Muralist’s tall storeys to transform University’s beachside campus

Published 19 February 2018
Guido van Helten Guido van Helten painting the Brim silos.

World-renowned Australian artist Guido van Helten will transform a 10-storey building overlooking North Kirra Beach at Southern Cross University’s Gold Coast campus.

Guido, a Southern Cross University alumnus, has created more than 50 large-scale photorealistic murals across the globe from Italy to Ukraine. In Australia he has transformed regional communities by depicting local people on disused industrial silos in the remote Victorian town of Brim, population 200, and on train carriages departing from Manildra station in Central West NSW.

Guido said he was excited to create his latest mural during his first visit to the University’s Gold Coast campus on the landmark 10-storey building next to the Gold Coast Airport.

“What is most interesting about this project is reflecting people’s connection with their built environment, which in my previous work has often been on industrial sites, but in this case it’s a social and very interactive modern space where people come to learn and grow,” Guido said.

“I work by bringing a lot of influence from the site, so I want to use that style of architecture and that modern look to influence the design in a way that suits the site and place. It will be something that is very different to what I’ve done before, which I’m excited about.”

The University welcomes the community to observe Guido as he transforms the 43-metre-high blank canvas, spanning across two walls and taking up to three weeks to complete. He will also host photographic workshops for students at both the Lismore and Gold Coast campuses during University Orientation in the lead up to the mural’s creation.

Guido graduated from the Bachelor of Visual Arts program at the University’s Lismore campus in 2008.

“I have never been to the Gold Coast campus, which opened after I graduated, but I know it’s been developing with great new facilities, so it will be interesting to visit and share stories about my career and bring that back to where I came from,” he said.

“I have a lot of fond memories of studying in Lismore, away from my home environment in Brisbane, exploring a new place and trying to fit in with the culture while I was developing myself and my work. There is something special about those coastal regions along the North Coast and the Gold Coast as well.”

Guido’s unique process of incorporating photography into his figurative mural creations draws crowds worldwide, wherever his spray can and boom lift take him.

Southern Cross University Vice Chancellor Professor Adam Shoemaker said the mural project would be a wonderful new venture which celebrates the Gold Coast’s interest in transformation and public culture.

“I am excited for the Gold Coast campus to be seen and reflected as the place it truly is, showcasing its distinctive space and culture,” he said.

“I have watched Guido’s work with awe, from the 63-piece shipping container project in Dubai to the Nashville Walls project. To have our world-famous alumnus return for such an inspiring project will benefit us and the whole community. I predict it will rapidly become an icon of the Southern Gold Coast.

“We are inviting locals and tourists to the Gold Coast campus to watch his latest masterpiece take shape. This place-making will create a vibrant sense of space and will be visible from the Gold Coast’s scenic coastline.”

Photo: Paul Carracher/Wimmera Mail-Times

Media contact: Jessica Nelson jessica.nelson@scu, or 0417288794