A new public art installation created by students at Dandenong West Primary School, in collaboration with well-known illustrator Bec Orpin, was officially unveiled today and has transformed the Hemmings Street shopping strip into a funky, London-style high street.
The bright, bold colours scream fun and community from a distance. The totems welcome visitors as they drive, walk or ride towards the shops. The combined effect of the artworks gives a strong sense of community pride and engagement in the local shopping strip.
Made possible through council’s public art program and funding from the Federal Government’s Local Roads and Community Infrastructure Program, the new public art installation is part of Council's Hemmings Street upgrade project and responds to community sentiment for more local engagement in the artmaking process.
Mayor, Cr Jim Memeti said the City of Greater Dandenong is committed to celebrating arts and culture and enhancing opportunities for community collaboration, creative expression and engagement.
“In 2019, community members were asked about the type of art they wanted to see delivered. An overwhelming response supported engaging the local community in the artmaking process as well as bold abstract colours and designs and integration with gardens and landscaping.
“Council sought the expertise of well-known illustrator Beci Orpin, who developed a co-design process to transform the artworks of local students from Dandenong West Primary School into world-quality public art; the result speaks for itself,” said the Mayor.
During COVID-19 restrictions, select students from Dandenong West Primary School were hand delivered craft supplies and an activity. Beci tasked them with creating pet rocks and pebble creatures. The creative kids made some of the kookiest, cute and quirky creatures, showing off their talent for imagination and design. The finished works were then photographed and sent to Beci, who transformed the creatures into the fabulous mural, totems and sculptural pieces.
This project is part of a larger body of work to upgrade Hemmings St, Dandenong West between Jones Road and Purdy Avenue to improve the overall amenity and appearance of this neighbourhood shopping strip.
Find out more about the mural artwork located at 102 Hemmings Street, Dandenong West.