Creative Industries


25 August 2016

A work by internationally acclaimed multi-media artist and performer Michelle Xen will highlight the stunning new visual arts spaces in the $88 million expansion of QUT’s Creative Industries Precinct at Kelvin Grove which open to the public with the CreateX festival on Sunday 28 August.

Ms Xen, a QUT creative industries alumnus, is an award-winning visual artist, vocalist, songwriter and producer. She works between music, sound, installation, fashion and performance and her Benevolent System installation incorporating light, sound, video and sculpture will be the first artist-in-residency work exhibited in the Frank Moran Memorial Hall Gallery.

Dr Courtney Pedersen, QUT Head of Visual Arts said the expansion of the Creative Industries Precinct made it the most sophisticated, technically advanced creative space in Australia and one of the best in the world, especially for visual arts students.

The centrepiece of the new development is a six-storey building, Z9, accommodating QUT’s dance, drama, music, visual art, creative writing, animation and creative research programs. It pulses with a state-of-the-art digital backbone and its design principles celebrate transparency, connectivity and a transdisciplinary approach.

“The foyer of Z9 is the most dynamic hub. It’s a student meeting place, venue for public presentations, performances, pop-up stores, trade shows, and conferences. It also has two enormous display walls and gallery lighting,” Dr Pedersen said.

“The nearby Frank Moran Memorial Hall, built in 1928, is now a dedicated visual arts space fitted with gallery lighting, wall and ceiling hanging options and connections to the production data network. It will be used for traditional 2D and 3D artwork presentations as well as digitally enabled performance art. It’s the perfect set up for an artist of the calibre of Michelle Xen to dazzle in.

“Elsewhere, a World War 1-era (1914) infantry hall and the oldest building on site, is now a construction workshop outfitted with wood and metal working equipment, a spray booth and more to accommodate large 3D work from visual arts and other disciplines.”

Dr Courtney Pedersen said students would also have access to two new studios between the existing heritage buildings and Z9.

“Studio B is an open, naturally lit and naturally ventilated multifunctional studio space. Addressing the changing demands of the semester it has the ability to transform between teaching, fabrication and presentation of contemporary visual art,” she said.

“Studio A is the result of extensive restorative work of the former Australian Army Service Corps drill hall to create a visual arts studio of immense character with soft natural light and timber floors. It houses two dedicated light and sound controlled installation spaces and a break out fully glazed “balcony” that overlooks the laneway that runs through the visual arts precinct.

“Studio A and B are complemented by an animation and digital studio furnished with a battery of computers running high-powered animation software and equipped with Cintiq graphic tablets to enable animators and visual artists to hand-draw directly in the digital domain.

“These amazing spaces, along with Michelle Xen’s work and that of many of our students will be on show at CreateX.”

Michelle Xen said Benevolent System was an installation grappling with our current place within the immense systems of data and corporate structures that shape our decisions and actions.

Benevolent System seeks to unpack the structural and at times obtuse aloofness of these large systems of organisation,” Ms Xen said.

“Can the creation of art by humans, act as a momentary antidote to these vast systems of hidden consequences? Or can we create a space for poetry within institutions and structures where we can still remain aware of our humanness?  

“Pop music, installation, saturated colour field, and contemporary performance – all of which are the creative spaces I dwell in - are re-examined through an interdisciplinary installation that seeks to actively engage with the scale of our place in the world.”

The one-day CreateX festival of dazzling interactive performances and events, immersive games, workshops, films, robotics displays, talks and panels including Flow – the world’s first multi-room music recording experience where the public can mix their own version of the performance.

Families, students, industry professionals and anyone else interested in creativity and technology are invited to CreateX which starts at 10am and culminates in a concert featuring singers Kate Miller-Heidke, Carita Farrer Spencer and Naomi Price along with dancer Michelle Ryan and the Deep Blue Orchestra.

For more information and to book into a workshop visit the website, telephone 07 3138 3922 or email


Media contact:

Amanda Weaver, QUT Media, 07 3138 1841,

After hours: Rose Trapnell, 0407 585 901,



A work by internationally accalimed multi-media artist and performer Michelle Xen will be the first exhibited in QUT's new Frank Moran Memorial Hall Gallery.


Creative Industries Faculty

  • Postal address:
    QUT Creative Industries Faculty
    Musk Ave
    Kelvin Grove QLD 4059