An augmented reality mural in Caloundra has been named one of the best street art experiences in the nation after being selected as a finalist in the 2019 Australian Street Art Awards.

Looking Glass Fish in the Deep Hue Sea was shortlisted in the ‘Best External Mural” category, with the winners to be announced at an Awards ceremony on 6 November 2019.

The mural, in the heart of Caloundra’s tourism and business precinct, was commissioned by the Sunshine Coast Council as a collaborative project between animation artist Sutu (Stu Campbell) and mural artist George Rose. Viewed through the free Eyejack app, the mural comes to life with animations and sound.

Australian Street Art Awards Director, Liz Rivers, said “The Awards showcase destinations like Caloundra that use publicly-accessible art to transform their street scapes, while educating travellers about the magnificent array of publicly-accessible art that can be found in every corner of the country.

“Australia has a long history of creating sculptures, monuments and other art that is captivating to visitors. However, there’s never been a way of rewarding and supporting places that created these art-related experiences for visitors. The Australian Street Art Awards remedies that shortcoming,” she said.

With rigorous judging by tourism and event industry leaders from around Australia and second-tier auditing, Looking Glass Fish in the Deep Hue Sea’s finalist berth has the credence of the art tourism sector.

Judging focussed on the way the art has been used to attract visitors and bring the local community together. In the case of this mural, the judges said that has been achieved in a remarkable and innovative way.

“The mural showcases marine life found on the Sunshine Coast in a vivid and playful way, and then adds a layer of stunning engagement through the addition of augmented reality.

Looking Glass Fish in the Deep Hue Sea is part of an exciting street art hub and is contributing to making Australia a more vibrant, creative and interesting country – somewhere that international visitors, as well as domestic travellers, will want to explore,” the judges said.

More international tourists engage in arts than visit wineries, casinos, or attend organised sports events, according to the Australia Council for the Arts’ International Art Tourism: Connecting Cultures 2018 Report. The study also found that art tourists are more likely to travel to regional areas, with 42% venturing beyond capital cities.

The Sunshine Coast was chosen to host the national Awards dinner on Wednesday 6 November, immediately following Australia’s first arts tourism summit, The Art of Attraction being held at the Ramada Marcoola Hotel & Conference Centre.

For more information about the Australian Street Art Awards, contact Liz Rivers on liz@awardsabsolute.com or phone 1300 88 22 59.

Creativity, Community, Culture