People from all over Sydney, from all walks of life, come to the Ozanam Learning Centre (OLC) in Woolloomooloo to connect, create, learn, and access support.
Its community is a strong and diverse one and, collectively, they wanted to express the richness of the group through an eye-catching mural on the centre’s walls.
With the mentoring of professional muralist, Sally Ann Conwell, a lot of paint and the creativity of the contributors, this was always going to be an achievable goal.
The first step was to gather ideas from the community through questionnaires, group discussions, and working bees in the OLC art room.
This led to brainstorming sessions and chalk drawings on the walls to plan the design.
Some of the key themes chosen were nature, native flowers and animals, and the culture and stories of Woolloomooloo, as well as the activities held at the OLC.
The mural presented a great opportunity for the community to share their stories on the centre’s walls.
Now complete, the contributing artists are all justifiably proud of their work and that of the team that brought it all together.
“The wall tells the story of the Woolloomooloo community. And it’s eye-catching, too. So, when you first walk in through the reception you just stare. It hits you,” Al said.
Shane dedicated part of his contribution to Holly, a chicken he cared for at the Bourke St Community Garden.
“Sadly, she passed away, two months ago. So, yeah, I did a painting of her – that’s her painting on Christmas Day. Bit emotional, but yeah, she’ll be there forever,” he said.
“What I enjoyed most about the mural project was watching everyone else be included and that it was a real team effort. Lots of people contributed and it turned out to be a really great mural,” Hillary said.
For artist and musician, Stephen, contributing to the mural was second nature.
“I have to paint. Do art and music all the time. So, painting away gives me a serenity somewhat. But to see a lot of the people join in and do their best to put something good on the wall was something that was enjoyable as well. They sort of said, well if this dorky-looking guy can do this, I can bloody well give it a go!”