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Beneath the Seductive Skyline: Exploring life below the Gold Coast's high-rise towers

The Gold Coast Art Gallery’s CitySCOPE exhibition, partly sponsored by Bond University, is an interactive exhibition about cities from the collection of Gold Coast City Art Gallery (showing until March 30). The highlight of the exhibition is “The cubic structural evolution project”, the 2004 work of Danish contemporary artist Olafur Eliasson.

The project is a spectacular installation that invites visitors to participate in the construction of a cityscape using thousands of pieces of Lego. Within days of the February 16 opening of the current exhibition at the Gold Coast Art Gallery, the Lego blocks were assembled by gallery patrons (young and old alike) as a linear high-rise cityscape - a miniature of the Gold Coast beach strip.

Bond University’s Associate Professor of Urban Planning, Daniel O’Hare, will be delivering a free public talk at 12.30pm on March 13, to offer his response to the work.

Professor O’Hare says the exhibition is particularly appropriate for the Gold Coast, given that it is Australia’s first non-metropolitan high-rise cityscape.

“The image of a city is often defined by its skyline,” Professor O’Hare said.

“Yet the skyline view, seductive as it is, gives us little insight into the urban life that goes on in the streets and other public spaces below the towers."

“My talk will focus on the need to remember that the ground, and the public spaces between the buildings, is where most urban life goes on.  The towers themselves are the private domain, while the streets at their bases – together with the beaches – make up the public realm.”

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