Surry Hills 'Flower House' artwork in bloom
02 November, 2018

Not even the greyest of spring showers could mute the riot of dazzling colour that has blossomed on the corner of Devonshire and Riley Streets in Surry Hills.

Bursting from the mossy green office building walls, a new garden bed of eye-popping yellow, orange, blue and white is creating a fresh landmark for the eclectic suburb.

Using the building’s walls as his canvass, Sydney artist Nic Green, aka Nico, created the joyful floral mural to tie in with the Surry Hills Festival’s flower power theme.

Nico’s inspiration also sprung from the work of local textile designer Lola Phillips, giving a nod to the area’s history as a textile district, while also putting his own spin into the mix to arrive at a bold and delightful artwork that passers-by can’t help but enjoy.

“Colour is so important in a work like this, because I think it is an entry point for people and whether they like it and whether it has an emotional impact,” he said.

“When I’m dealing with public art like this I feel a responsibility to make sure that it’s as accessible and universal as possible and can be enjoyed by everyone, so I don’t want to be too esoteric on the street because there’s another place for that.

“This work is about being upbeat and trying to keep it positive and influence people’s mood when they are out and about, and I think we need more of that type of artwork.”

Nico describes his latest artwork as being symbolic of growth and regeneration, created in direct response to the unique character of the building and the space it inhabits.

“The unique shape and personality of the building are features that I wish to draw attention to rather than completely obscure in the implementation of the artwork,” he said.

“I have created the design to interact organically with the building’s existing colour and façade, and utilise this negative space.

“This is in order to create a sense of visual drama – an organic, natural shape in a city landscape of perfect squares and frames to evoke the feeling of unbridled organic growth, excitement and spontaneous creative energy.

The mural can be viewed at 483 Riley Street, Surry Hills, opposite Ward Park.

The project is a partnership between Transport for NSW and the Surry Hills Creative Precinct.

Nico has created hundreds of street artworks throughout Australia, Europe and Asia, in addition to regularly exhibiting and having work published internationally.

To see more of Nico’s murals, designs and illustrations visit or @nico_nicoson on Instagram.

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