Broadford artist unveils mosaic

Broadford artist Mary-Ann Long shows off the mural she created at Broadford Living and Learning Centre.

A LARGE mosaic mural featuring depictions of native Australian flora and fauna was unveiled to the public in Broadford earlier this month.

Artist Mary-Ann Long created the 2.5-by-1.2-metre mural, which was installed outside Broadford Living and Learning Centre, using donations of ceramic and porcelain tiles, crockery, mirrors, glass, beads, milk bottle caps, river pebbles, CDs and watches from town residents.

Ms Long, who has created private walls in Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, Denmark and Japan, said she approached the centre in February last year with a vision of creating a mural.

“With mainstream appeal in mind, the mural is a burst of life and energy, featuring native flora and fauna in a stylised, meandering setting that is colourful, quirky and fun,” she said.

“[The message behind the artwork is to] be willing to see the everyday extraordinary within the day-to-day ordinary and welcome how the simplest things may ‘colour you happy’.

“For example, it could be the sparkle and wink as the mural catches the sun’s bounce. Or you recognise the animals within – 35, if you’re keen to know.

“It is not restrictive. It is explorative. I call this artwork ‘Indigenuity’, which in itself is an exploration, a blend of two words: indigenous and ingenuity.”

Ms Long said she spent five months creating the artwork in a makeshift studio in her house.

“Every single element of this design had to withstand the scrutiny and harsh demands of being weatherproofed,” she said.

“Materially and texturally, this was certainly a mixed bag of lollies: acrylics, ceramics, glass, porcelain, pebbles, steel, marble and quartz. And most were cut and shaped to design, not worked as broken or smashed pieces.”

Ms Long said the finished mural was made of eight panels placed on a pre-strengthened, weatherproofed substrate before being glued and grouted to a mounting with a special waterproof grout seal.

The mural was transported six kilometres on a trailer from Ms Long’s house to the centre, where members of Broadford Men’s Shed provided assistance with its installation in a custom frame they had constructed.

Mitchell Shire Mayor David Lowe said the mural reflected the spirit linking the Broadford community.

“We are thrilled to have such a joyful piece of artwork gracing the walls of the Broadford Living and Learning Centre, especially in the wake of the latest COVID-19 restrictions,” he said.

“The fact that it was created using previously loved donations from the community is a beautiful testament to the artist and the community coming together to achieve a shared vision.

“Mary-Ann has created a wonderful mural of native flora and fauna and although I haven’t quite found all 35 hidden animals, I will certainly continue to look for them every time I see it.”

Ms Long said she hoped Broadford residents would be inspired by the project to become more engaged in the arts.

“This mural allowed us to create and share a wonderful journey with the many unique individuals who call Broadford home,” she said.