Narrandera’s stunning artwork on the town’s water tower has been named as the nation’s best large-scale mural.
The presentation was made at the Australia Street Art Awards where Narrandera Shire’s first permanent outdoor artwork was awarded the prestigious title of Best Mega Mural 2019.
The awards recognise towns, regions and destinations using one or more of the many forms of outdoor, publicly-accessible art to promote their destination and engage their community.
And, with records showing there has been an increase of 40 per cent more visitors to Narrandera since the installation, Cr Tracey Lewis has instigated an art trail project. Cr Lewis is organising a local artist group to build on the success of the mega mural. She aims to place art pieces of different mediums in each shop in Narrandera to encourage visitors into shops to view them.
“It would create a local art trail and give visitors another reason to stay in town after visiting the water tower,” Cr Lewis said.
She is calling for expressions of interests from business owners interested in being a part of the project.
Mayor Neville Kschenka said the water tower’s award was an incredible achievement for the town and one that residents could be proud of.
“We are grateful to have this project recognised as I have received countless favourable comments from visitors and the community,” Cr Kschenka said.
A team of four artists from Apparition Media, Melbourne, used 120 litres of paint and worked in challenging weather conditions over a two week period to complete the 15m-by-20m artwork.
The $129,950 project, funded by the Federal Government’s Drought Communities Program, not only created employment opportunities for locals through preparation of the site, but also created a staple tourism attraction for Narrandera.
“This brings visitors from around Australia – many who follow the entire silos map – to visit our water tower and inject funds into the community through increa-sed tourism,” Cr Kschenka said. “I would like to acknowledge everyone who contributed to bringing this idea to fruition.
“Community members who suggested ideas and attended the workshops, my fellow Councillors who supported the project, Council’s project management team who co-ordinated the project and our marketing team who recognised the significance of this artwork and entered it into the Street Art Awards competition.
“Special recognition also goes to our budding young artists who attended workshops and created individual artworks of what they felt represent Narrandera. These ideas formed the themes of the murals we see today.”
Cr Kschenka said Apparition Media were an outstanding team of creative minds who were tireless in their efforts to bring the community’s ideas to life.
“They combined so much of what Narrandera is, into detailed, colourful and outstanding creations.”
Apparition Media director Tristan Minter said the award was the company’s first big win.
“It was great to get that recognition – the wind and rain was fighting us a little but we got there in the end,” Mr Minter said. “In terms of difficulty, it wasn’t the hardest piece we have done.”
Mr Minter said feedback had been overwhelmingly positive on increasing visitor numbers to the town.
“It was interesting to hear at the awards how much visitation it creates for the towns – people who had previously driven through now stop to see, and hopefully have lunch or stay an extra night,” he said. “There are mural projects which have completely saved small towns. It really is value for money and a great boost for towns.
“There is room on the tower for another mural and there is motivation to finish it off.”