Indigenous artists creating a spectacular mural
Penrith was the focus of attention for Graffiti Removal Day in NSW this year. A group of indigenous artists created a spectacular mural on the wall of a building lining the vacant block of land at 152 Old Bathurst Road.
Led by acclaimed artist James Simon, the talented group included Australia’s #1 Rugby League winger Josh Addo-Carr and his cousins Joshua and Shane Nolan.
Site Manager and Rotarian Evan Stevens from Lower Blue Mountains Club got the project underway around 8.30 am on Saturday, and they were all but done by 4.30 pm the same day,
They returned to complete the final touches on collecting exceptional native flora and fauna images – under the watchful eye of NSW Attorney General Mark Speakman – at 8 am on Graffiti Removal Day (Sunday, October 28).
The Attorney General praised the work of the artists and joined them in adding some finishing touches.
However, this was just one highlight of another outstanding day for caring communities right around NSW.
From Bondi to Bourke, Rotarians and representatives of other community groups turned out in large numbers to take down graffiti vandalism in major towns and cities.
Whilst final numbers were not available as this editorial went to press, Graffiti Removal Day teams have consistently removed 30,000 square metres (five football fields) at more than 400 sites with up to 2,000 volunteers on the job in recent years.
Graffiti Removal Australia Chair Rotarian Bob Aitken AM thanked the many hundreds of volunteers who made the success possible.
‘Led by Rotarians in most centres, people from all walks of life joined the campaign – inspired by the theme Love Where You Live. Girl Guides NSW & ACT, Scouts Australia, Police Citizens and Youth Clubs, RMS, local councils and various church and community groups all provided vital support.
Bob Aitken paid special tribute to major sponsors – the NSW Government, Dulux and Southern Cleaning Supplies.
‘Without such sponsorship, our project would not happen,’ he said.
However, the support of the Indigenous artists at Penrith was the story of the weekend.
James Simon has legendary status amongst Indigenous artists.
He has been painting for 40 years and has an incredible list of mural achievements, i.e., Petersham tunnel, Concord Hospital, Redfern Station and dozens of school projects, to name just a few.
He was the chosen artist to redesign the Police Citizens Youth Club logo some years ago and has staged many successful exhibitions of his artwork – from Parliament House in Sydney to major buildings in Canberra. Collectors such as Janet Holmes, a Court, Susie Quatro, and Arabic royal families have all purchased his work.