Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Artist gives skate park a new spark

The new mural alongside the New Norfolk Skate Park includes
the above reference to the name of the larger recreation ground.
A STRIKING new mural has been painted on the Blair St wall of the State Emergency Service headquarters, alongside the New Norfolk Skate Park.

Artist Joel Imber spent three days on site from Saturday to Monday, restoring the existing mural on the rear of the building and then painting a completely new work around the corner.

Imber was hired by the Derwent Valley Tidy Towns Committee to repair and revitalise the massive mural painted on the back of the SES building by New Norfolk High School students in 2002.

Artist Joel Imber at work on Saturday.
Now nearly 15 years old, the wall painting had been heavily vandalised, leading the local Tidy Towns Committee to seek out the multi-talented Imber who is a singer/songwriter and youth worker as well as an artist.

Tidy Towns Committee secretary Renata Lacey said while the group had a big focus on removing graffiti around the town it was also keen to promote real art and it regarded the mural restoration project as a community grant put to good use.

Mindful of the big effort put in by the original artists, Imber was respectful of their work as an example of street art from an earlier era while he removed a multitude of "tags" and other graffiti from the wall, carefully matching paint colours along the way. He also sought the input of present-day users of the park when developing the concept for the new work around the corner.

Mrs Lacey said the outcome was one mural completely salvaged plus the addition of another mural with the input of park users and the area was also properly identified with appropriate signage for Ellis Dean Reserve incorporated into the new work.

"The preservation of this piece done by the school [in 2002] is important," Mrs Lacey said. "It's a sample of another era."

The new mural on the side of the Derwent Valley State Emergency Service,
facing Blair St and adjoining the skate park.
Artist Joel Imber at work restoring the original mural on the rear of the SES
building in New Norfolk.

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