Several hybrid minerals have been added to the rip-rap – the mound of rocks protecting the shoreline from the waves – situated opposite the André Malraux Museum of Modern Art. These precious stones and golden meteorites light up with different shades of colours, according to the time of day : they reflect the sun's rays during the day, glow when it sets, and twinkle under the moonlight.
Gold Coast stands in contrast to the light colour of polished concrete and the blues and greys of the mineral and maritime landscape to give a new aesthetic look to this esplanade. The rip-rap is covered with gold, in the same way a precious heritage site would be.
The artwork also evokes the economic dimension of global port trade. As an unalterable and incorruptible material, and a symbol of everlastingness, gold is a safe bet when the economy is volatile. These massive shiny gold nuggets create an illusion of inexhaustible and incredible wealth. Gold Coast is a nod to the utopia of a maritime El Dorado.
This artwork was created by HeHe, an artist duo composed of Helen Evans and Heiko Hansen, both artists and teachers at the High School of Art & Design of Le Havre & Rouen (ESADHaR), where they are in charge of the Art, Media, and Environment department. Their work focuses on the industrialisation of landscapes and all related social and environmental issues through sometimes poetic or humorous installations.