GH Commercial commissioned local wildlife artist Geoffrey Carran to create a mural on the wall of their tile plant in Breakwater, South Geelong.

The Godfrey Hirst brand is intrinsically woven into the cultural fabric of Geelong, with a history of designing textiles dating back over 150 years. The Breakwater tile plant, which has been producing carpet tiles for over 20 years, recently went through a multi-million-dollar upgrade, resulting in a high-tech, one-stop shop for the global suite of GH Commercial’s carpet tile and plank products.

Innovative and technology driven, the GH Commercial story also speaks to fostering positive relationships with the local community; given that the company is one of the region’s largest employers, the community comprises much of their valued and diverse workforce.

Workplace art is highly valued for promoting social interactions, stimulating emotional responses and enriching relationships – all key priorities for a healthy and engaged staff culture. Tapping into GH Commercial’s Believe in Better sustainability pillar and corporate responsibility, the mural commission not only serves 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 a brick fence directly below it provided the blank canvas for Carran to work his magic. Well known for his vibrant paintings of birds, the New Zealand-born artist possesses a style instantly recognisable for its energy and passion. Incorporating wildlife images from the respective environments he worked in, Carran spent the summer researching avian life surrounding the tile plant. Two laughing kookaburras, native to the Bellarine Peninsula and frequently spotted along the banks of the Barwon River, became the subject of the mural.

Measuring around 5.5m high and 14m across, the mural features these magnificent birds stunningly rendered against a wetland backdrop, portraying the area’s natural heritage, informing community identity, and reinforcing GH Commercial’s long association to it.