The blank walls on James Street are being transformed into a nature scene by two talented interstate artists as part of the Ripley Arcade Public Art Project.
To enhance the cultural integrity and visual appeal in the heart of the CBD, the City of Mount Gambier sought expressions of interest from artists in September 2017 to develop contemporary public art works for the blank walls on James Street near Ripley Arcade and Percy Street.
Rythmicolour Collective, a multi-disciplined mural based arts group from the Sunshine Coast, Queensland was selected by a panel to take on the project as a result of their portfolio of work which includes public and private murals throughout the country and the delivery of community workshops and education based interaction.
“We have two Rythmicolour Collective artists here with us, Benjamin Higgins known as ‘Mr Mupz’ who is a mural artist, graffiti artist and illustrator and EJ Zyla, who is self-taught with a love for fine arts,” City of Mount Gambier Arts, Culture and Development Officer Serena Wong said.
The artists have been steadily working on the mural over the past few days as part of stage one of a two part project.
“We are going for a natural element, a macro of a micro nature scene, with moths, snail, tree branches, interpretive design elements running through it so it shows that there is a fluidity and energy that runs through things that is often overlooked within the environment,” artist EJ Zyla said.
Rythmicolour will run a Q&A on Sunday 15 April 2018 for people aged 15 years and over who would like to know more about the processes behind making art for the public.
“The workshop is on site and is all about the practicalities and the real form of what public art is about, the hard work, hands on, the dirtiness, long hours, heat and exhaustion, a foothold into the reality of it,” Ms Zyla said.
“We’re excited that we’re going to get a great public artwork in a prime spot out of this and that it might help young people locally to start thinking about their creative practice in different realms,” Ms Wong said.
In addition, Skunk Control, a team of Victoria University engineers and scientists who merge science and art, will be in Mount Gambier next month to conduct workshops with local schools to create three dimensional butterflies to be attached to the lamp posts on Percy Street.
“They will work with students to create colour palettes for the butterfly wings which will incorporate transparent film so when the light hits them, it will be refracted, spilling colour on to the footpath,” Ms Wong said.