Taking Gratitude to the Streets – a Community Mural in Quarry Hill, Bendigo
How we transformed a blank rebound wall into a brightly painted gratitude mural at Quarry Hill Recreation Reserve.
2020 has been a tough year. Here in Victoria we’ve been through two Covid-19 lockdowns, our kids remote learning from home for what seemed like an eternity, isolation from friends and family, not to mention the struggle with mental health that many have faced.
It was back in August during our second lockdown – when getting out for a walk was one of the only things people were permitted to do – that I noticed a blank wall at the Quarry Hill Recreation Reserve where I was walking the dog with my eldest son. I had been on the lookout for a way that I could use my creativity to add something positive to my neighbourhood, and the wall seemed perfect.
I decided to come up with a concept for the wall to present to the City of Greater Bendigo. My hope was that with a solid concept, they’d be more likely to give permission and maybe even help cover the cost of paint.
I wanted to help people focus on the things they’re grateful for, as a way to counteract the tough year it’s been. So the mural says ‘Today I’m grateful for…’ and then there is a chalkboard section where the community can add to the wall by writing or drawing what they’re grateful for.
The City of Greater Bendigo loved the concept and gave the go-ahead, even offering to fund the project! Within a week, I was also able to gain the generous support of Haymes Paint Bendigo who sponsored the paint!
I spent nearly three days painting, with help from friends in the Bendigo community. I really enjoyed being in the space for the three days, seeing people come and go – many who stopped for a chat and responded enthusiastically to the mural.
Since finishing and leaving a bucket of chalk, I have enjoyed seeing the wall used so well (and so responsibly). Every time I visit, the chalkboard section is covered in words and drawings of gratitude, and I have to wash it to make space for more. Even the local school that my kids attend has been using the wall with its students!
Have you got a blank wall that would be perfect for a mural?
Get in touch and tell me about it!
Note: Most of the photos were taken by my friends Richard and Riya.