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Close up of a school boy drawing on a piece of paper.

Re-imagined culture in Bairnsdale CBD

Friday 21 April

East Gippsland Shire Council is undertaking two lively, creative projects in Bairnsdale that engage young people and promote Aboriginal arts and culture.


The first project will see local artist Tracey McKeown collaborate with a range of local contemporary and Aboriginal artists and pre-primary students to develop artworks based on children’s simple line drawing designs.


Schools participating in the project include: Lucknow, Bairnsdale, Bairnsdale West, Clifton Creek, Swan Reach, Eagle Point, Paynesville and Lindenow primary schools.


The children were asked to draw their own imaginary characters with over 170 drawings developed.


The artists have selected 12 naïve drawings to re-imagine in their preferred artistic medium such as painting, photography, cartooning and mixed media.


The final designs will be printed onto vinyl banners and wrapped around the bollards in the Nicholson Street Mall.


There will be an interesting mix of contemporary and Aboriginal artwork featured in the finished designs. The project will bring a sense of fun and liveliness to the mall.


The second project, also coordinated by Ms McKeown, features laser-cut steel inlays in the shapes of East Gippsland animals.


These designs will be developed by local Aboriginal artists Alfie Hudson and Alan Solomon, with council seeking final permission from traditional landowners to use the designs.


The inlays will be put in the footpaths along Francis and Service Streets when streetscape works are undertaken later this year.


The animals will be chosen by the artists and have some significance to Gunai Kurnai culture or the location that the animals originate from.


Service Street faces the mountains therefore Bogong moths, ring-tailed possums and reptiles will be featured. The inlay designs connect to the Legend Rock Mural in the ALDI car park on Nicholson Street.


Along with the inlays, animal footprints will be painted on the footpath. They will appear when the concrete is wet.


Ms McKeown will work with Mr Hudson and Mr Solomon to design the animal footprints.


Both projects are fully-funded by council through its public art fund.


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