Large mural brings vibrance to Ipswich CBD

The first major piece of public art commissioned by the Ipswich City Council is breathing new life into the city transforming the large wall in Ellenborough Street alongside the cinema.

The concrete tiles, which last year were covered with faded pictures of Hollywood movie stars, has been transformed into an eye-catching and colourful mural.

This mural is the first of three planned as part of the Public Art Strategy and Plan for the Nicholas St redevelopment in the CBD.

Council engaged specialist public art consultant, Simon Koger of iAM, to help shape the strategic direction of public art in the CBD.

Mr Koger said he took into consideration the importance of communication and connection through arts and culture in our urban environment with the aim of linking artworks to the community.

The theme for the artwork opportunities at the Nicholas St redevelopment is Shine.

Shine connects to the growth and evolution of Ipswich’s history and culture, reflecting on the journey of change and development over time.

The next site to have a large format mural will be the façade at 143 Brisbane Street, which is the large council-owned building at the top of Nicholas Street.

That mural is currently in the concept development phase.

Following on will be an Indigenous mural on the shade structure in the civic space still under construction which is currently in the arts selection phase.

Ipswich City Council Acting Chief Executive Officer Sean Madigan said the new mural in Ellenborough Street is the start of a larger mural and public art portfolio.

“The CBD re-development is strengthening the CBD area as a highly attractive and functional centre for existing and new businesses, property investors, residents and visitors,” Mr Madigan said.

“This is just the beginning, other large scale murals will follow along with a significant sculptural artwork to be located in a prominent position in the civic space adjacent to the new Council administration building.

“We will also be taking part in the Brisbane Street Art Festival with workshops being held in Ipswich with opportunities for residents to be involved.

“We want to enhance Ipswich’s CBD by bringing to life spaces that are currently unused.”

The re-development has provided an opportunity to create a range of high quality public artworks that need to be conceptually accessible and understood by the broader community.

“They will also challenge ideas and stimulate discussion and debate,” Mr Madigan said.

Interest was sought from all over Australia for a list of artists with the skills and experience to undertake the Ellenborough Street facing large-scale mural project.

A selection panel then narrowed it down to four before deciding on Queensland born artist Sam Songialo’s design, which was not only visually compelling and complex but best suited the wall’s existing grid pattern.

Mr Songialo’s design has a contemporary and futuristic aesthetic and is unique for South East Queensland.

“I like to work site specifically, so I quite liked how this wall was made up of squares, so my design for the wall used those squares and the architecture to inform what it would be,” Mr Songialo said.

“It’s retro future, that’s my vibe.

“I am inspired by all the 80s clothes and surf wear that mum never bought me when I was young.”

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  1. In regards to the Ellenborogh Street Mural. I suggest public consultation in future before deciding on the design. I appreciate he may be a great artist but that prominent wall facing Ipswichs most expensive Hotel, Oaks Aspire is not aesthetically pleasing.

    Ipswich has a massive pool of very capable artists that could of made used that space to provide an amazing spectacle.
    Now we are stuxk with an 80s era rave party wall!

    1. I agree Mark. Whilst understanding that it’s impossible to please everyone, there are so many other styles which I believe would have been a better fit.

    2. I agree with Mark consultation on this seems to be limited to a select few in the council and a consultant, when will you clowns work out what community really means. If this is what we are paying rates for can we have a refund, really Mark was being nice this is an eyesore that a year 5 student could have done. Really how does this show ipswich off? Just because this clown can use a big brush does not make this art. Hopefully the weather will decide its fate as it fades in the western sun. Rubbish.

  2. How can this sort of so called art bring vibrance to Ipswich. Ipswich is a heritage city and this type of art is not in keeping with the surrounding heritage buildings. If a business in Ipswich wanted to paint their building with this sort of art, it would not be allowed by council. Now when you are driving down from the top of town, all you see now is this monstrosity on our Ipswich landscape.
    As a rate payer I would like to know how much this has cost, as last year the Ipswich Council Administrator was telling us that the old Ipswich council development corporation was in dept for millions of dollars. Now the council goes and spends even more money on murals. This money could have been spent on other more important projects.

  3. I have to agree with Mark. Aboriginal art or a rainforest theme would appeal to more people. I understand that the picture of Pearce Broznan was faided, but is was better to look at then what has replaced it. I hope the rate payers of Ipswich didn’t pay for that.
    Cheers Scott

  4. I think it suits the space and there are plenty of walls that would benefit from large pieces of art, whatever the theme. Bear in mind what appeals to one person may not appeal to another …… thank goodness, because imagine how boring it would be if we all liked the same stuff?!
    Cheers, Merle

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