Empowering message brightens city arcade

EYECATCHING: The Beauty Empowerment mural takes inspiration from fashion and graffiti.

AN unassuming wall in the heart of Mount Gambier central business district will soon showcase a strong and vivid message of female empowerment.

Limestone Coast artist Aileen Costales-Clarke is transforming a Ripley Arcade wall into a new mural titled Beauty Empowerment, taking inspiration from fashion and city graffiti to deliver an eye-catching artwork.

Mount Gambier City Council has backed the project with $8500 from its 2020/21 Creative Arts Fund, which supports projects contributing positively to the city’s art and culture.

A former fashion designer, Ms Costales-Clarke has grown into her craft after previously illustrating as a side hobby, having since completed a mural at the Mount Gambier Marketplace.

Ms Costales-Clarke said the latest work was an amazing opportunity to bring one her design to life and “bring some visual impact to the space to empower women”.

“I remember going on a graffiti artwork tour in Melbourne many years ago now, and that’s where I first saw fashion style graffiti artworks,” Ms Costales-Clarke said.

“I really would love to inspire the young ones that haven’t been exposed to city art.

“I’d love for them to see that a local artist can do this well and hit them with the beauty of the fashion design.”

Beauty Empowerment is one of four projects to receive funding as part of council’s 2020/21 fund allocation, with $24,300 used to support Scott Coleman’s Commerce Place mural work, while Pariya Ziakas’ Art In The Community initiative received $4800.

Ms Ziakas is also working with Ruth Stephenson to compile the To Celebrate with Dance project, which received $6432.80 from council.

“The Creative Arts Fund is focused on enabling artists to activate public spaces and really bring people together, encourage interaction and promote a sense of community,” council arts, culture and development officer Serena Wong said.

“We’re really starting to see a city brought to life with public art.”