Rebecca Cunningham marries music and art in GCMA trophy design

Gold Coast Music Awards (GCMAs) is a collaboration of creative minds from concept to the delivery; live music, to visual arts and art practitioners. The GCMAs partnered with SWELL Sculpture Festival some years ago to find local talent to design the main physical award and promo material, chose the wonderful Dion Parker for the job and have continued working with him ever since. Every year, the Awards, with the help of SWELL, are also adding other artist names to the list by commissioning a separate trophy annually for the People’s Choice award. This year that artist is Gold Coast-based Rebecca Cunningham.

“Live music is a huge part of my life and my arts practice. I do live paintings at gigs. This is where I set up my easel on stage with the band and I generally paint one of the band member’s guitar cases. I do it every year at the Byron Bay Blues Festival and Byron Bay Guitar Festival. I also do a lot of album artwork [including] Hussy Hicks, Felicity Lawless, Kate Leopold, Katie Who and Phil Barlow,” says Rebecca, when asked to describe her relationship to music and the live music scene.

She discusses the elements of the design.

“This sculptural award is made up of three elements: sound, movement and timber. I have combined them in a way to represent my interpretation of the originality of the Gold Coast Music scene; an old homemade phonograph horn symbolises the originality and the noise that the Gold Coast music scene is currently making in Australia and the timber is a local native wood tying in the connection to the land that this music created on. The small dancing figurine is a symbol that appears throughout a lot of my painting. She symbolises myself, and the way I metaphorically move through and connect with the world.”

SWELL Sculpture Festival is an official design partner of Gold Coast Music Awards. Rebecca’s sculptural design will remain as a one-off sculpture and signature piece for the People’s Choice winners. There is also more to this sculpture than meets the eye; the twist is the cavity in the sculpture’s wooden base for a phone, where the phonograph will then amplify the sounds from your phone like a fully-functional phonograph would.

“It is a real honour for me to be creating this award. I work a lot with sound within my arts practice and also with musicians. I love the crossover of arts practices and just how easily we can help and inspire each other to live our best lives, doing what we love most!”

You can join Rebecca in her Live Drawing classes at The Dust Temple or HOTA, see one of her latest sculptures at Swell Sculpture Festival this coming September or maybe see her at one of the music festivals down Byron Bay way. The Gold Coast Music Awards hit Surfers Paradise foreshore on 2 May. More at

Be first to comment