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Published March 31st 2017
How to make great use of public space
Most dictionaries define a mural as a painting, usually large, and usually directly painted on a wall. This description sounds easy, but where would I be able to find a spare wall? On a recent trip to South Australia's own Yorke Peninsula, I found the answer!
The Yorke Peninsula is famous for its coastline surrounded by farms, seaside towns, beaches, historic coastlines and national parks. And with all of them come a proliferation of stone walled buildings, besser bricked public toilets and various other structures which without the inspiration of some talented local artists would remain flat, plain and uninviting.
Port Clinton was one of the first towns on the Peninsula to see the opportunity that these large walls present with the Port Clinton Progress Association community hall and the public toilets alongside the Walk The Yorke seat both being recipients of fine art.
Further down the coast the Ardrossan Visitor Information Centre features a full size mural recognising the contribution that local farmer, Clarence H Smith, made to farming across these and other mallee laden lands while the wall alongside the Port Vincent hardware store reflects one of the views available from the nearby Seaside Caravan Park.
Ann Harris is somewhat of a celebrity in the town of Stansbury, and her efforts at painting the exterior of the Blue Lime Café and the public toilets are extraordinary. The mural across the front and side of the café took the better part of three years before being completed in 2016 and relays a stunning story of days gone by in Stansbury.
The public toilets at Stansbury have also been painted by Ann with a mural reflecting modern day Stansbury and the popular markets, while the public toilets at Coobowie portray a summer's day on this lower part of the Peninsula. A bit further down the coast at Edithburgh, the Garage Diner has a more commercial feel with a sea themed mural, the Bakehouse Arts and Crafts / Museum has a historic mural while the Bowling Club and RSL Hall features a full-length mural highlighting historic Edithburgh.
Yorketown is one of a few towns surrounded entirely by land but that doesn't stop it from joining in the mural fun with a large painting providing a historic backdrop to the relaxing Centenary Garden in the centre of town.
Warooka has a mural on an old water tank in the centre of town, while Point Turton shows that BBQ Shelters can also form a great backdrop for a mural. While at the far end of the Peninsula, the mural on the Corny Point Public Toilets are almost worthy of a trip themselves with a stunning three sided piece painted by the Corny Point Community as part of the Country Arts SA Regional Arts Program.
Minlaton is known as the home of Captain Harry Butler, and the giant mural on the front of the Yorke Peninsula Council offices highlights some of the achievements of this remarkable and pioneering aviator from last century.
Known as the last of the windjammer ports, Port Victoria features yet another set of public toilets adorned with a giant mural, this time reflecting the history of the town as a significant port on the western side of the Peninsula and being perfectly located on the Walk The Yorke route.
So next time you are headed to the Yorke Peninsula for a holiday or a day of walking on the Walk The Yorke, why not linger a little longer and admire some of the brilliant (and free) pieces of art created by some very talented locals.