ARCHITECTURE on the Sunshine Coast is all about embracing the environment. The use of ventilation and shade as well as light. The use of natural bushland. Speaking at the Australian Institute of Architects Sunshine Coast Awards last Friday night, artist Blair McNamara reminded the audience how important it was to retain that attitude for generations to come. The artist grew up on the Sunshine Coast with tank water, cold showers that had a cement floor with a chisel slot for the water to drain out between banana trees. The reflection of sunlight from the Skennars buses as they passed.
“I documented Coolum in my drawings,” he said, “often done on masonite and swapped for a surfboard. But it gave me a strong appreciation of the old houses, the surf clubs and the environment. The ephemerality of that inspires my artwork. So does the environment. You become aware of the boundaries and the rivers, the smell of the native grasses and the trees – the feeling of coming home.”
“We need to get a grip on reality, instead of the environment being covered by high-rise buildings and freeways. The Coast has changed and the shacks have gone. The periodic wildlife encounters have gone – koalas in the laundry, snakes in the garage. They cannot be fathomed by the texting teenager. The shacks were part of our sociability back then. My current paintings are abstract but they still reflect an intuitive account of what is still within the landscape. These evoke the simplicity of the environment. I love seeing that retained in the houses at Moffat Beach and Palmwoods, at Sunshine Beach and Marcoola. The earlier dwellings now mix with modern styles. Concrete spaces that can mix with old parts.”
“It’s great to see that architecture on the Coast is embracing most of the history. It’s exciting that they’re re-implementing old ideas for retro. Tonight I’m looking forward to seeing acknowledgements for recent structures, seeing companies awarded for their art.”
“That is very exciting,” he said. “Everything’s art … even a biro.”
Source: Sunshine Coast Daily
Photo: Mark Damant, left, Queensland president Shane Thompson, of Woods Bagot, Dragi Majstorovic, Liam Proberts, left, of bureau proberts, Paul Curran of Push Architects and Blair McNamara at the 2013 Australian Institute of Architects Sunshine Coast Awards presentation at the Mooloolaba Surf Club.
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