Large-scale black and white photographs from the Les Hill photographic collection have been installed on the empty walls of four buildings in the heart of the city as part of a project supported by the City of Mount Gambier Creative City Cultural Fund.
Jessica Elise Designs artist Jess Tucker secured $12,000 in March this year to erect four photographic murals through the Creative City Cultural Fund which provides funding to artists, community groups and non-profit community based organisations for projects responding to local needs and issues.
“I sourced images from the Les Hill photographic collection at the Mount Gambier Library to relate to the locations that were accepted. The final locations of the photographic murals were the Railway Lands, the alley wall alongside Canopy Interiors, the car park wall on the Gavin McEachern building and the wall facing Macs Hotel on the Elders building,” Ms Tucker said.
“Hyland Fox Signs was great help throughout the process, and helped me with the requirements for the photographic murals. Once everything was approved I scanned the originals to be high resolution and overlayed the text on the images which I believe to be an important part of the photographic murals.”
The murals add to Mount Gambier’s profile as a vibrant and culturally diverse destination and celebrate the city’s distinct arts, culture and heritage.
“Often photos are just left online now, on people’s phones or hidden away in people’s photo albums. We have such a rich history in Mount Gambier and an amazing collection of old photographs taken by Les Hill. I think this is so special, and I wanted people to be able to appreciate them in the locations they were taken.”
The talented local artist aimed to highlight local history to inform tourists about the heart of town and remind locals of yesteryear.
“It will hopefully stir memories in people, and encourage the curiosity of younger generations about the memories of their older family members. Collections like these often get forgotten, so I wanted to make sure that it doesn’t. We need to make sure that not only keep our history alive, but also remember to continue to capture our city in the present.”
“I have added a page on my website www.jessicaelise.com.au to showcase the photographs chosen, and I will be updating the page ‘Snapshots’ with a walking map, and photographs of the photographic murals on the walls,” Ms Tucker said.