New public artwork celebrates Townsville’s cultural diversity

Date published: 21 December 2021

Three cultures are splashed across a new mural that spans more than 50 metres near Weir State School at Thuringowa Central.

The new public art work has been designed and painted by local artists Nicky Bidju Pryor, Ian Kaddy and Jon Electros Avocado.

Mr Pryor said the collaborative design accompanied the trio’s makeover of Riverway Skate Park last year.

“Three of us artists came up with a water-themed design which will connect to the Riverway Skate Park. We had our different designs collaborate together,” he said.

“We also went to the Weir State School to get a lot of hand (stencils) that we included on the wall. Getting the kids involved makes them part of the wall and helps us connect it to the community. It’ll give the kids some pride … this will hopefully be here for a long time.”

Mr Pryor said it was important for him and his co-designers to impart the importance of culture onto the next generation.

“When we first started doing skate parks, I wanted to get three different cultures together – me with Aboriginal culture, Ian (Kaddy) with Torres Strait culture and Jon (Electros Avocado) with modern street culture,” he said.

“I wanted to target all the kids that come to the skate park – Townsville is multicultural, so we’re trying to connect with everyone. I think it gives them some pride in themselves to see their culture out there … it’ll show them that if you stick to something, you can get somewhere. You can do this type of stuff and share your own culture.”

Acting Mayor Mark Molachino said public art was a powerful way to transform Townsville’s open spaces.

“Not only does public art look great, but it also helps reduce graffiti in public spaces,” Cr Molachino said.

“Council has supported public art across Townsville for many years now, and we will continue to focus on public art as a method to reduce unsightly tagging and to beautify areas of our city and suburbs.

“The new mural behind Weir State School looks fantastic and it will be a wonderful legacy for the 600-plus school students who were able to provide hand stencils to be incorporated into the design.”

For more information about Townsville’s street art, head to Street Art.

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