Renowned artist David Higgins is transforming a forgotten wall in Warrnambool’s business centre into a work of art, as part of Warrnambool’s Hidden Histories Laneways Festival encouraging community engagement in the vibrant, interactive public-art experience.
The blank wall in Timor Walk will be transformed by a colourful mural depicting sea-themes in an event collaboration between F Project, Warrnambool City Council, RMIT, the State Government and the Warrnambool Art Gallery.
Event manager and F Project committee member Helen Bunyon says stopping to chat with the public artist is encouraged.
“This is exactly an example of an intended outcome of lane way events: public interaction and thoughts,” Ms Bunyon said.
“It’s a conversation about art, about times past, about future ideas. It is also a chance for Warrnamboolians to celebrate their artistic community.” said Ms Bunyon.”
F Project Inc. has managed 10 laneways events said Ms Bunyon which have included artist markets and demonstrations, wall gardens, dj projections, a silver ball film festival, murals, textile installations as well as performance art, music and a ‘Well for Life’ installation.
“What these events have done is to draw people to the various laneways, sometimes to look, or listen, and sometimes to participate, laneways that in some cases are little used,” added Ms Bunyon.
It has not only involved artists said Helen Bunyon but includes adjoining business owners who have enthusiastically welcomed the creativity in their laneways.
“It has been an inclusive event giving folk the opportunity to experience arts events in Warrnambool’s central business district,” Miss Bunyon said.
“The festival provides a vibrancy and energy about town.”
F Project president Emma Charlton says the first laneway event was in January, and this coming weekend of the 17th and 18th May 2014 will be the last, and follows on from a successful Silver Ball film night.
“It has been a huge endeavour,” Ms Charlton said of the Hidden Histories Laneways event.
“It has been a lot of work for many people but also beautiful, fun and thought provoking,” Ms Charlton said.
“We’re really proud of the artists, and thrilled the community have embraced the event.”
Rachel Peters will be having an event in Liebig Lane on Saturday said Ms Charlton, exploring Warrnambool’s fishing culture and history and David Higgins will be painting in Timor Walk.
Ms Bunyon says F Project is an artist-run initiative and provides a voice for artists and facilitates community engagement.
“The F Project, through The Artery, and the F Project Cinema provides opportunities for networking and professional development, and workshops for skills development,” Ms Bunyon said.
“It provides studio spaces for individuals to create and share a cross pollination of ideas, and is both an education and exhibition program.”
David Higgins’ successful submission of interest for the mural project will see the local artist transform the Timor Walk wall into a mural with a sea theme and graffiti feel.
“This mural is my way of doing community service,” Mr Higgins said.
Armed with an arsenal of spray cans David will complete his challenging canvas by the weekend, but is no mere graffiti-artist having spent thirty years as designer, artist and teacher.
The former Deakin University lecturer currently creates in textiles and though he mainly exhibits in Japan David Higgins still calls Warrnambool home.
“You go to Japan for the experience, its a very deep culture there,” Mr Higgins said,
“You follow art where art is made, but you come home to Warrnambool to breathe.”