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Community & Business

26 June, 2021

Stencilled in time

Lightning Ridge artist Vikki Murray created a captivating piece of street art at this year’s Pave the Way to Gular festival, which included a number of local children.

By Emily Middleton

Mrs Murray uses stencilling in her street art, which is a process that involves hand cutting stencils.

“Something unique about my stencilling is that they are all created from my own images,” said Mrs Murray.

The stencilling that can now be seen on the old grocery shop front on Bourbah Street, are of local children that were photographed the week prior at the youth centre.

“I talked to the people at the youth centre, and I got to hang out there for a couple of hours and photographed children running around and playing,” said Mrs Murray.

“I ended up giving a couple of them the camera and they had a bit of a camera lesson and got involved in taking some photos. They were very entertaining, it was a lot of fun. Most of them got to touch base with me the next week at the festival and see what had happened from those photos.”

On Saturday, June 12, some of the children ventured back to see how their photos became stencils. Mrs Murray wanted to get them even more involved, and gave them the opportunity to spray their own stencils on separate pieces of paper.

“Easily the highlight of the weekend,” said Mrs Murray, “was having the experience with the kids, and have them really understand what I was doing rather than just being a person who comes, takes photos, and they never see again.

“In the same way that photography is a record of a time and a place, stencil art is similar, which can be quite different to large mural art.

“The fact that mine is taken from actual street photography of people in the community, I think it’s a great record of that moment that they can look back on,” said Mrs Murray.

John Murray made a reappearance at the festival, after first attending in 2018. His mural piece, “Attack of the Cupids,” was a crowd favourite this year that had everybody involved by incorporating their handprints.

A highlight of the festival was the unveiling of the river walk. Gilgandra farmer and part-time sculpturer, Rowan Chandler, created a dhuulii or sand goanna out of scrap wheel bearings, which was placed at the start of the walk. The sculpture was Mr Chandler’s first commission piece, having only made sculptures for his own backyard.

Several mini sculptures, conceived by Dubbo sculpturer Norman Organ, were hidden among the trees and rocks along the river walk. Mr Organ has been creating sculptures for 20 years using pieces of scrap metal that he obtains from various sources to create his artworks .

Other pieces of art created by local and visiting artists, popped up around Gular.

Many of those who attended over the weekend said they were thrilled with the new installations and were looking forward to the next festival and what it might bring.

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