Bourke St Mural

In   |  
Acrylic on Brick and Render
Surry Hills, NSW

Bourke St – The Community Mural project in Surry Hills demonstrated to its organisers, NIC NAC (Neighbourhood Information and Neighbourhood Action Centre), what all community mural makers realise sooner or later; that a knowledge of methodological design processes, various information gathering techniques and a sympathetic atmosphere was necessary to allow the aspirations and ideas of the residents to be ‘aired’ and expressed in a meaningful manner.

Surry Hills is an extreme example of a multicultural community and has an equally diverse social and economic strata. In ordered to glean opinions and ideas from this vast cross-section of population, a series of different tactics were used including: a letter box drop, all clients of NIC NAC were asked their opinion, local schools were distributed with a Mural Kit, impromptu work shops were held in the adjacent park, ‘phone in’ suggestions, media releases and Mural Info Packs were distributed to local libraries, community agencies, etc.

Through this participation a landscape design depicting an extension of the park was conceived, showcasing dominant elements of sky, horizon, lots of colour, sun, trees, water, clouds and references to houses, people and parks.

The actual painting of the mural happened quite quickly with lots of participation from local residents, especially children, and the success of this mural project led to the establishment of an artist-in-resident at NIC NAC for the Surry Hills area and three more projects in the Surry Hills area.