Caloundra's newest mural is literally jumping off the wall and into the record books as the Sunshine Coast's first public artwork to use augmented reality.
Commissioned by Sunshine Coast Council as an initiative of its new Sunshine Coast Arts Plan 2018-2038 and aligning with its vision to be healthy, smart, creative, the new work is titled The Looking Glass Fish in the Deep Hue Sea.
It is a collaboration between Melbourne-based artist George Rose and digital artist Stu Campbell (Sutu), founder of the EyeJack app - a free platform where visitors can view the animated work on any mobile device.
Sutu originally began his practice as a comic book artist, but quickly realised the potential to create an interactive realm for his illustrations with enhanced storytelling abilities using this new technology.
This has evolved into taking the Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality(AR) world by storm, being commissioned by the likes of Marvel, Google and Disney.
"George and I had previously collaborated to create the world's tallest AR mural at Melbourne Central and it has been great to work together again on this positive and colourful piece for Caloundra," Sutu said.
"The mural is inspired by local Sunshine Coast fauna and flora – Agassiz perchlet, Dog Roses and Ravine Orchids - and when the Eyejack app is downloaded onto a mobile device, the fish literally come away from the wall and swim around people, and the flowers open and close.
"This technology allows the mural to be incredibly interactive with its viewer and encourages people to have fun with the work."
AR technology is reaching new levels of popularity due its accessibility and easy to use interface.
Specifically, Sutu is spearheading multiple opportunities for artists to use this technology, bringing to life gallery exhibitions, illustrations, comic books, stickers and t-shirts.
"I am always looking to provide fresh new ways for artists to grow their projects to an advanced technical level and this interdisciplinary approach for artists expands their work through another channel and reaches new audiences," Sutu said.
The work, based at the top end of Bulcock Street, is just one of many walls that have been transformed by artists in Caloundra.
Division 2 Cr Tim Dwyer said Caloundra was fast becoming a creative hub with a dynamic program of public art and cultural activities.
"This exciting new and innovative public art work brings colour and activation to the busy business heart of Caloundra and will surely become a great attraction for locals and visitors alike," Cr Dwyer said.
"Art in public spaces contributes to Caloundra's cultural identity and creates a unique offering that attracts locals and visitors, as we have seen with the popularity of the many street art murals that can be found around town.
"It is through the generous support of the DownTown Caloundra TaskForce and the Caloundra CBD Regulated Parking Fund that this project has been made possible."
In addition to commissioning this work, council has also supported nine local artists to attend IMMERSE 2018 in Noosa on November 10-11.
This skills development workshop in AR and VR will build a local capacity to play with immersive storytelling using this most current technology.
"As recently indicated in the endorsed Sunshine Coast Arts Plan 2018-2038, council has a vision for a vibrant arts ecology on the Coast and it is through projects such as these, we can see how art and creativity are an important part of this community's identity," Cr Dwyer said.
The animated mural is now activated and people are encouraged to download the free EyeJack app onto their mobile device and then head to the site to scan the mural's own unique QR code and have some fun becoming part of the art.
For more information about council's public art collection and a map of the Caloundra Public Art Trail visit council's website – www.sunshinecoast.qld.gov.au/arts