From Palm Springs to Ballarat

The visual identity of Palm Springs is so strong that the mere mention of it conjures images of mid-century modern architecture planted deeply within scorching deserts—cacti and cocktails perfectly positioned poolside, straight out of a Slim Aarons photograph. It’s all very Californian, and yet, is it also a little bit Queensland? The climate is right, and the bungalows aren’t far off.

Lost in Palm Springs at the Art Gallery of Ballarat asks nine Australian and five US artists to respond to—whether capturing or re-imagining—the evocative aura of Palm Springs, or the Palm Springs-esque. Australians Kate Ballis, Tom Blachford, Anna Carey, Sam Cranstoun, Paul Davies, Rosi Griffin, Vicki Stravrou, Robyn Sweaney and Gosia Wlodarczak sit alongside works by Darren Bradley, Jim Isermann, Troy Kudlac, Lance O’Donnell and Kim Stringfellow from the United States.

The exhibition is an initiative developed by HOTA, Home of the Arts in the Gold Coast, and is curated by Dr Greer Honeywill, who says: “In an era of radical transformation, it is calming, inspiring, and reassuring to lose yourself in the art and architecture of a dream.”

Art Gallery of Ballarat Director Louise Tegart says, “This vibrant and inspiring exhibition will take visitors on an excursion through the great Australian dream, providing insight and connection between America and Australia and post-war architectural imaginings.”

View, in pictures, the visual culture of a post-war Australian dream.

Tom Blachford, Donald Wexler Steel House #1, 1962 with Studebaker Avanti, 2017, archival inkjet print on Canson Plantine paper, 93 x 138 cm. Image courtesy of the artist.

Anna Carey, 84 Frank Street, Surfers Paradise…then, 2015, Giclée print, 74 x 109 cm. Collection: HOTA Gallery, Gold Coast. Acquired through the assistance of our generous benefactors, 2016. Image courtesy of the artist.

Kim Stringfellow, Jackrabbit Homestead, Patentee, Worth Brewer, U.S. Patent No.1146096, Patent Date: 8/11/1954, 2005-2008, archival pigment print, 45 x 58 cm. Image courtesy of the artist.

Vicki Stavrou, Late Afternoon Sprinklers, 2021, acrylic on gallery cotton canvas, 63 x 94 cm. Image courtesy of the artist and Anthea Polson Gallery.

Troy Kudlac, Desert Eichler_4, 2020, Gallery model MC-674, architect Claude Oakland, FAIA, diptych (detail), archival pigment print, 43 x 123 cm. Photograph Peter Tran. Image courtesy Troy Kudlac.

Robyn Sweaney, Gold Coast Highway #1, 2009, acrylic on canvas, 40 x 50 cm. Photograph Peter Waddington. Collection: HOTA Gallery. Gifted by the citizens of the Gold Coast to future generations 2022.

Rosi Griffin, Just Beachy, 2020, watercolour on paper, 43 x 53 cm. Image courtesy of the artist.