Two new original works by Perth artists Jessee Lee Johns and Jack Bromell are the newest public art pieces in the City of Swan’s Midland Mural Project.
Jessee’s mural at Midland Public Library on Helena Street titled, ‘Flora of the Anthropocene: An incomplete catalogue of often overlooked objects relating to public utility’, sets the scope of the collection and hints at different ways of thinking about the objects themselves.
The Centrelink and Medicare building on Keane Street is home to Jack’s mural, titled ‘A Garden for Midland’, which tells a story of native flora and fauna, as well as showcasing the Swan River and iconic landmarks like the Midland Town Hall and local railways.
City of Swan Mayor Kevin Bailey said the Midland Murals Project aims to invigorate the historic Midland Town Centre with vibrant and energetic murals.
“Murals build a sense of community and make a place welcoming,” he said.
“It is now a well-accepted principle of urban design that public art contributes to a community’s identity, fosters community pride and a sense of belonging, and enhances the quality of life for its residents and visitors.”
City of Swan Mayor Kevin Bailey, Midland/Guildford Ward Councillor Rashelle Predovnik and artist Jessee Lee Johns at the completed Midland Library mural.
Jessee explained he wanted to paint something that related directly to the library – an extension of its functionality.
“I have long thought about these kinds of objects, that they are ubiquitous throughout the world, and their particular characteristics are endemic to different geographical locations,” he said.
“Their design and distribution, like plants, form part of the character of a given landscape – and that if one were familiar enough with them, one would be able to look at this collection and know that the specimens are representative of Midland.
“I also see them as nodes in a network of public utility that underpin our modern world – although I think they tend to remain unseen, they are visual reminders of those networks, and the way in which humans are social animals, and that our quality of life is due to our collective actions.”
Artist Jack Bromell and City of Swan Mayor Kevin Bailey at the in-progress mural, which will wrap around to the front of the Centrelink and Medicare building once complete.
Jack said his design reflects the natural history of the Midland site, including native flora like Bottlebrush and Kangaroo paws.
“These flora provide food for local birds, with the Silvereye and Western Spinebill among the different birds depicted on the mural,” he said.
“The Swan River is represented in the blue pattern at the bottom of the mural, and by drawing inspiration from the existing surrounding colours, the mural is a calming and inviting artwork for the 2,200 people of diverse backgrounds who visit the Centrelink and Medicare building each day.”
The Midland Mural Project seeks to engage a series of artists for both small and large murals, and the City is investigating other sites for future commissions.
Last year the City engaged artist Mel McVee to complete a mural at Stratton Youth Centre as a community engagement project, which had a great response from residents who participated in open painting days.
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