Artist blends music and science into art

Jun 4th, 2014

Kelly Foss

Kyle Bustin
Artist blends music and science into art

Grenfell alum Kyle Bustin is making his mark on the St. John’s Campus.

The Bachelor of Fine Arts graduate recently finished a graffiti-style mural in the tunnel connecting the Science and Music buildings commissioned by the two academic units.

Originally from Nova Scotia, Mr. Bustin graduated from Memorial in 2011.The artist met in the fall with students from both Science and Music to get their ideas, which he worked into a design that met the approval of all, including the deans.

“Each of the student groups had ideas of what they wanted specifically in there,” said Mr. Bustin. “The science students, for example, wanted to represent the nine different departments within the faculty on the mural. I took all of their suggestions, pulled some other ideas off the web and then abstracted them, so not everything is completely recognizable.”

Blending the two disciplines together was not as difficult as you might think.

“The mural starts with a staff on one end, the music side, and ends with a DNA strand on the other,” explained the artist. “Along the way there are musical instruments, notes, and other things to represent music and a beaker, brain neurons and other references to science. In the middle the two come together in sound waves – which is where I think music and science meet.”

The graphic designer for the former Scope magazine only began painting professionally this year and has already worked on a number of jobs, including painting murals at the Janeway.

“This particular project was fun because I got to freestyle it a little,” said Mr. Bustin. “I worked from the drawing we had agreed on but I changed it to make it fit the space.”

It took the artist just over two weeks of six-hour days to complete the massive mural, which flows along the entire length of the corridor and measures approximately 12 ft. at it’s highest point and roughly 150 ft. long.

He started with a light base of house paint, filling in the sections with a foam roller and brush, before building and tightening it up with vividly coloured spray paint.

“The idea for the tunnel mural originated from a Music Student Town Hall meeting and was enthusiastically taken up by Dean Abrahams. We both thought it was a great way to bring our students together,” explains Ellen Waterman, dean of Music. “The swirling colours and images of Kyle’s mural are a pretty good representation of the creativity and innovation that both music and science students bring to their work at Memorial.  It’s a happy meeting of music and science through visual art.”

Mr. Bustin says he is more of a ‘drawer than a painter’, and what he liked best about using a graffiti-style for this project was that the technique creates long continuous lines which help link the whole piece together.

“I wanted it to seamlessly transition from one end to the other, which I think it does. As you follow it the mural gradually changes. There’s no place where science stops and music begins.”

“Kyle is very talented,” says Dr. Andy Foster, associate dean of Science (undergrad and administration). “It’s a masterpiece of tunnel art. I encourage everybody to take a leisurely walk through the Science/Music tunnel and experience the mural.”


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