Gold Coast, Australia

J Forsyth

2013 - Ongoing

Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia

Gold Coast is a major tourist destination with its sunny subtropical climate, known for its surf beaches, high-rise dominated skyline, theme parks, nightlife, and rainforest hinterland. Tourism remains fundamental to Gold Coast City's economy, with almost 10 million visitors a year to the area.

A mecca for suburban Australians from cooler climates looking for that beach holiday experience, known for its partying and shopping as much as the beaches. It is also known for its tackiness. Like a lot of tourist areas, the sleepy beach town beginning is still visible via rundown motor inns, 2 star hotels and aging arcades dotted amongst the new malls and high-rise buildings.

This series comes together from two different Gold Coast trips. One, a trip from Melbourne with high school friends for a 30th, the birthday girl chose the destination but doesn’t like the beach. It rained, a lot.

The second visit, to say goodbye to an old friend and an older beach house that she had inherited from her farmer father after his death some years earlier. The house had been sold to developers and they were moving to Canada. A weekend spent in the suburbs of the Gold Coast, just outside the tourist areas. Outdated houses line the highway, soon to be overshadowed by new developments as the tourist area spreads down the coast and the sleepy residential neighbourhoods develop and become absorbed into the metropolis.

I grew up on the Mornington Peninsula, an hour outside of Melbourne. As a child of the 80’s the Gold Coast was everything. My first time on a plane was for a family trip to the Gold Coast in grade 4, we were living the dream.

This series evokes feelings of nostalgia for that iconic bronzed Aussie coupled with sadness of aging buildings and a time forgotten. Passed dreams and visions of young families now all grown up. A familiar yet distant time. Beautiful and broken.

The series was shot on digital and 35mm film. It is as simple and as complex as my 1 letter first name.

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