Art inspires creativity at new innovation hub

A big, bold wall of colour will inspire creative thinkers at Griffith’s new innovation hub on the Gold Coast.

Queensland College of Art alumnus and lecturer Dr Simon Degroot created an epic 5m x 16m floor to ceiling mural for the Griffith Innovation Centre – the biggest campus artwork ever commissioned by Griffith.

Art on a grand scale

Dr Simon Degroot

The large-scale abstract work, Puzzle Innovate Solve, is modelled on a series of overlapping painted paper cut-outs. It creates a striking backdrop for the collaborative work space, which will also accommodate regular events and workshops.

The mural took more than a week to install – a physically demanding process that involved an electric scissor lift, scaffolding, rollers, brushes and vast amounts of paint.

“It was important for this work to be on a grand scale,” Dr Degroot said.

“This is a large space, with big ambition and potential. The artwork had to be equally ambitious and audacious.”

Celebrating creativity

The work was inspired by the concept of a flow state.

“This work celebrates creative problem solving and abstract thinking,” he said.

“It encourages your mind to wander and enter a state of flow where you can find creative solutions.”

Creating a sense of place

Dr Degroot is an internationally recognised artist whose distinctive large-scale pieces can be seen everywhere from city laneways and boutique hotels to hospitals and railway stations. This was his first commission from Griffith University.

“I love being able to contribute to a sense of place,” he said.

“I think Griffith is interested in creating an interesting, inspiring visual environment on campus.

“It’s important that the skills we’re developing at the QCA can be shared across the university.”

‘Bold, bright and inspirational’

Hunter Walkenhorst

Griffith Enterprise Innovation Manager Mr Hunter Walkenhorst commissioned the work after seeing a colourful shipping container mural created by Dr Degroot’s students for the 2018 Commonwealth Games.

“We want to encourage an innovative and entrepreneurial mindset, so it’s great to have a work like this which is really bold and bright and inspirational,” he said.

“We’ve had fantastic feedback about the work – everyone sees something different in it.”