GUM: ROA


Since the start of Wallin', working with local legend ROA was something that has always been high on our wish list. With the arrival of Gum, the new Ghent University Museum, this could finally be striped off. After years of travelling, discoveries and leaving a trail through the world, ROA's paintbrush found its way back home.

GUM is a museum about science, research and critical thinking, where the visitor can discover that science is the result of trial and error, doubt and imagination. ROA was not spared this process during his visit either.

The composition of the work reflected the literal structure of his working process. As he went along, he searched for the right pieces for the right place. This gave birth to a large pile of skeletons including those of an elephant, a rhino, a grizzly bear and an okapi.

street art-graffiti-mural-roa-gum museum-region-ghent
street art-graffiti-mural-roa-gum museum-region-ghent

He was directly inspired by objects that have a link with the GUM museum. For example, on one of the upper floors there is a large skeleton of an okapi on display. The elephant refers to the story where once an elephant skull mysteriously disappeared...

ROA has always had a love for animals and anatomy. While he would usually be inspired by animals from the region where he travels, this time he could be inspired much more widely by the large collection of pieces in the museum.

street art-graffiti-mural-roa-gum museum-region-ghent
street art-graffiti-mural-roa-gum museum-region-ghent
street art-graffiti-mural-roa-gum museum-region-ghent
street art-graffiti-mural-roa-gum museum-region-ghent

The story this project tells is one of growth and completing circles. Marjan Doom, visionary and inspirer of the GUM, started taking the first steps to create the museum a few decades ago. Before that, she was head of Morphology for the University. It was here that Marjan and ROA first crossed paths when he came to ask if he could make studies of the animals in the lab. Now, all these years later, their paths cross again during the realisation of their masterpiece.

Gum did not choose its location just like that. Located in the middle of the Ghent Botanical Garden, around the corner from MSK Gent and S.M.A.K. , it is surrounded by institutions dedicated to art. The process behind the creation of this mural included all these elements.

This project is a good representation of how a company can communicate its story to the outside world on a timeless basis. The work of art perfectly reflects what GUM stands for and has become the biggest eye-catcher in Ghent. Many mouths fell open when the news came out that ROA was once again working in Ghent. The press was extremely enthusiastic and the work of art appeared twice in the 7PM newsreel.

Does your company also need an eye-catcher with press value and a good representation of your story? Wallin' will be happy to work with you to see what added value your facade can bring to your company, with a project worked out from start to finish.

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