Visiting the Gold Coast – Surfers Paradise

So yesterday I filled you in a little of my adventures of the last week, it has sure been an adventure! We arrived in sunny Queensland last Friday, glorious warm sunshine, I had been so looking forward to it, Queensland (QLD) is the perfect sun lovers paradise in Spring when it is not too hot and humid (like it was last Jan). We spent most of the afternoon sitting in a cafe in the sunshine on the phone trying to sort out some dramas at home. Mum had been raced off to the hospital with what we now know was gallstones and was operated on last Thursday and doing OK, not Mum I was so worried about, I mean she was in the hospital with people looking after her, but Dad was home alone. Dad has MND and his health and physical abilities are declining, he needs help with most daily tasks, let alone being in the house on his own. So I rallied some family and neighbours to help take care of him, I am lucky that one neighbour, in particular, is an angel.

So with that all taken care of we wandered down to the Esplanade in Surfers Paradise, Friday evenings there has always been a night market, so glad it is still on, we aimlessly wandered the stands and bought some yummy nibbles, enjoying the sunset and the warmth, smells and atmosphere. We always loved to bring the kids here on previous visits.

We grabbed some dinner and then settled in to prepare for the weekend’s conference. Many, many months ago I was booked as a Speaker for the Australian Photography Society’s Annual Conference, quite an honour. I am not a member and they really wanted some outside influence to shake them up a bit.

On Saturday Morning we had Sebastian Michaels as a guest speaker via the Internet from the USA who has been one of my Mentors for many years. He spoke of living a photo artistic life, his favourite topic and what can be achieved in Photoshop. We then had a 45 minute Q&A. Quite a lively discussion from a group of very conservative photographers.

We then had our panel discussion, there was me, Lisa Kurtz and Phillipa Fredericksen, all Conceptual Artists, all with very different styles and very different age groups, possibly 20-30 years difference between each of us. Our discussion was on WHAT is Conceptual Art & Photography, why it is relevant, and how we each use it to push the boundaries of our art further. Why it is important in photography and how using it, even in a small part can help propel digital art and photography further, especially for new generations to come. It is no longer just the realm of the SLR and DSLR. This was quite a lively debate, this is a VERY Conservative Group, Myself and Lisa were bought in to stir the pot as it were. We continued past our allotted time and even into lunch, much discussion continued into lunch as well.

After lunch Hubby picked me up (he wasn’t attending the convention) and we drove out to Hinze Dam and the Hinterlands, Natural bridge and the surrounds (will do a post on each soon). Such a lovely relaxing afternoon.

We then came back and got ready for the Gala Social Dinner, such a wonderful night filled with talk of all things photographic, of course, as well as arts, travel and more. I met lots of lovely people, some of which I feel our friendship will continue long past this event.

Sunday morning was a day of catching up with a few people, discussions on various future endeavours and then, of course, my keynote speech on Conceptual Portrait Photography. I was very nervous beforehand, but once I got up on stage and started to talk, I strangely felt OK. I ended the talk to complete silence, I was not sure if it had all gone straight over their head or had them completely bamboozled. There were only a few questions during my Q&A. Afterwards, people came up singly to ask various questions or to thank me, thank ME…so weird. Apparently, my presentation was so complete, I had answered most questions, BEFORE the Q&A. One guy said he kept writing down questions, then crossing them out as I answered them, he said he gave up writing questions down in the end. I had people say they were completely gobsmacked at what I do and had never considered standard photography could be pushed so far, or that Conceptual Photography is actually one of the mediums oldest Genres, I am not talking about Digital Image Manipulation, but storytelling, which is what I mainly do. It was quite a heady experience.

MarissaL Superheroes
I am now officially a Super Hero

Apparently, I made a huge impression on one lady, Marisa, who has asked me to be a Mentor, she created this image of me and some of the committee members – I am officially a Super Hero, just wish my legs actually looked that good 🙂

Lots more chatter during lunch and into the afternoon, apparently I made quite an impact but took off not long after lunch and Hubby and I visited Mount Tamborine and more of the Hinterlands.

Sunday night was their awards ceremony and I didn’t feel I belonged there, I did not really understand all of their awards processes very well. We had a quiet dinner and packed up to leave on Sunday.

I didn’t carry a camera with me and took no images really, so not too much to share, but I did grab a few with the phone.

I spent the following day at Sea World, such a happy place to visit, then back to Brisbane to spend a few days with my daughter, but more on all that in other posts.

I hope you have an amazing week…

~ Julz, xo