A walk along the Nowra Mural Trail
Looking for a lockdown activity that ticks the box for essential exercise and gets a bit of art culture into your day?
In our current lockdown situation in NSW, strolling through art galleries are off-limits. So why not grab your runners and explore the wonderful murals around our little town! The Shoalhaven City Council and Shoalhaven Historical Society have commissioned quite a few murals around the Nowra CBD over the past few years.
These murals have rejuvenated streets, car parks and laneways and add a touch of colour and life to central Nowra. What a wonderful initiative!
1. Case Maclaim – The hands that built our place
I parked the car and started the trail at the Gasworks Carpark on Bridge Road. This mural sits proudly on the back of the Ison and Co. Hardware building and you certainly can’t miss it!
Created by German Artist - Case Maclaim, it symbolises the physical struggles of those that have built our town over the generations and their contribution to making our town what it is today. He has focused on their hands rather than faces, to symbolise the hard, physical work of the tradesman who built this town with their blood, sweat and tears. Oh, and of course their hands!
2. Mach, Hugo & Zertizm - King Neptune’s Underwater World
Head down Berry Street towards town and as you pass The Shoalhaven Regional Art Gallery, you'll find the thoroughfare "Live Gallery Walk" - a colourful lane that takes you through to the Egans Lane car park.
Graffiti Artists Mach, Hugo & Zertizm have created three interconnected fun, playful pieces that form a colourful underwater world, complete with a Nemo!
3. Adnate – A colourful celebration of our aboriginal Heritage
Venturing into the Egans Lane car park from the laneway, there are two more beauties to behold. To the left is one of my favourites, a mural on the rear of our local library.
Melbourne Artist Matt Adnate’s portrait of a young Aboriginal boy celebrates the rich Indigenous history of our local Yuin people. The Black Cockatoo is a tribute to Nowra’s name which originates from the Aboriginal word meaning “Black Cockatoo.” The vibrant colours of the Aboriginal flag just bring this whole mural to life and those eyes are incredible!
4. Guido van Helten – Fishing traditions of Greenwell Point
Just adjacent to the last mural and still within the Egans Lane car park, this mural of a fisherman mending his net by Brisbane Artist Guido van Helten is based on a photograph by Australian Photographer Jeff Carter. This mural pays tribute to the fishing village of Greenwell Point and its rich history of fishing and oyster farming.
5. ARCY- Black Cockatoo
Head out of the car park via Egans Lane towards Kinghorne Street and look up! You will be surprised with a soaring Black Cockatoo above your head. By Artist Ryan ‘ARCY’ Christenson, this is another celebration of our rich Indigenous community and the Aboriginal word for ‘Nowra’, which means Black Cockatoo.
6. Owen Dippie – A tribute to Artist Arthur Boyd
Head down Kinghorne Street and pop into Stewart Place, to discover this mural by artist Owen Dippie. It is a fine tribute to Artist Arthur Boyd, who in 1993 gifted his property to the people of Australia.
Located on the banks of the Shoalhaven River and known as Bundanon Trust, his property is a wonderful support for developing artists and well worth a visit once Covid restrictions ease. There is an art museum currently under construction, which looks like it's going to be amazing!
7. Claire Foxton – The Face of A WWII Veteran
Continue down Kinghorne Street towards the Quest and take a look back towards town. You will see this sneaky piece high on the side of the Holt Centre. You will get the best view of this beauty from the Stewart Place car park.
This colourful mural features Veteran Narelle Hart, who has been a Nowra local for over 70 years. As a young recruit, Narelle served with the Base Torpedo Unit in the Women’s Auxiliary Air Force during World War II. This is a wonderful celebration of strong local women who have (and continue) to contribute to our community.
8. Sam Bates “SMUG” - Artist George Sobierajski
Last but certainly not least is this mural painted by a local artist known as “SMUG” (Sam Bates), and features another local Nowra Artist George Sobierajski. You can find it on the side of the Quest building on Kinghorne Street.
It is a tribute to George, who was a big influence at the beginning of SMUG’s career as a graffiti artist. I watched as this mural evolved and was in awe at the scale of this work and how it all came together. It blows my mind!
So there you have it, a little tour of our town and the murals that bring it to life.
I cannot fathom working on such a large scale and having them look this amazing - these artists are truly talented.
It makes me want to have a crack at painting a mural at some stage – something bright and funky would be lots of fun to paint. Maybe I can convince one of my kids to let me go wild on their bedroom walls first and go from there!
I'm off to start stalking mural artists on Instagram...... xxx