colourful mural on wastewater pump station in park

Arts & Culture

New murals enliven two city pump stations

Published: 22 Apr 2022 12:59pm

Two wastewater pump stations in our city centre are being transformed by new murals being installed over the school holidays.

The pump station at the Simmons Street park is now home to a tableau of activity featuring native flora and fauna and sporting activities, while the pump station at Bolton Park (near the skate park) features a ‘Mosaic of Selfies’.

Pump station with mural being installed

Council’s Cultural Officer Lauren Reynolds said the designs for these stunning art installations were created through engagement and collaboration between the artists and young people in the community.

“Young people were involved in these projects right from the start, from reviewing submissions and selecting the artists, to collaborating with them on the development of the mural designs,” Ms Reynolds said.

“For the Simmons Street site, artist Carla Gottgens worked with primary school children who live and learn in this neighbourhood at Wagga Wagga Public School, which is just up the road from the pump station.

Two women standing in front of mural on wall of pump station
FULL OF ACTIVITY: Artist Carla Gottgens shows Council Cultural Officer Lauren Reynolds one colourful scenes depicting native flora and fauna

“For Bolton Park, artist Jeff McCann held workshops with young people aged between 12 and 24 years to create an artwork that represents themselves as well as the wide demographic of users at the skate park and all the other sporting facilities in this precinct.

“We wanted to give them the opportunity to create something they will be proud of and feel connected to, while also developing new skills, learning from the artists and seeing a potential future for themselves in art practise.”

It has been a busy Easter and school holidays for Carla Gottgens, installing the mural at the Simmons Street park pump station.

Woman wearing mask while spraying painting mural

It is based on the themes of play, connections, and the natural environment with a focus on the sport and activities we enjoy, follow and watch - from possums playing netball to a koala riding a bicycle and lizards playing soccer.

“It was wonderful working with the students at Wagga Wagga Public School on the workshops earlier this year,” Ms Gottgens said.

“The kids always surprise you with the concepts they come up with. They were very keen to inject a lot of colour and movement into the design and sort of saw themselves in the animals.

“It is really lovely in the sense that it connects the kids to the mural and gives them a sense of ownership of what was actually going up on the pump station.”

mural featuring possums playing netball on pump station wall

Mural on pump station wall

The participants involved in the recent workshops with artist Jeff McCann for the Bolton Park mural project will also be able to ‘see themselves’ on the walls of the pump station.

The ‘selfie tile’ workshops were hosted at the Wagga Wagga City Library as part of the 2022 FRESH program and involved participants using paper collage and drawing to create a colourful artwork that represents themselves. The tiles they created make up the ‘Mosaic of Selfies’ design, currently being installed at the site.

Mural being painted by three young people with artist giving guidance
TAKING SHAPE: Under the guidance of artist Jeff McCann, young participants of the selfie tile workshops pick up a paintbrush and help install the ‘Mosaic of Selfies’ mural on the pump station at Bolton Park.

Young people have also been involved in the painting of the Bolton Park mural, with many participants of the selfie tile workshops registering to grab a paintbrush and help complete the final design.