed by the impact European settlement and influence.

Within Nona’s work there is a celebration of island myths and legends, of how humans, animals, plants and landscape took their meaning from epic or magical events in the past. It was a culture where fighting was glorified and warriors were held in high esteem. Legendary heroes wore distinctive local headdress and masks. They played drums and used objects associated with their ritual ceremonies and dances. It was a culture of head hunters, cannibalism and raiding parties that attacked homes built in tree tops. It was a society where men, women, sorcerers and witches came to their final grief by being transformed into sea creatures or cast into the sea to become the islands and rocky outcrops evident throughout the Western Torres Strait Islands today.”

Retrieved on 14 August from

Invisible cultural institutions


In my reading for Virtual Heritage – AIM715 Deakin University I have been disturbed by the idea that those cultural institutions who do not use Web 2.0 are literally invisible to a large part of the public. They do not have the tools to start a conversation, engage an audience, or be a platform for public involvement.

Shockingly for a city that is the 6th most populated city in Australia, none of our cultural institutions have a social media presence. Partly, I believe, it is the combination of fear of; the unknown, what the public might have to say, losing control over the content, losing the ‘authoritative’ presence, losing the authentic experience; as well as accessibility issues, and lack of management support.

So it has been decided that as a volunteer initiative a fellow cultural heritage aficionado and I are going to set up a social media campaign primarily for the Gold Coast’s non-profit cultural heritage institutions such as the GC Historical Society. Using Facebook, Twitter, and WordPress, we aim to blog, tweet and post about the happenings, issues, and dramas of cultural heritage work on the Gold Coast. We aim to ‘go live’ in a months time after discussions with those in the field, so keep an eye out for us then.

Cultural marketta


The Rabbit and Cocoon arts precinct, an artists run initiative, are launching the first Miami Marketta this Friday night, 5-10pm. 48 stalls will exhibit fashion, art and furniture followed on Sunday with a gourmet food market.

The Friday night arts creative will be held once a month (9th Sept, 14 Oct, 11 Nov, 9 Dec), while the gourmet food market will be held every Sunday 6.30am – 12 noon, at Hillcrest Parade, Miami.

Phone 0417 728 844



Art of the brick

Art of the Brick

Art of the Brick

Art of the brick is an exhibition of Lego sculptures by Nathan Sawaya, a New York based artist. First ever exhibition to use Lego bricks as the primary medium. Federation Square, Melbourne, Victoria, from 2nd June – 2nd August 2011. Also recreated in Lego bricks by Australian Lego artists are a selection of  Melbourne icon’s. You’ll get the chance to place your ‘brick in the wall’ and bring to life a mystery mosaic featuring a famous Melbourne icon. Measuring 4.5 metres wide by 2.2 metres high, the mosaic will be made up of 168,000 LEGO bricks when completed and weigh 350kg!

Trails with tales


The initial “Walk the book” project was  aimed at researching the possibility of a digital literary walking trail for Brisbane.  The project provided initial research into the integration of literary history, cultural sites and residential and tourist activities. A literary tourism venture that would link Brisbane’s literary history and cultural sites through a series of walking trails that  would be delivered via web and mobile phone technology as well as in print. The ultimately aim… to become a link in UNESCO’s Creative Cities network.