Completed Mural Painting at Pathfinders Supported Independent Living Facility

In a world that often seeks to bridge gaps and foster inclusivity, the power of art to unite people and express cultural heritage cannot be underestimated. Recently, two talented local artists, Bob Blair and Daniel Manson, embarked on the task of creativity for Pathfinders Supported Independent Living facility in Armidale. Together, they brought to life a colourful mural that not only embellishes the facility’s walls but also serves as a powerful symbol of inclusion and community engagement.

When our young people and visitors step into the main common area of the facility, their eyes are immediately drawn to the wraparound mural along the walls. Inspired by the goanna, a creature known for its long, winding body, the artwork elegantly wraps around the space, creating a captivating visual narrative. What makes this mural unique is the blank canvas left intentionally in between, providing a space for the young residents to leave their handprints, effectively becoming a part of the art.

Daniel Manson, an Arabana man raised on Eora, Gundungurra, Dainggatti, and Gumbainggir lands, and Bob Blair, a Nucoorilma man from the Gamilaroi Nation, collaborated on this mural with a shared passion for their cultural heritage. Daniel, whose artistic repertoire extends to acrylic paints, inks, sculpting, wood carving, and even works in the sand and soil, found inspiration in storytelling as a means of passing on knowledge. Bob, on the other hand, specialises in acrylic paints, paint pens, and wood burning, with an affinity for painting on various mediums, such as surfboards, car doors, furniture, and canvas. His traditional performances, including dance, didgeridoo playing, and smoking ceremonies, further connect him to his roots.

A new space has now been created where young people can come together, share meals, engage in conversation, and create lasting memories. By incorporating the handprints of the residents into the artwork, the mural transforms into a collective representation of unity and inclusivity allowing the residents to leave their mark.

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