Some of Corrimal’s public spaces and building facades have undergone a transformation with vibrant murals and pillar lightboxes converting everyday buildings and spaces into creative and inviting places.
The Corrimal Public Art Project is part of a focussed effort by Wollongong City Council’s Cultural Development Program to bring artistic flair to the suburb. The project includes a mural by Mandy Schöne-Salter on the Corrimal Community Centre and two murals by street artist Steven Nutall (otherwise known in the creative community as OX King) on the Rangers Football Club building and Corrimal Tennis Club building in Wilga St. In addition to the murals, four new solar powered pillar lightboxes have been installed next to Luke’s Place Playground.
The refreshed buildings and pillar lightboxes have been welcomed by Wollongong City Lord Mayor Councillor Gordon Bradbery AM who said that the public art helps build civic pride and a sense of community.
“It is important to have vibrant and engaging spaces for everyone to use and take pride in. We strive to create spaces that are not only functional, but are welcoming, where people are interested to visit and that offer an artistic connection as well.” Cr Bradbery said.
“We know Wollongong loves art and we’re fortunate enough to have world-class street and community art commissioned throughout our city. These murals and lightboxes are another example of our vibrant and growing arts culture which reflects our creative community spirit.”
The lightboxes are a new outdoor exhibition space that will feature an ongoing program that celebrates a range of community projects and artists. The first exhibition features poetry from local primary and high school students. Students from Corrimal High School, Corrimal Public School and St Columbkille’s Catholic Parish Primary School worked with Poet Nicole Smede to write poems responding to stories shared by local Elders Aunty Shas Robinson, Aunty Ruth Leon and Aunty Rhonda Cruse-Rawiri in early March before COVID-19 restrictions started.
Steve Nutall also presented visual art workshops with students from these schools, with the local children’s designs integrated into his murals and the poetic artworks on the lightboxes.
Street and mural artist Mandy Schöne-Salter designed and painted the mural on Corrimal Community Centre. The design was inspired by “Native Flora and Fauna with natural colours and a touch of whimsy” which Mandy developed after consultation conducted by the centre with community groups who utilise the building.
Small books featuring all the school children’s poems have also been created for the schools and local libraries.