Feona Bates’ artwork will forever be enshrined at headspace, with a mural painted by the local Barkindji artist unveiled in the courtyard area of the youth mental health organisation’s offices on Wednesday afternoon as part of their Headspace Day celebrations.
The 5x10m mural, titled A View from a Distance, took Ms Bates five weeks to complete, working two to three days per week, putting bold strokes and intricate details into every part of the wall’s canvas.
The work presents a scene that looks out on a verandah from Mutawintji back towards Broken Hill, capturing different parts of the wider area including the Line of Lode, The Pinnacles, and a lake to indicate a connection to Menindee.
“I’m really happy with how it turned out,” Ms Bates said of the finished product.
Ms Bates received contributions from her family and students participating in the Making Tracks and Clontarf programs during the creation of the mural.
“Once my mind’s settled on something, I can stand there for a long time and just paint and paint and paint, and that’ll stay in my head until I have finished it.
“I just hope everyone else that comes in here likes it because it’s for them. I just came up with the picture, I was just the artist.
“The inspiration is for the people that come into this area and hope it’s satisfying for them to look at and is relaxing for them.”
Those in attendance were invited to contribute to the overall artwork by way of painted handprints surrounding the main picture. It’s another way Ms Bates hopes the community can connect to the artwork, as those who use the space going forward will also be encouraged to leave their mark.
“I’d done my bit. All the people that came into this area, I wanted them to put their bit on there, too. Everyone that turned up today, I got them to put their handprints on to say that they were here in this area when this was opened. And, this is their appreciation to this painting,” she said.
“Like out in Mutawintji, our handprints are our signature of us being here in this place currently. So, all these people’s handprints are them at this place at this time and that’s going to be an everlasting reminder of everyone that comes here, that these people were here.
“It was just a gesture for everyone else to join in on the fun.”