Campus provides a perfect blank canvas for artists 

One of the new artworks at Griffith University's Nathan campus - a mural by QCA First Nations alumnus Warraba Weatherall. Photo: Cian Saunders

Griffith Universitystudent and alumni artists have broughtcolourand creativitytoNathancampus with a series of eye-catching murals.

Studentsfrom the Queensland College of Art (QCA)LiveArtprogramcreatedcolourfulwall paintings in the Arrivals Plaza andN65undercroft, alongside alarge-scale work by QCA First Nations alumnusWarrabaWeatherall.

Theartworks are the first part of a larger-scaleredevelopmentofNathan Campus beforetheUniversity’s 50thanniversary in 2025.

QCA student Niamh Flynn designed a new mural at the Arrivals Plaza

Third-year Bachelor of Visual Arts student Niamh Flynn designed the artwork ‘Growing Here’ that adorns the Arrivals Plaza.

The artwork pays tribute to the native floral shapes andcoloursin the bushland surroundingNathancampus,andputs the natural environment front andcentre.

Based onkey plants found on the ‘Grows at Griffith’ app, it isalsoa metaphor for Griffithas a place of personal growth and learning.

“It’s a whole different thing to have our work out in the world – it’s mind-blowing knowing that thousands of people are going to see my design every day,”Niamhsaid.

“Theory has its place, but it’s great to get the chance to do this kind of large-scale, hands-on work.”

A new mural designed by students underneath the Science Link building at Nathan campus

Fellow QCA student Daniella Louvel was one of the students who collaborated on a colourful abstract work in the common area at the base of the N65 Science Link building.

Featuringoutstretched hands and abstract flora, itsymbolisesthe diversity of the campus community and the University’s natural surrounds.

“Thiswasa really different experience – instead of working on a piece that will go up on the wall of a gallery, you have the whole building as your canvas and you get a chance to work together as one.” Daniella said.

“Welearned how to deal with the logistics of the site, working around signage, creating designs that complement the curves of the building and interacting with the public.

“It’s great to transform the space and make people feel good about the place they study and work in.”

“We’ve also picked up practical skills that will help us after we graduate, like training on the elevated platform and lifts.”

Dr Simon Degroot

Queensland College of Art public art lecturer Dr Simon Degroot said the activations on campus created professional opportunities for students across a host of disciplines.

“This course gives students the opportunity to kickstart their careers.”

“It’s so valuable, because students are able to build on the skills that they learn in the classroom and studio.

“The students have also been able to learn from one another — we have design students, fine arts students, all at different points in their career.

“Each time we do a public art course there are micro credentials embedded, so students get bespoke skills and a collaborative experience they can apply to their own work and research.”

QCA alumnus Warraba Weatherall at work on his mural

Queensland College of Art alumnusand lecturerWarrabaWeatherall created the ‘Kaggur-madul’ mural on the Library’s eastern wall.

Thestrikingworkcelebrates First Peoples’ histories and features an echidna and grass trees from the Toohey Forest.

“Ilikethe fact that everyone has access to public artwork like this on campus,” he said.

Professor David Grant

“We’remaking sure that there is a cultural elementthatFirst Nationsstudentscan identify withandhelpingincreasepeople’scultural knowledge of thearea.

“There ispower in that. Art can helpstart conversations andchangethe worldlittle by little.”

Pro Vice Chancellor (Business) and Head of Nathan campus Professor David Grant said the public art installations had made a tangible difference to the look and feel of campus.

“It’s important that our spaces encourage a sense of belonging, inclusivity and inspiration and embody our mission and values.”