Aspiring visitors to UTS’s 2016 Open Day were greeted brightly on Broadway with an eyeful of extra colour to stimulate their senses while considering a future of higher learning.
Artists Georgia Hill and Elliott ‘Numskull’ Routledge were commissioned to create a street-art mural painted onto the Broadway-facing walls of the University's “Building 2”, marking the start of its development as a dynamic student and research hub - UTS Central.
Celebrating the moment of ‘old to new’, the temporary artwork is in keeping with UTS’s proud leadership status within Sydney’s energy-packed creative precinct and ongoing $1.3 billion rejuvenation and expansion.
The mural provided a unique backdrop to welcome prospective students to UTS’s future-focused campus that includes Australia's only Frank Gehry-designed building.
UTS Vice-Chancellor Professor Attila Brungs said UTS offers unique opportunities for students and staff to have a vibrant campus experience.
"This temporary artwork creates a 'moment-in-time' to reflect on past significant work that has come from Building 2 while foreshadowing the creativity and innovation that will come from UTS Central," Professor Brungs said.
The mural is a collaborative intertwining of Georgia and Elliott’s unique styles and trademark colour palettes. Large, bold, gestural marks across the entire façade signify that UTS Central will seek to foster creative freedom. Other visual elements, such as the warped lines and waves, suggest the impact these connections have on each and every person that both enters and passes by the building.
Subject to planning approval, the UTS Central project will see the demolition of UTS’s Building 2 in late 2016 followed by construction of a new facility to better serve staff and students and harness the latest learning technologies.
Due for completion in 2019, UTS Central will serve as an energetic hub facilitating creativity through its collaborative spaces and visionary design.
“UTS Central will forge greater physical links within our campus, connecting seamlessly into our iconic Tower and out onto the university’s social and ‘green heart’, Alumni Green,” Professor Brungs said. “But it will also further contribute to the fast evolving digital and creative precinct which UTS is lucky to be a part of.
“Artists Georgia, a UTS graduate, and Elliott, have responded to this. Inspired by the heritage and future use of the site, you’ll see that the centre of the artwork shows circles to emphasise a central, connected place."
A new UTS Library and learning commons, a scholarly reading room overlooking Alumni Green, research spaces and a number of large collaborative theatres will be among the new building’s facilities
“In recent years we have seen a transformation of our campus and many aspects of campus life, which has been matched by our transformational approach to learning and research through the use of new technologies. We can already see the beneficial impact of our new facilities, but we’re not finished yet. UTS Central will become an incubator for ideas and innovation and encourage cross-disciplinary collaboration. It will be a place where students can meet from all over the university,” Professor Brungs said.
“We push the boundaries in everything we do at UTS. This mural and building project are no exception.”
Following a competitive public tender in 2014, architecture firm Francis-Jones Morehen Thorp (FJMT) was appointed as the lead consultant for UTS Central. FJMT are working alongside architects Lacoste + Stevenson and Daryl Jackson Robin Dyke. Richard Crookes Constructions was appointed as the main works contractor for the project as part of an open-tender process. The company previously worked with UTS on construction of its Science and Graduate School of Health Building, which opened in 2015. The building will expand upon UTS’s reputation for bold, future-focused and sustainable facilities that respond to and complement their environment and enable unique educational experiences.
About the artists
Georgia Hill is an illustrator and artist, specialising in hand drawn type based artworks that combine bold, monochromatic textures and lettering within experimental compositions. Since studying Visual Communications at the University of Technology Sydney, Georgia's instantly recognisable aesthetic has developed from exhibition based illustrations to striking works for private commissions, large scale murals across Australia, and client-based projects. Using a range of mediums, her focus lies in generating deliberately open ended letter based artworks that can be read in terms of connections and relationships, time, place and community. These impressions are all shaped by the viewers own personal experiences, creating a moment of reflection in these heavily detailed, often excessive compositions.
ELLIOTT ‘NUMSKULL’ ROUTLEDGE
Elliott Routledge is an Australian contemporary artist based in Sydney. Across his career, he has shown work and installed major public murals all around the world. He has shown in galleries, painted walls and sold paintings throughout the world in such places as London, Vienna, New York, Melbourne, Tokyo, Paris, Singapore, Amsterdam, Hong Kong and extensively throughout Australia. His work exists in a balance between expressive mark making and abstract form. Having spent a lot of time practising colour theories, his current work is reflective of how he takes this information of colour relationships and pattern choices, and flips them enough to create bold, harmonious compositions. Elliott’s practice spans across canvas paintings, handmade sculpture and large scale public murals. He was most recently a feature of the Art & About Festival in Sydney, and has also been shown in the Museums Quartier, Vienna as a part of his 2014 Residency.