A major new public artwork, a mural by Aboriginal artist Fiona Clarke, has been completed at the Diamond Valley Sports and Fitness Centre in Greensborough as part of the centre’s $16.5 million transformation.
The 40m mural, Family and Future (Past, Present and Future … Emerging), depicts the importance of the sports centre as a gathering place for the community, and in improving the health and wellbeing of local people. The artwork features traditional symbols in earthy colours with vibrant highlight tones.
This artwork is the first major commission associated with the Nillumbik Public Art Program developed to support the Public Art Policy adopted in October 2019 and creates an engaging entrance to the new-look sports centre.
Ms Clarke, a Kirrae Whurrong Aboriginal woman based in Melbourne, was selected from 25 applicants through an expression of interest process. She completed the project with fellow artist Ken McKean.
“I hope this work and the way it is painted with the flowing lines and freshness of the land and all the activity of the stars inspires the people attending and the local community to keep active,” Ms Clarke said.
“The lineworks within the image are all the lands that surround the sports centre and follow the traditional works of Traditional Owners, celebrating local First Nations and local community heritage and culture.”
Nillumbik Mayor Frances Eyre said it was an honour to have Ms Clarke’s work feature as part of a significant project for the Nillumbik community.
“We’re proud to celebrate the cultural heritage of First Nations people with such a major piece of public art,” Cr Eyre said.
“Public art plays an important role in our community with pieces such as this making art, and in this case Indigenous art, part of people’s everyday experience.”
Ms Clarke is a respected Aboriginal artist whose works are featured in national and international collections. She has depicted her Aboriginal culture through the visual arts for more than 30 years and mediums include tapestry, painting, public art and children’s literature.
More recently she has focused on public art and has been commissioned to create works in Warrnambool, Colac, Camperdown, Terang, and Melbourne.