Mural comes to life www.corowafreepress.com.au BY ALANNAH GREENWOOD
A mural fostering community spirit and involvement in the beautification and sustainability of Sanger Street, Corowa, has been unveiled.
Individual artists and groups have been involved in the creation, including school children who painted five long panels abutting the approximate 35m long wall, with the river aspect along the centre of the whole panelled wall.
Friends of Sanger Street was first established following a public meeting held on October 17, 2013 with their main aim to discuss how to improve the appearance of Sanger Street.
More than 40 people attended the meeting and the Friends of Sanger Street was born.
Member Annie Piggin told the Free Press that the group was thrilled to see the mural come to life after years of hard work.
“The centre of any town is its shopping street and we believed that revitalising the centre has a flow-on effect,” she said.
“One of the main issues raised at the first public meeting was the vast, blank Woolworths wall in the heart of Sanger Street and this where our idea of a mural was proposed.
“The idea was to do an artistic representation of the Murray River from the Oven Junction to near Dight’s Hill and the drawings were based on the river drawings in the book ‘River of Islands’ by Kath and Leon Bentley published in 1985.”
Initial approval for the final design for the mural was obtained from Corowa Shire Council and Woolworths in July 2014.
In March 2015 Pam Fredericks and Chris Upton ran a workshop for artists interested in creating a panel and the artists who applied to be involved started work on their panels.
The River was laser cut from oxidising steel plate in April 2015, provided by Focus Engineering and Upton’s Engineering who laser cut the steel.
In May 2015 primary school students participated in workshops with aboriginal artist Eddy Harris to prepare their artworks.
Annie said the new owner of Woolworths was very proactive in assisting with the mural and had the front wall of the store repainted in preparation for the mural in November 2015.
“Local painter Sam Carpenter squeezed the job into his busy schedule so the mural could hopefully go up before Christmas 2015,” she said.
“But unfortunately unexpected delays in finalising the contract between the participating parties took another eight months.
“The owner of the building facilitated this process at her own cost, we are just so thankful for her support.”
It wasn’t until the following August that Focus Engineering installed the river which left residents questioning what would appear next.
After years of preparation 79 panels were installed on the wall by a team of artists, friends and volunteers from the Community Garden, completed on November 15 and 16.
Annie said the committee would like to thank everyone involved in the mural journey for their assistance and support.
“We would like to thank all those who contributed both financially and in kind to the creation of mural; including the Corowa RSL, Corowa Lions, Southern Phone Company, Corowa Car Club, Upton’s Engineering, Focus Engineering, Federation Council, Corowa Computers, and all the artists,” she said.
“We are also grateful for gaining a Community Artist Support Programme (CASP) grant from Regional Arts NSW for indigenous artist Eddie Harris to run workshops in primary schools with small groups of students to create panels depicting animal tracks.
“Thank you to the participating primary schools and the ten Corowa High School students, under the guidance of Michelle Stewart who contributed paintings of the patterns found on local reptiles.”
Annie said finally the committee would like to thank the talented group of 25 artists that through their work have beautified Sanger Street.
“Thank you Christine Upton, Beverly Wilson, Vera Reeves, Ken Ashley, Jenny King, Alexandra Ware, Brenda Tuddenham, Suzanna Cong, Rebecca Kos, Pat Millar, Pam Fredericks, Bethany Thonber, Jane Keane, Glenda Mackay, Heather McGuire, Pat Every, Suzi Scott, Briony Willet, Annie Boake, Jo Boake, Tayla Doyle, Bree Willet, David Barwick, Sandra Barwick and Suzanne Camac your work is incredible,” she said.
Friends of Sanger Street members and volunteers Rob Davis, Fred DÁgostin, Vera Reeves, Annie Piggin, Chris Upton, Glenda Mackay and Wendy Eyers pictured in front of the new mural.
A mural with a natural environment theme has come to life on what once was a blank wall in Sanger Street.