The University of Newcastle, Australia

Secret Urban Artwork

Sunday, 1 May 2016

Newcastle can lay claim to another intriguing water themed enigma following the creation of a hidden pool amidst its CBD skyline.

Secret urban artwork

Like the hidden baths beneath the city arcade and the mysterious world map rumoured to
imbue the bottom of the children’s baths (ie the ‘Map Pool’), this playful pool is also
intended to surprise, delight and amuse.

Lucas Grogan, the creative heavyweight behind the project, said it was a playful
interpretation of Newcastle’s cherished past.

“Newcastle has a great history of legendary secret pools. I thought it would be fun to
reinterpret this idea in a contemporary context.”

Featuring Lucas’s iconic blue and white tonal aesthetic, the mural creates the illusion of
movement and a ‘deep end’. The design evokes a classic 1990’s ‘Blue Haven’ pool
aesthetic to add to the feeling of playful nostalgia.

Like Newcastle’s other secret pools, this pool will also evade public gaze, but only for a
year. Located on top of the University of Newcastle’s (UON) Watt Space student gallery at
Northumberland House, the artwork will be able to be viewed exclusively by staff,
students and visitors at the University’s new city campus – NeW Space when it opens in

A former UON student, Lucas credits the University with allowing him to ‘cut his teeth’ on
his first exhibition and said working on this project was somewhat of a homecoming.

“I actually started working at Watt Space in my first week of university and it was where I
had my first exhibition so it’s a place that will always hold meaning for me. I spent the last
year living in Europe and before that was based in Melbourne so it’s been nice to work on
something in my home town.”

Now a highly successful and sought after commercial artist, Lucas has collaborated with
major brands including Basil Bangs and produced Chet Faker's latest album cover. His work is featured in prestigious Australian art galleries and in commercial and private spaces globally.

Lucas said he hoped putting the art on the outside of the building would encourage the
community to interact with the gallery.

“This hidden mural adds another dimension to what will become an exciting precinct in
Newcastle next year. It invites the community to become interested in and take ownership
of the space.”

More about UON's Watt Space Gallery.

More about NeW Space.

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