The way to Gular has been painted
THE town of Gulargambone came alive with creativity and colour over the weekend, with the debut of the “Pave the Way to Gular” art event transforming private and public buildings.
Ten talented artists from across Australia came into town for the festival, which ran from Thursday, April 5, through to Sunday, April 8, and made their mark on everything from bus shelters, to walls, and a water tower.
Already renowned for its proactive community spirit, the aim was to rejuvenate the village and bring some attention and energy back into the main street. And over the four days, that was certainly achieved.
Event co-ordinator Annie Haling estimated around 1000 people visited over the course of the weekend.
“It was amazing to see the street full every morning,” she told Dubbo Photo News. “Parking on Bourbah Street was at a premium, and our shops and Two Eight Two Eight cafe were active as visitors streamed in to see what all the hype was about.”
Officially launched on the Friday by Member for Barwon Kevin Humphries, he spoke of the great reinvention work that the community continues to achieve. Mr Humphries advised attendees that with the current Innovation Event funding available through Destination NSW, the town co-operative is now eligible for $80,000 over the next three years to continue their festival work.
The creative spirit continued right across the weekend with visitors curious to see the works of artists including Claire Foxton, painting local figure Peter Simpson on the side of the Two Eight Two Eight centre of which he was the former owner; John Murray with his quirky emu design for the bus stop; James Giddy giving a bird-like makeover to the SPAR supermarket; Rudy Kistler working with the Gulargambone school children to transform a footpath; Jenny Mccracken who tackled the huge water tower with her diving Kingfisher and plenty more.
An interactive paint-by-number project with artist Kaff-eine was also undertaken on the Luke Murray building and the old petrol station.
“It was completed in record time as participants of all ages left their mark, under the guidance of our lovely Wailwan artists who travelled from Warren to assist,” Ms Haling said.
Over 50 artworks were also presented in the Memorial Hall for purchase, as well as workshops, hands-on educational sessions, a dinner and music performances across the weekend which added to the festival experience.
The transformation project came about after discussions between Ms Haling and the Gulargambone Community Enterprises Co-operative and street beautification consultant Alison Dent, who stayed on through the project. After funding was secured with the support of the Coonamble Shire Council and Destination NSW, the Co-op contributed the rest and the festival was locked in.
Concept designs were submitted by the artists for consideration by council and the building owners, with the final 10 proposals presented in March. The town’s ‘blank canvases’ were assigned to each artist and work was completed by all, save the water tower, by the close of the festival.
The paintings are there to be viewed every day for the next 12 months and visitors are encouraged to head to Gulargambone to experience the artistic flair now decorating the town. ■
Above, Claire Foxton painted a portrait of well-known Gulargambone man Peter Simpson on the side of Two Eight Two Eight cafe, and right, popular Lightning Ridge artist John Murray added one of his iconic creations to the bus stop... a magpie that fell...