Pillar project showcasing local talent

Pillar project showcasing local talent

A bridge over the Snowy River Walking Trail has been given a facelift thanks to the talents of local artists.

Moogji Aboriginal Council youth worker, Teresa Free, successfully applied to the East Gippsland Shire for a grant in early December 2017 to undertake an art project on the trail, the grant leading to the commissioning of Gunai artist of 30 years, Ray Thomas, to help design and mentor local community Elders and youth in the process of painting a large scale mural.

The theme of the mural reflects local Gunai and Manero culture and heritage. The background of the mural represents the markings on a possum skin cloak and it is bordered by two sacred trees that show bush medicines and foods.

In the mural are totems of Gunai people ‘Djeetgun’ (female blue wren, the Women’s Totem) and ‘Yeerung’ (male emu-wren, the Men’s Totem).

With the help of Ray Thomas, Teresa Free, Aileen Blackburn, Dawn Mongta, Maureen Mongta, David ‘Buzzy’ Hewat, Susan Martin, Kasey Cook, Kirby Mundy, Ali Wilkinson and Sidney Murray, the mural has taken a week to complete.

This term Teresa will be working with Orbost Secondary College students and art teachers to complete the second part of the mural on the opposite pillar under the bridge.

The ambition for Teresa would be to continually seek funding/grants for whole of community to do further artworks on the rest of the structures under the bridge to create a tourist art attraction for Orbost similar to the silo art trail in the north west of the state.

Teresa would like to thank everyone involved in the project and Chris Allen and Tony Paganella for helping seek the grant.

PICTURED: Maureen Mongta, Susan Martin, youth worker Teresa Free, artist, Ray Thomas, and Aileen Blackburn are pleased with their efforts so far as they make the pillars a tourist attraction.