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Community & Business

19 April, 2023

Cultural precinct looking for colour boost through murals

After several projects and developments of the Gilgandra Cultural Precinct, the council are now looking to complete a set of murals to engage the public and create a new attraction to the area.

By Andrew Tarry - Local Government Reporter

These murals represent the continual push by council to establish Gilgandra as a place to visit rather than a place on the road to pass through. By creating attractions and things to do is it hoped that tourists to the region will take the time to stay in Gilgandra. Offering attractions is seen as an obvious and direct way to achieve this goal.

The council have been pursuing the development of the cultural precinct and the beautification of Miller Street, as part of the effort towards making Gilgandra a destination. In the Stronger Communities Fund Round five, the council also received funding towards the beautification of the Castlereagh River. Part of that funding is for public art.

The proposed murals will be another addition to the growing quantity of murals, paintings and attractions featuring artistic work within the Gilgandra area and town. Already there are the murals on Bridge Street celebrating the Coo-ee March along with the landscape painting celebrating the Gilgandra’s bush environment on Miller Street.

The Windmill Walk windmills have recently been decorated to increase the vibrancy and attractiveness of the windmills, and the ‘Flying Pigs’ will also return to the laneway of The Gil Library Hub. A lot of these artworks and paintings are of contemporary design and appreciation. Recognising the recent history of the region is important to the community.

As of yet, there aren’t many instances of artworks, such as murals, which depict the ancient Indigenous peoples and their history of and within the area. Whether the new murals planned by the council will explore this aspect is unknown, however, representation of the community’s identity and values would also include an appreciation for the cultural significance of Gilgandra’s Indigenous peoples.

The council has put out an enquiry for suitable artists or designers for the “design, supply and installation of murals and associated site works.”

Over the last few years murals have started to emerge on silos and buildings, across western NSW with the idea that the murals can show aspects and qualities of a town and community that tourists may not see otherwise.

Murals also provide an opportunity for communities to express part of their identity through a vivid and engaging image. The creation of murals in other regional shires has been met with positive feedback from within those communities while also enticing people to discover and visit places they may not have thought of before.

The success of the NSW Silo Art Road Trip and the Australian Silo Art Trail are some examples of the impact that murals can achieve. For the meantime, the prerogative of the council is to find someone who is highly skilled and capable to complete the work so that the murals can show a high-quality representation of the community.

For just as a poor-quality product can ruin the experience for the user of that product, a high quality, well created product can enhance and enrich their engagement and foster further interactions. These are of course ideal goals, and it will take time to see whether these murals and the contribution they may make to the community and the town, can achieve them.

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