On the 13th of October the Geogarden officially celebrated the realisation of the colorful and air purifying wall painting on the former massive gray backside of the Physics department – a space with dreadful memories of practical session for many of us… Now, happiness, conviviality, nature and coffee enjoyment are the dominant impressions which will help us through the gray Belgian winters.
Over hundred colleagues and students came to celebrate the painting in the presence of the artist and all project partners, like the KU Leuven technical service, the Department Earth and Environmental sciences and the Science and Bioscience-Engineering faculties, as well as the sponsor Melitta.
Credits of the fabulous design and professional realisation, including the management of up to seven inexperienced volunteer-painters at a time go to Julia Mota Albuquerque. Known as ‘Land of Julia’ she realized colorful and joyful wallpaintings in her home country Brazil and with this project literally grew into new heights. Find more of her works and updates on instagram and her website.
Many thanks to Júlia’s incredible stamina and strong will, her partner Nikos and volunteering gardeners/painters (Clara, Rita, Ali, Anwesha, Jill, Leen, Kim, Constanza and Bianca). In the spirit of the garden, all together, we managed to finish right on time against all odds and despite the Belgian autumn weather. For entire days no progress was possible due to rain and winds and the complicated nature of the special paint.
Very importantly, without the help of the technical services and especially Leen, the project would not have been possible to realize. We are very grateful for her support in works within and outside of her duty!
The idea for wallpainting laid in our heads like a dormant seed over many months or years already and the drop of water that made it germinate and grow 13m tall came from an opportunity to collaborate with the company Melitta. in the context of their Treedom project – a project in which thousands of trees are planted with their support. As the mural acts like a mature forest when it comes to NOx (and to some extend CO2), the company decided to invest in this airpurifying mural to be located besides the Geogarden.
More information on the working of the airlite paint can be found by the producer: Airlite In short, “Airlite acts in the presence of light by activating a photocatalysis process on the surfaces where it is applied. By creating a concentration of electrons, they interact with the water and oxygen present in the air to generate negative ions of the oxidizing radicals, which, when combined with pollutants, are transformed into molecules of various types of salts. Invisible and harmless salts that are fixed on the walls where Airlite is applied.”
As critical researchers we are eager to test the effect ourselves of course and are open to support small research projects around the wall.
We are very proud of the result and invite you all to enjoy the colors as of today and for the coming 10 year. Hopefully more murals will follow our example and to turn the Campus into a more lively space.
Credit to the photos: Melitta’s Press release
More impressions in VETO