A mural of a flock of swans flying over the Huon River is slowly being revealed on the wall of the Huon Valley Hub in Huonville.
Jamin, a Tasmanian based artist known internationally for his vibrant murals and street art, has been spending days in a scissor lift bringing the design to life. The concept was developed by Jamin inspired by stories from Aboriginal Elder Rodney Dillon.
In Rodney Dillon’s words: “The swans tell their own stories… Aboriginal people would watch the swans and they could tell if it was going to be a dry or a wet year by where the swans built their nests… close to or away from the water line. There are lots of different things happening around us, nature has a way of expressing itself… if we take the time to watch, listen and learn we can all help care for country.”
Jamin feels very connected to the Huon Valley having spent a year living in Cygnet. He feels a particular affinity with the river and the mist. He named his son River because of the strong connection.
“One of the things that has always struck me is the mist over the river so I came up with the idea of the swans flying over with the mist.”
Mayor Bec Enders said watching the wall come alive is very exciting as it is already sparking some important conversations in the community.
“Murals and other public art provide immense social, cultural and economic benefits to regional communities. Not only do they bring life to a space by their sheer beauty and size, but they also inspire conversations and connections by contributing to a sense of place and identity.”
The mural is part of a beautification and activation project for Huonville.
Following the establishment of The Huon Valley Hub in December 2020, Council surveyed the community to better understand what features they would like to see included both in the Hub and in the neighbouring green space.
At the same time, Council engaged with the community in relation to place based activation and streetscape beautification and reconciliation. The feedback identified that public art, interpretation of local Aboriginal culture, staging and beautification were popular (to name a few).
“The design responds to feedback gathered through the survey, as well as ideas and desires we heard from our community through the Huonville Town Team Movement and through general discussions,” Mayor Enders said.
“Importantly, we want the greenspace to acknowledge the original owners of our land and celebrate Aboriginal culture and stories, so the design incorporates features based on conversations we have had with our local Aboriginal people and groups.”
Local designer ‘Outlook Concepts’ developed a concept plan for the outdoor space based on ideas from the community, and includes:
- A mural of swans in flight over the Huon River
- Timber sculptural seating with embedded USB ports
- A timber deck that doubles as a performance stage
- A spot for mobile exhibition space ARTBOX, with shade sails
- New landscaping, including a native garden, lawn, more silver birches and uplights
- A giant chess set
- Possibility of a projection area on the wall
Council received support from Bendigo Bank to commission the mural. The mural is expected to be completed by the end of October (weather permitting). Jamin has been painting murals for 15 years and this will be the biggest mural he’s worked on in square metres.
To view the concept design please go to our website: www.huonvalley.tas.gov.au/consultations/huon-valley-hub/