A new mural painting called ‘Rejuvenation’ was launched today at Mogo Wildlife Park by Eurobodalla Mayor Mat Hatcher and Australian Wildlife Parks Managing Director, Chad Staples.
The mural was painted by local aboriginal artists Bronwen Smith and Gavin Chatfield of Gwiyaala Aboriginal_Art.
The mural design comes from a painting Bronwen did just after the fires. “Walking around in the scarred country, we could always see new shoots and life coming back, which is why it’s called ‘Rejuvenation’. We wanted to concentrate on the new life, said Gavin.”
“We would like the viewers of the work to be able to reflect and say it was such a crazy time there, but also look at it and see there is beauty after all the trauma.”
Using earthy tones from the blackened ground, the intersecting webs of life emerge to culminate in the rising sun of a new day and new growth.
“After such a horrific thing, we want people to know there can still be beauty,” said Gavin.
“It is an honour for us to be chosen as the venue for this beautiful example of indigenous art.
“Two years on, we are all very much still walking towards rejuvenation together,” commented Managing Director of Mogo Wildlife Park, ‘Zookeeper Chad’ Staples.
“We hope that this year’s River of Art Festival provides an opportunity for residents and visitors to Eurobodalla alike to reflect on our own strength and resilience, as they consider how far our community has come.”
The mural is one of three new permanent mural artworks commissioned by River of Art – along with Edward Road, Batehaven and behind Ford Street, Moruya.
“Public art increases the liveability, culture and artistic richness of our towns and creates a legacy for future generations”, said Leanne Joyce, Chair, River of Art Festival.
“We hope to introduce more mural paintings during River of Art Festival this September.”
These artworks follow from REVIVE, a public art project by the River of Art Festival which saw five murals painted live in 2020 in the wake of the devastating summer bushfires.
The murals program is funded under the Stronger Communities Program through the office of Fiona Phillips MP, Member for Gilmore with funding from the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications.