An incredible mural has been erected at the Tibooburra Museum, masterfully painted by famed local artist Clark Barrett. Covering three expansive panels, the mural presents personalities, families, and iconic symbols deeply rooted in the area’s identity.
The piece is part of the monumental Sturt Steps project, which retraces Charles Sturt’s journey during his 1845 expedition into the New South Wales Corner Country.
When the Milparinka Heritage and Tourism Association (MHTA), the project’s sponsors, required an artist for the Tibooburra Museum façade mural, Clark Barrett emerged as the foremost and finest choice.
“We knew the scope of his work, the talent he’s got. We were very happy as a community organisation to give Clark the nod,” Ruth Sandow of the MHTA revealed to the Truth. “Clark has an absolute passion for the outback and this part of corner country,” she continued.
Armed with an array of images and historic journals, Clark teamed up with Roxann Robertson to envisage the mural’s composition.
“We waded through all of it and went for what we thought were the most iconic things,” Mr Barrett told the Barrier Truth.
Camels are a dominant feature of the mural, which fittingly includes First Nations custodians of the land, a detail of great importance to Mr Barrett.
“Roxann (Robertson) was very insightful on what she wanted to achieve. And we both wanted to highlight the First nations custodians of the land,” he shared with the Truth.
Mr Barrett went on to describe the mural in vivid detail, showcasing its depth of historical narratives. “If you read the historic journals from people in Tibooburra, they’ll say things like, ‘I’ll never bag out goats again because of how useful they were for food and milk and even using their skins on the floors of their dirt huts,’ so there’s a young lad on the mural getting firewood with a goat cart.”
Included within the mural’s scene are people panning for gold, the iconic dog fence, which began as a rabbit fence, Traeger radios, one of the original RFDS planes, and iconic Tibooburra stockman, Barney Davies.
“He is in his 90s, he still alive. I have never met the man, but I am told he is this iconic stockman (from the area). He is the only contemporary figure featured in the mural,” Mr Barrett said.
If you’re headed to the Corner Country, be sure to head to Tibooburra, if for nothing else but to see this magnificent work of art honouring the region and its history.