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ACT BELONG COMMIT SKATE PARK MURAL PROJECT 2

In March 2022, Shark Bay School students visited Trevor Richards’ exhibition Roll the Tape at Shark Bay Heritage Discovery Centre’s Rose de Freycinet Art Gallery. Following their visit, students got to work on creating designs to paint on the local skate park, inspired by Richards’ hard-edged, brightly coloured abstract paintings.

The first iteration of the Act Belong Commit Skate Park Project begun mid-2022. Claire Cooper of the Shark Bay Arts Council led a series of creative development workshops with Shark Bay School students, with the guidance of Trevor Richards.

After a series of workshops, the designs were ready to be translated into large scale murals and painted across the skatepark. Students, and representatives from the school, council, community, and ART ON THE MOVE excitedly started marking up the skate park.

Then, painting commenced – with unexpected challenges. The paint would not adhere to the skate park surface, due to the discovery of an anti-graffiti coating. The project persevered, but the results weren’t as envisioned with the mural peeling away immediately.

Fast forward to December 2022. Maxxi and Riley from our Learning Team were keen to get the project going again, this time, with the anti-graffiti coating removed!

The environmental conditions in Shark Bay means competing with both heat, and wind – and early morning starts (6am!) to beat the heat. Claire Cooper and Karen Gidley assisted the kids to get the mural completed in only 3 days, with Maxxi and Riley jumping in on the last day to get the project complete just before sunset.

Shark Bay School principal, Celia Elissegaray, told ART ON THE MOVE staff how a project like this gives a welcoming feeling to the skate park, and a sense of ownership to the youth of the town, knowing they had been a part of the design and execution of the skate park mural in a place that they all frequent and can spend time together whenever they like.

During the painting process, the incredible community values that exist in smaller, regional towns became evident as visitors gathered throughout the day.

Parents, teachers, staff, students, friends, and family got involved – the air was buzzing with happy, excited chatter and the students were so proud of their efforts!

The skate park was alive with kids of all ages zooming around on scooters, friends teaching each other how to ride a skateboard, and BMX too. Our team was delighted to observe community spirit in action!

Shark Bay locals with the final mural! Image courtesy ART ON THE MOVE Learning and Engagement Team.

At the end of the project, the tape was pulled and scrunched up into a huge ball – students were kicking and throwing it through the park, and everyone enjoyed ice-creams from Karen’s partner.

Projects such as this encourage connection with community and foster a sense of pride as local children can get involved in larger scale projects with a visual outcome: a significant mural on a shared youth site.

ART ON THE MOVE want to extend a special thanks to everyone who got involved and made our visit so special. We are so proud of all the students, and their incredible designs! Watch this space, as we are planning some further projects in Shark Bay and can’t wait to share them with you!

If you would like to find out more about our Learning and Engagement program, please contact Riley, Maxxi or Andy to find out more.

Images in this post are courtesy of the ART ON THE MOVE Learning and Engagement Team.