Arts & culture,
Creative arts & culture

Gold Coast Queer Artist Shares Heart and Humour: Samuel Leighton Dore

Kobi Facto | June 8, 2021

“My work is about peeling back the façade and revealing our shared humanity with heart and humour,” says Gold Coast based Queer Artist, Writer and Director, Samuel Leighton Dore.


Having moved to the Gold Coast from Sydney’s Newtown just four years ago, Queer Artist, Writer and Director, Samuel Leighton Dore, said that the city had been a nourishing environment for his art.

“Living in Newtown – everyone is hustling, it’s very busy. For me, politically and socially, it’s kind of like everyone is a reflection of me – I was a product of Newtown.

“I was really in a choke-hold of making enough money to live in Sydney. I didn’t have a lot of freedom to explore my creative practice outside of my day job.

“Moving to the Gold Coast, it’s more affordable to live, so I’ve had more time to explore my art. And, I was surrounded by new people which was conducive to making work,” explained Samuel.

“My first week living on the Gold Coast was also my first week as a full-time freelance creative.

“I had never had an institution commission any work for me before – and HOTA, Home of the Arts was the first one. I’d never received a grant for my art before and I have here,” Samuel says.

“I guess in a lot of ways my creative work and self-growth feel really intertwined with living on the Gold Coast – which isn’t something I thought I’d ever say – but the Gold Coast has really been a nourishing environment.”

Samuel says there is now a community of young artists and more established artists that have decided to stay put and grow their roots on the Gold Coast.

“There are these little hubs that are growing into precincts that are not dissimilar to those you’d find in Melbourne or Sydney. They’re smaller and more organic at the moment because they’re still being actively crafted. I think it’s really exciting to be here and be a part of that change,” explains Samuel.

Over the years, Samuel has studied film making and pursued his passion for writing, working as a journalist and editor. He now channels his creativity into animation, painting and ceramics, working alongside Bradley Tennant and Jack Grayson at Sad Man Studio – a Gold Coast based creative agency that fosters an inclusive arts community.

“My ceramics and my art have become the tools I use to explore challenging ideas and socio-political values – and work out what I think about the world,” says Samuel.

“For me, my practice is about telling stories with heart and humour without paying too much mind to medium. It’s about peeling back the façade and revealing our shared humanity”.

Samuel will join Gold Coast’s best LGBTQI+ storytellers for an evening of Queerstories as part of the Gold Coast’s Bleach* Festival in November 2020. He has also been commissioned by the new HOTA, Home of the Arts Gallery which is set to open in early 2021.