The redevelopment of the Cowes Cultural and Community Centre has presented the perfect opportunity for local artists to exhibit their works on a grand scale.
Bass Coast Shire Council has commissioned five Phillip Island-based artists to create murals on plywood boards that respond to the theme ‘My Island Home’. As construction work continues at the site, these sectional art pieces will be assembled at a variety of locations and will showcase the extraordinary artistic talent present in and around Cowes.
The artists that have been involved in the project are Marian Quigley, Steve Ulala Parker, Lynda Horsborough, Darren Henderson and Graham Gilbert.
Marian’s mural is based on a local artist’s experience of her lived environment.
“The image is of a view of Cowes-West beach – seen during my regular morning walks. The sea is a constant source of inspiration for my work and painting forms a central part of my life,” Marian said.
Boon Wurrung Yorta Yorta Erub descendant, Steve is known to many in the district for his youth work, traditional performances and advocacy for, and promotion of, Indigenous culture.
Titled ‘Woolamai Warreeny Galen Barreen’, his mural is the wareeny (ocean water) and tidal movements that run in and out of Murranbiik (Western Port) and around Millowl (Phillip Island), with a view of Cape Woolamai to Pyramid Rock and the setting sun.
“Many of my works depict the Boon Wurrung connection to this land, Millowl that we live on in Tullagum Birranga-ha (Bass Coast country),” Steve said.
Lynda’s mural pays homage to the magnificent mammals of the sea and the dark mysteries of the ancient Island.
“The craggy rocks that emerge from the depths of the sea, like strategically poised sculptures, entice us to gaze at the horizons with awe. Then by chance we see the wild beasts of the sea poke their heads above water. They are looking back at us mere humans with inquisitiveness and knowing wisdom,” Lynda said.
Darren bought his house in Cape Woolamai as a youngster 17 years ago.
“I rented it out for a while but I missed it like a ‘limb’. The ocean, surf and bird life of the entire beach is a massive inspiration to me,” Darren said.
“So my mural is an ode to Woolamai and Phillip Island, it’s clear, clean ocean and the wildlife that inhabits it.”
Raised on Wiradjuri land in the town of Condobolin, Graham’s paintings feature a broad range of native Australian animals and reflect the connection of animals to their landscapes and often reference the hunter and gatherer lifestyle lived by his ancestors.
“My design concept is based on the idea of Phillip Island being a meeting place for my people. In the sea, beyond the shoreline, are the many creatures that hunter-gatherers brought home for their tribe,” Graham said.
For more information about this project, contact Council’s Arts and Culture Team on 1300 BCOAST (226 278) or (03) 5671 2211.