Guests sipped sparkling wine as they marvelled at the works of Creepy, aka Kyle Hughes-Odgers, which cover the walls of the University’s main lecture theatre courtyard. The works were launched to coincide with Site Specific, Murdoch University Art Collection’s annual cocktail function.
Murdoch’s Art Collection Curator, Mark Stewart, said Creepy’s artwork would add an important creative component to the busy area outside the Economics, Commerce, and Law Lecture Building.
“Creepy’s art provides an amazing sense of vitality and vibrancy which was lacking in this courtyard area. His imagery has a sense of youthfulness, fascination, curiosity and discovery that hints at broader issues central to man’s effect of the environment and an individual’s life journey.
“Additional upgrades to the lecture theatre precinct include wireless internet connection, a roof canopy to offer protection from the elements, enhanced lighting and new seating will ensure an energetic hub for students and the campus community to congregate, study and meet with fellow students and lecturers.”
Creepy was selected because of his appeal to the student population that use the area, and as a way of acknowledging and supporting his credibility in relation to the explosion of the Perth’s street art scene.
Mr Stewart said: “Creepy is one of a handful of artists in a small street art scene that has greatly increased in visibility in Perth over the last couple of years.
“Perth’s emerging street art scene is high quality and echoes an international renaissance in this genre that was originally popularised in the 1980s by American artists such as Keith Haring and Jean Michel Basquiat and more recently by British artist Banksy.”
Creepy said he deliberately used vibrant colours to enhance the mood of the courtyard precinct, explaining that while each of the seven artworks told a story, they were open to the viewer’s own interpretation.
“The largest painting is based on the idea of industry and the environment and how they interrelate – they are separate and entwined,” he said.
“The second-largest painting was based on the idea of journey and life and the third is a little more sombre and based on the idea of time passing and that nothing lasts forever.”
The works are tied together by the four balcony façades that draw on the imagery from each of the other three larger ground floor artworks and represent “choices made and choices to be made”.
Mr Stewart said: “Recently, the Murdoch Art Collection has harnessed and redefined its themes and strategies. The inclusion of public art into the campus environment reflects this focus while underpinning Murdoch’s brand, culture and the lifestyle of our students and campus community.
“This commission is a fantastic way to stimulate and inspire students’ minds and offer a creative space to further enhance their studies.”
Mr Stewart also announced the University’s 2010 sculpture commission by Western Australian sculptor Tony Jones OAM, due to be completed early 2011.