Talk about leaving your mark on a place!

BSSC art students are providing the creative genius for a 1.2-metre-high mural that will stretch from Barnard Street to Gaol Road and provide a stunning permanent background to future development of the adjacent area.

Vanessa Wait, COGB Resilient Communities Officer, applied for a Public Safety Infrastructure Grant in 2015 and included this comment as part of her submission:

“What is viewed by many as a non-descript utilitarian fence is transformed into a gallery space for the Visual Arts Students at Bendigo Senior Secondary College. This will add colour and life. No longer will the path be simply rapid transit from point A to B for pedestrians, it becomes a broader connection between the students with the wider world that can generate ownership and pride.”

Lindsey Myers from Switched Digital Design has been working on the project for the last two years and, with construction due to start on February 28, spent part of this week working alongside students completing the final panels.

“The pressure is on,” she said. “These students have only till Monday 19 February to complete the designs.”

“Students across five art classes began working on the project last year,” said Arts Coordinator, Marcus Patching. “They have had to work to a brief, with a timeline and have needed to demonstrate flexibility in finding how their art fits into the parameters of the project.”

The mural will be 153 metres long with 67 panels that depict the history of Bendigo, primarily since European settlement.

Lindsey explained that, “The mural is most likely to be constructed of aluminium with the images cut into the metal by lasering thousands—probably millions—of tiny holes into each panel. And there will be a flowing geometric background pattern designed by Year 12 student Maddy Simpkin.”

When asked about the benefits of participating, Celeste Eriksen, who is aiming to be an animator or storyboard artist, said, “This project has helped me build up my folio for uni and I’ve learnt to work with councils and collaborate with a large group of other artists.”

Teagan McConnell, with dreams of becoming a concept art designer, agreed.

“We have had to work to a strict deadline, doing background research to ensure we are representing a particular era correctly. I also think the people you work with become an important element—communicating ideas and discussing possibilities.”

Emily Gower, new to BSSC this year, was attracted to the project, “because I love history as well as art design—and this is also a great way to meet other students.”

The last word can go to Jordan Wanefalea: “It’s a pretty cool opportunity to display our art in a permanent Bendigo exhibition.”