New collaborative mural grows at headspace Katoomba
A new work of distinctive Street Art has flourished over two levels and on multiple sides of the headspace Katoomba premises on Waratah Street, painted by internationally renowned artist Alex GRiLS in collaboration with local young people.
The mural depicts a giant seedling unfurling towards the sky, and a collection of thriving vegetable plants with extensive root systems, symbolising the benefits connectedness with community and with the environment. The concept was devised as part of an Open Sessions workshop facilitated by Alex GRiLS with a group of young people at the Blue Mountains Cultural Centre and responds to headspace Katoomba’s backyard area and established permaculture garden. The collaborative section of the mural is found woven into the network of roots and features individual contributions by young people, aged 12 to 25.
The project, a partnership between Blue Mountains City of the Arts, Blackheath Area Neighbourhood Centre and Headspace Katoomba, was supported by Blue Mountains City Council and the NSW Government as part of the Bushfire Local Economic Response.
Alex GRiLS recently returned to the Blue Mountains after several years undertaking international artist residencies and working in Montreal on large Street Art festivals, where he developed a collaborative and consultative practice within communities. “The Headspace mural project has been a great way to reconnect with my hometown and the next generation of local artists,” says Alex.
Katrina Noorbergen, Cultural Development Coordinator for Blue Mountains City Council said it was “fantastic to see how the workshop and mural painting positively and creatively engaged community, especially our young people, after the challenges of the past two years.”
The artwork is timely, given the recent launch of headspace Katoomba’s weekly Gardening Club on Wednesdays 2 – 5pm. Debra Mainwaring from Headspace Katoomba hopes the mural gives local young people a sense of ownership of the site and encourages them to take some of the small steps recommended to both improve and maintain their wellbeing: getting into life, connecting with others, while being active on Country.
“Come and enjoy the backyard space as a place to gather, be creative, or learn how to grow and take care of plants.”
On completion, the mural will be added to the Katoomba Urban Art Trail which has received a popular reception from locals and visitors to the region since its launch in April 2022. The Blue Mountains Cultural Centre will be running weekly, volunteer-led tours of Katoomba’s urban art trail beginning Saturday 28 May, 10.30am.