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Inside ArtKeeper: Meet our Storyteller in Residence

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Inside ArtKeeper: Meet our Storyteller in Residence

Our new cohort of ArtKeeper artists have spent the past month settling into their new creative haven at HOTA.

Among our ArtKeeper artists is Lachlan Woods, our first-ever Storyteller in Residence. An actor, theatre maker, and photographer, Lachlan graduated with a Bachelor of Dramatic Arts in 2009 and most recently played Draco Malfoy in the Australian production of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.

His photography practice centres on portraiture and the private moments that precede performance. Alongside capturing the behind the scenes stories of our ArtKeeper program, he’ll pursue a photographic series exploring the unique personalities of the Gold Coast through environmental portraiture.

Hear from Lachlan below as he settles into the role and stay tuned for more updates as our artists navigate their journey at HOTA.


Deep within HOTA Central, in a space that once housed the precinct’s main gallery, five artists are settling in for six months of creative residency. HOTA’s groundbreaking ArtKeeper program has entered its third year and I’m fortunate to be one of the creative practitioners in residence here.

I’m new to the Gold Coast, having relocated here with my wife, baby and ubiquitous Groodle from Melbourne late last year. I’m an actor and photographer who also writes a bit, I drink black filter coffee and my dog is named after an obscure island in a Shakespeare play. I'm cartoonishly urbane. Notwithstanding this incurable turtleneck energy, I’ve been greeted with so much friendliness and enthusiasm by everyone I’ve met since moving to the Gold Coast. It's been genuinely lovely.

ArtKeeper Tal Fitzpatrick Captured by Storyteller in Residence, Lachlan Woods

ArtKeeper Tal Fitzpatrick
Captured by Storyteller in Residence, Lachlan Woods

ArtKeeper Samuel Leighton-Dore Captured by Storyteller in Residence, Lachlan Woods

ArtKeeper Samuel Leighton-Dore
Captured by Storyteller in Residence, Lachlan Woods

ArtKeepers Lisa Smith and Tal Fitzpatrick Captured by Storyteller in Residence, Lachlan Woods

ArtKeepers Lisa Smith and Tal Fitzpatrick
Captured by Storyteller in Residence, Lachlan Woods

ArtKeeper Loki Liddle Captured by Storyteller in Residence, Lachlan Woods

ArtKeeper Loki Liddle
Captured by Storyteller in Residence, Lachlan Woods

For all my dyed-in-the-wool Melbourne pedigree, the dog-eat-dog struggle for a firm foothold and the relentless pace of the big smoke can be overwhelming and isolating. Since time immemorial, artists have escaped the city and sought sanctuary in milder climates - sometimes to recover from exotic maladies associated with a bohemian lifestyle - but mostly to hit the reset button, find inspiration and advance their creative practice.

I’ll let you guess which one I’m dealing with.

Over the next six months, I’ll be documenting and posting the work that happens down here in our creative bunker, sharing some of my own thoughts and experiences and devising my own creative project. You can also follow me on Instagram at @lachwoods.


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HOTA proudly acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of the land on which we are situated, the Kombumerri families of the Yugambeh Language Region. We pay our respects to their Elders past, present and emerging, and recognise their continuing connections to the lands, waters and their extended communities throughout South East Queensland.

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