Mural celebrates female artists

FEMALE ARTISTS ON SHOW: Project members Stephanie Yoannidis and Jennie Mathews work on their portraits which will be showcased on Heriot Street. PHOTO: Kate Hill.

Charlotte Varcoe

A NEW collaborative mural will be placed in Heriot Street to celebrate Mount Gambier women.

The up-and-coming artwork will feature 10 self-portraits by local female artists in an alternative approach to street art.

The project will be placed on the wall facing Heriot Street of the Nourish Nook building between the existing doorways and windows.

Artist April Hague said the mural developed from a desire to break out of the typical mode of mural painting and as a desire to celebrate local artists, in particular women artists.

“This project is entirely different from my own or other collaborations I have done,” Ms Hague said.

“I have been able to work in a team with other local artists on a shared project and the artwork will be quite unique as is the project itself.”

Ms Hague worked alongside fellow artist Jane Van Eeten to design the project after receiving funding from Mount Gambier City Council’s Creative Arts Fund.

“We all came together to work as a team and create a semi-permanent public artwork celebrating diversity and the strength of our local arts community,” she said.

“Mount Gambier has a thriving arts community, where local council and residents alike value the contributions of artists and the activation of public areas through the creation of public artworks.

“I think the public enjoy the way art can bring an area to life and become an attraction for visitors from afar.”

Ms Hague and her fellow artists hoped the women involved would experience an improved sense of belonging and empowerment within a supportive artistic community through the establishment of a cultural identity as a group.

“This in turn had the potential to greatly improve wellbeing for us all,” she said.

“The project is built on the creation of a forum for fostering collaborative ways of working, sharing, cultural exchange and friendship as well as rich learning.”

Through the project, Ms Hague said they had been able to form connections with other local creatives such as local photographer Kate Hill.

Project members also worked alongside Leigh Howlett who worked on a web presence for the work which is linked via QR codes on the mural itself.

“This is an important aspect of the work in that it gives the viewer options to interact with the art itself and find out more about the women in the images,” Ms Hague said.

Ms Hague and her fellow artists participated in a six day workshop to create the artworks from conceptualisation to completion with the artists selecting their best self-portrait for inclusion in the public artwork.

Other artists involved with the project include Jennie Matthews, Bianca Richardson, Sally O’Connor, Angela Hann, Stephanie Yoannidis, Anne Miles and Julia Reader.

Artists began work last last year and plan to complete the mural next month with an unveiling scheduled for May or early June.