‘Welcome Walls’ is a community art initiative that brings together the efforts of social enterprises, Muralisto and Welcome Studios, to deliver visually-striking murals for social inclusion and awareness on Australia Day. Supported by Major Sponsor, Taubman’s, ‘Welcome Walls’ will be a feature highlight of the Parramatta Australia Day celebrations, with two temporary sites located in Parramatta Park. In the week following, three large-scale, murals will be painted in Hunter Street, Parramatta. Members of the public with an open invitation to the public to contribute their artistic styles on Australia Day as well, as visit satellite mural sites that have been co-designed by community and professional artists.
In December, ‘Welcome Walls’ hosted a co-design workshop that invited community members of the Greater Western Sydney community, especially those from refugee and migrant backgrounds, to collaborate around the themes of community and inclusiveness that would form the basis of the mural designs to be painted on Australia Day. The group comprised of Pakistani, Indian, Syrian and Iranian groups. The designs will be finessed by professional artists and co-created with the public throughout the Australia Day celebrations. The temporary walls will be exhibited in Westfield Parramatta in the weeks following the festivities.
Indigenous artist, Aroha Groves from Boomalli Art Gallery and Curator at Blacktown Art Centre will be leading the mural design on one of the temporary wall sites in Parramatta Park. The mural is an expression of Welcome from our first peoples and celebrates our indigenous heritage and contemporary Aboriginal culture. The public will be encouraged to join Aroha in finalising the mural in designated participatory spaces.
Welcome Studio will be selling artist prints with all proceeds going towards assisting refugees and asylum seekers.
Welcome Studio is an artist initiative supporting refugees and asylum seekers through art and workshops. Muralisto is an Australia wide network of socially conscious artists committed to building a new generation of artist voices.
Image: Artist, Lotte Smith – Welcome Wall Collaborative Mural – Church Street, City of Parramatta
Photograph: Rebecca Levy Photography