The Godfrey Hirst name is intrinsically woven into the cultural fabric of Geelong, with a history of designing textiles dating back over 150 years. Linked to the very identity of the community, we were delighted to commission local wildlife artist, Geoffrey Carran, to create a mural on the wall of our Geelong tile plant.
The Tile Plant in Breakwater, South Geelong, having produced carpet tiles for over 20 years, has recently undergone a multi-million-dollar upgrade, an investment that resulted in a high-tech, one-stop shop for our global suite of GH Commercial carpet tile and plank products. Innovative and technology driven, the GH Commercial story also speaks to fostering positive relationships with the local community – a community that, as one of the regions largest employers, comprises much of our valued and diverse workforce.
Research into workplace art points to its value in promoting social interactions, stimulating emotional responses and enriching relationships; all key priorities for a healthy and engaged staff culture. Tapping into our Believe in Better sustainability pillar and corporate responsibility, the mural commission not only acts to beautify an industrial site, but turns accessible art into an everyday experience for GH Commercial staff, local residents and visitors to the area at large.
Two split backdrops, an elevated section of the plant wall and brick fence directly below it, provided the blank canvas for Geoffrey Carran to work his magic. New Zealand-born Carran, well known for his vibrant paintings of birds, possesses an artistic style instantly recognisable for its energy and passion. Incorporating wildlife images from the respective environments he works in, Carran spent the summer researching avian life surrounding our tile plant. Two Laughing Kookaburra’s, native to the Bellarine Peninsula and frequently spotted along the banks of the Barwon River, became the resultant image.
The stunningly rendered pair, writ large, at around 5.5m high and 14m across, and painted against a wetland backdrop, serves to both depict the areas natural heritage, inform community identity, and reinforce our long association to it.