Oxford Hotel Wetlands

Perth based artist Chris Nixon talked to us about his project painting the outside of the Oxford Hotel in Leerderville, WA. See Chris Nixon's beautiful wetland scenes come to life on the walls of the Oxford Hotel below. 

Chris Nixon
Chris Nixon

How did you get involved with this project? 

I was shortlisted by the City of Vincent for a public art opportunity on the Oxford Hotel in Leerderville, WA and the selected artists had 4 weeks to develop a concept proposal. I was lucky enough to be selected and then went straight into ordering materials, lining up my equipment and getting all the permits I needed for the install. I connected with the brief straight away and did a bit of research on the area, which sparked an idea to focus on the history of the site which was once all wetlands. 

Chris Nixon

What was the concept? 

The concept revolves around exploring the site’s context which was once a thriving wetlands ecosystem. The area is quite urban and was lacking in a bit of greenery and natural life so I wanted to bring back some of the wetlands through the artwork. I decided to use the walls to dictate the lines of the design, which is formed through illustrative interpretations of local birds and plants, contrasted with geometric shapes. These shapes formed the boundaries for the works offering glimpses to the past.

Chris Nixon
Chris Nixon
Enjoy Chris Nixon

Did you draw from any inspiration while creating this concept? 

At the time I was developing the concept, I was working on my latest picture book, Pandamonia which includes a lot of plant and jungle scenes so I was already in that zone of creating pattern and layered texture through plants. It seemed like a natural transition to this concept when I started researching the site’s context. The brief called for illustrative concepts, so I knew I wanted to develop some characters or an illustrative focus to the piece and I developed the egrets to bring some life and movement to the work. From there it was all about getting a nice balance to the work that would suit the building and work with the original architectural form.

Chris Nixon
Oxford Hotel

Photos by Sam Price

More on Chris Nixon and his website