‘The Magpie Totem” – Artists Gift Back to HOLA

Eumundi’s boutique hotel accommodation HOLA (House of Local Art) supported and commissioned a wealth of local Sunshine Coast creatives in curating the hotel’s impressive art collection. In a generous return of favour, a collective of local artists have now collaborated to create and gift the hotel a special work of thanks – ‘The Magpie Totem’.

Head Honcho at HOLA, Nicky Thomas, explains how intrinsic art is to the Eumundi boutique accommodation space.

“HOLA is all about the art!” she says. “It’s the handcrafted creations on walls, the ceramics on side tables and benches, and the sculptures and installations sprinkled throughout the hotel grounds that guests really love.”

There are 45 original artworks hanging on the walls of HOLA, more than 100 individual ceramic pieces and 13 sculptures and installations.

“Sourcing the artworks for the hotel was the best bit,” says Nicky “We wanted to ensure local artists were honoured and celebrated – and Noosa Open Studios proved the perfect event for us to meet artists face-to-face. Indeed, more than 80 percent of our HOLA art collection was sourced through artists featured at Noosa Open Studios.”

As a thank you to HOLA for their support, five artists from Noosa Open Studios – Lisa Jones, Jo Cook, Kerry Norman, Sue Boyd and Carol Watkins – came together to reciprocate the favour, resulting in the sculptural work entitled ‘Magpie Totem’ that has now been installed in the hotel grounds.


Lisa Jones says reciprocating the favour draws upon the Andean concept of ‘Ayni’ – an exchange of energy – where community members work together, sharing, gifting and co-operating so that they grow together.

“We wanted to create something understated with organic elements, and something that would align with the many fabulous bird-inspired artworks at the hotel,” Lisa says. There are 100 ceramic welcome swallows positioned in a giant silky oak; a pair of big-eyed curlews grace the hotel walkway; and feathered friends feature in a number of the paintings scattered throughout the guest rooms.

The artists decided the magpie would be the star – chosen for their intelligence and wit, cheek and fearlessness, and said to bring love, luck and lasting prosperity.

“We sculpted our maggies during a clay workshop with ceramic artist Cathy Spencer of Fried Mudd,” says Lisa. “The next step was to carve the bamboo totems, which were harvested from black bamboo on my property.”

The poles were then coloured and embellished further (Carol’s with saggar fired beads) before being assembled and positioned on-site at HOLA.

Inspired by their collaboration in coming together to create ‘The Magpie Totem’, Lisa, Jo, Kerry and Carol will again create some special 2D/3D pieces that will be auctioned at the launch for Noosa Open Studios on 22 September.

Noosa Open Studios 2022 will take place from 1 – 9 October, with 117 artists registered for this year’s event.

For further information about Noosa Open Studio, visit www.noosaopenstudios.com.au

For HOLA bookings and further information, visit www.holaeumundi.com.au or call 5442 8361.



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