Offbeat, charming and brimming with character are the most apt descriptions when thinking about QT Hotels & Resorts; anyone who has been a guest at one of their properties around the globe would tell you that broad thinking and artful design have come to define the chain, evidenced by Australian iterations like QT Gold Coast, which will host a new expansive art program this weekend by the name of Hotelling.
Hotelling is new cultural event for the brand, put on in collaboration with the City of Gold Coast, Bleached Arts (Bleach Festival), and award-winning creative David Pledger who has curated a program designed towards the ambitious and bold, aiming at lifting the true spirit from the “high-functioning playground” (his words) that is QT Gold Coast. Over two days (Friday and Saturday) the property will be steeped in unpredictable art and performance, transforming everything from the hotel’s corridors and courtyards to its cocktails bars and darker corners.
The events planned are being described as “flirtatious, fly-on-the-wall” interactions, bolstered by talents that include the city’s best dancers, theatre makers, musicians, and media artists who will shift the shape of the regular QT experience with flourishes both subtle and confronting.
“[QT Gold Coast’s] daily life and architecture is performance-ready”, said Pledger. “The opportunities to embed artists and art-making that respond to this playfulness and sensuality are irresistible. From the 22nd floor to the tennis courts, it will be a down-the-rabbit-hole rollercoaster of an artistic ride”.
“Hotelling has the potential to create a new space for artists and audiences to play, an environment that instantly frees one’s inhibitions, invites curiosity and evokes an amplified sense of escape as travel and art experiences collid”, explained Bleached Art’s Artistic Director Louise Bezzina. “Hotels are such a defining icon in our city’s identity, so it is exciting to see them become a new space to explore contemporary cultural experiences”.
The program itself is shaping up for a big two days at QT Hotel. Lauded performance artist Moira Finucane is but one of the locals adding her own unique flavour to Hotelling with her internationally sold-out “Queen of Harts” and “Dark and Gothic” cabaret shows, both of which will form part of “Down the Rabbit Hole”, a mini art series scheduled for both Friday and Saturday evenings. Finucane will also be getting up close and personal with guests during the “The Floating Confessional”, an afternoon event to be held in QT Gold Coast’s pool before moving on up to the penthouse for “The Art of Hospitality”, a lounge styled conversation.
In addition to Finucane a whole crew of other artists will be making up “Down the Rabbit Hole”, which invites audiences to start from the top, in the Penthouse, and work there way around the property in small groups as they are immersed in a series of boutique performances – many being newly commissioned – like a program art work from renowned media artist Craig Walsh; contemporary dance by local company The Farm; a mysterious performance called “The Crying Man” by accomplished stage, film, and television actor/director Todd MacDonald; a sound-specific installation called “Ghosts in the Machine” by acclaimed composer and media artist Lawrence English and more.
The other main component of Hotelling is “The Afternoon Playground” across the property’s penthouse, poolside and promenade. Offbeat artist led conversations and confessions will feature along with QuTe bike tours around Surfers Paradise which will be led by performance Alicia Min-Harvie and Jonny Haselam. Intimate cinema experiences will also play a part, cheekily taking place in the back of QT’s classic 70’s custom-made FJ Holden panel van while elsewhere performer Sam Foster hosts one-on-one yogi snacks.
Needless to say guests must be 18+, but Hotelling will be open for both those staying at the hotel and those just visiting. Tickets to “Down the Rabbit Hole” (Friday 4th and Saturday November 5th 8pm-11pm) are $50 per person, per session and include a free drink, while tickets to “The Afternoon Playground” (Saturday 5th November 1pm-4pm) are set at $30 per person with free bike hire and a mystery QuTe tour).