Interactive mural receives big award

ART AWARD: Kingston's digitally active mural 'Wind Dance' has received the National Tourism Arts Award.

Charlotte Varcoe

SOUTH Australia’s first augmented reality public artwork, ‘Wind Dance’, has won a National Tourism Arts Award.

The artist, Sarah Boese, was commissioned by the Kingston District Council to undertake ‘Wind Dance’ in wake of the Keilira bushfire of 2019 which burnt more than 25,000 hectares in the Kingston area.

The mural comes to life with the use of a mobile phone application where visitors can scan the artwork, bringing it to life.

Ms Boese said she was really proud to have won the award and happy for the people of Kingston, hoping it would bring the town more attention.

“This is the first award I have received for any of my professional work which is amazing,” Ms Boese said.

“I never expected to win and I don’t really expect anything from my work so it is nice to achieve that.

“I also didn’t see the other nominations either which made it more of a pleasant surprise.”

Kingston District Council chief executive officer Nat Trager said elected members were focusing on experiences for arts and culture within the town that are Covid-19 safe and do not require constant management.

“Everyone has access to public art,” Ms Trager said.

“It is directly in the public sphere and not confined to galleries or museums.

“The static mural is fantastic, but the added dimension of movement and sound is immersive and quite spectacular.”

She said as tourism rapidly grows within regional South Australia, the council hoped digital experiences such as ‘Wind Dance’ would bring in more people to Kingston, supporting local businesses and growing the economy.

“As the community continues to recover from bushfires and the impacts of Covid, significant projects like ‘Wind Dance’ encourage community pride, generate conversation, and support participation and wellbeing through new art pieces,” Ms Traeger said.

“It also emphasises our strong desire to build resilience in our community which recognises and commemorates the devastating 2019 Keilira bushfire, while recognising regrowth, indigenous heritage and coastal living.”