The Public Toilets Mural Project was coordinated by the Geeveston Progress Association as an opportunity to bring a quality addition to Geeveston's main streetscape.
GPA Secretary, Marlowe Aster, said that visitors frequently commented on Geeveston's distinctive quirky charm. "We wanted the finished mural to enhance and complement that impression, one that the local community would be proud to show off to visitors, and we're confident that we succeeded. Brian's entry was able to convey the magical appeal of Geeveston that is so often hard to put into words. And I think he was able to do that because he actually lives in the area and is immersed in it."
(i) Huon Valley Council through their Rapid Response Grants ($1000)
(ii) Geeveston Active Locals, from funds held in trust from a 2015 local community fundraiser($1900)
(iii) Huon Valley Community Bank ($6000)
(iv) Geeveston Progress Association picked up the shortfall to cover the artist's fee and additional costs.
Geeveston Progress Association's President, local businessman, Kirk Humphrey, commented that having such a prominent piece of public art would reinforce Geeveston's emerging reputation as a major art centre for the region. "Art is a strong feature of this community," Mr Humphrey said. "We have many award-winning professional artists living here, as well as many who are discovering their talent. Our annual Creative Arts Exhibition, held upstairs in the Geeveston Town Hall, just keeps growing each year in popularity and prize money. It's something this community can build on. We'd love to bring some major travelling exhibitions to the area."
The Mural Brief
The advertised brief was simply that the mural should have significance to the Geeveston area. Artists could choose to focus on its characters, history, attractions, flora and/or fauna.
The Mural Selection Process
Artists from around Tasmania were invited to submit their proposed designs, which were then shortlisted by the sponsors. The local community then voted on the shortlisted entries, and Brian Looker's work emerged as preferred option.
About the Finished Mural
The Mural shows a series of vignettes that feature local wildlife linking to local history, industry, and attractions. The work can be viewed at many levels. While many will delight in the obvious whimsy of the art, others might view the work with deeper contemplations.
One of the main vignettes show an anthropomorphic early-settler platypus set amongst elements that highlight some of the area's past and present industries, while another shows a pair of black cockatoos playing with a gold chain, the locket of which shows a snow-capped Hartz peak with the runoff feeding into the Kermandie River.
About Mural Artist, Brian Looker
Now living in Geeveston, internationally acclaimed artist Brian Looker is well known and well loved for his quirky wildlife artwork that often sneaks in surprise elements from the human world. His work is featured in Mona.
As he worked on the walls, Brian would often be interrupted by the interested public. "Work on the mural attracted regular interest from tourists and locals. The conversations and comments were a positive endorsement for our town, its attractiveness, and our commitment to improving our streetscapes. While at times these interactions slowed the progress, I saw it as a very positive opportunity to promote the Geeveston Community and the Huon Valley."