A new community artwork, executed by 23 local students from Gungahlin College has been unveiled in the heart of Gungahlin. The artwork is the first step towards progressing the growth of arts in the region; the next of which is to transform Gungahlin College’s Arts Stage into the first public art exhibition space in Gungahlin.
The 14 metre long and 1 metre tall digital wall installation displays an array of diverse birds, painted by the individual students. Each student was asked to select a bird based on beauty, wisdom, playfulness and vividness, and paint it in a medium of choice.
The artwork was supported and commissioned by Marketplace Gungahlin, with materials donated by Bunnings Warehouse, to facilitate community development and enrichment.
Louise Pinder, Visual Art Teacher for Gungahlin College, says she chose the theme of birds, not only because it allowed for students’ varying abilities, but also because a visually dynamic gathering of birds, communing together, is symbolic for a community arts project.
“There is much spoken about the diversification of bird life in Australia and beyond,” says Ms Pinder.
“They are site specific, migratory animals and the great propagators of flora. One could associate that the rapidly transforming landscape of the Gungahlin community can be likened to this behaviour.”
The collaboration presented itself earlier this year when Marketplace Gungahlin approached Ms Pinder, to invite year 12 students to produce an artwork to go on exhibition in the shopping centre.
“I jumped at the opportunity for students to publicly exhibit their artworks in the local community. I wanted to give them a real-life experience and show them that they could complete something as a collective,” says Ms Pinder.
“Marketplace and I then discussed the idea of transforming our college Art Stage into a gallery for students and a future public exhibition space.
“Gungahlin desperately needs to support the diverse groups of people that come here and celebrate what they have to offer. That’s what we hope to promote with this public artwork and the new gallery space,” says Ms Pinder.
Paul Morgan, Centre Manager for Marketplace Gungahlin, says that he’s been interested in commissioning community-led artwork since they opened their new mall last year.
“Gungahlin is growing so rapidly, and while we have a shopping precinct that addresses the needs of the region, we also need one that supports community art and culture,” says Mr Morgan.
The community artwork is located alongside Kmart in Marketplace Gungahlin. Marketplace and Gungahlin College hope to have the new exhibition space open by early November.