New Bottle Alley mural to honour historical Ipswich buildings

Bottle Alley will soon receive an expansive facelift with a new mural honouring the historical city centre being painted and added to the street art trail in Ipswich Central over the coming weeks.

Ipswich Central Redevelopment Committee Chairperson Councillor Marnie Doyle said the heritage thoroughfare dating back to the 1860s will be a canvas for a beautiful mural that pays homage to the ‘Lost Buildings of Ipswich Central’.

“A year ago, council opened an expression of interest opportunity for local, interstate and international creatives to re-imagine Bottle Alley and honour lost buildings of Ipswich,” Cr Doyle said.

“Council received a high level of engagement through this process and concepts from over a dozen artists were submitted, including an international artist.

“We are excited to welcome renowned large scale artists Sharon Billinge and Karla Hayes based in Sydney to Ipswich and are looking forward to watching them bring some of Ipswich’s iconic and historic buildings back to life.

“Their design for the mural will feature five historic and iconic buildings that were close to Bottle Alley many decades ago.

“This mural, together with Lincoln Austin’s Standing in Tulmur Place, Rachel Sarra’s Distant Country in Bell Street and recent temporary pop-up artworks in Ipswich Central, shows that our city continues to embrace public art.”

“While artistic talent in our community is immense, a submission was not received from a local artist which council understands was largely due to the particular challenges of the location and the size and scope of the brief to take on this large outdoor canvas,” Cr Doyle said.

“Council understands that the unique scale and spatial awareness skills needed to undertake large-scale murals are honed by specialists over time.

“Work within council’s creative industries development portfolio continues to work to build the capacity and capability of our local artistic talent through Creators of Ipswich, Spark Ipswich and the Ipswich Art Awards.

“As we continue to include street art and murals around our beautiful city, I look forward to seeing local artists taking on this challenge.”

Division 3 Councillor Andrew Fechner said, as a gateway to Tulmur Place, the mural paints an Ipswich story that will set the mood for commuters and visitors entering the Nicholas Street Precinct.

“Bottle Alley is an important connection between Top of Town and the Nicholas Street Precinct, parts of which date back more than 150 years,” Cr Fechner said.

“The mural will be one of the largest and most impressive pieces of public art in Ipswich, stretching more than 80 metres long, three metres tall and over 60 metres of open-air space.

“Council recognises that art improves our public spaces, strengthens local identity and cultivates a sense of place, with the mural’s design incorporating bygone buildings and Ipswich native flora and fauna.

“Art is also a significant contributor to our economy that draws people to local businesses and galleries and fosters tourism through events like the Ipswich Art Awards and SPARK Ipswich festival.”

Bottle Alley, at its Ellenborough Street and Nicholas Street entrances, will have restricted access between 1 to 17 March as part of the preparation.

The artists will commence painting on site on from 18 March, with the new Bottle Alley mural due to be completed by 29 March.

During this time Bottle Alley will be completely closed for the safety of the artists and pedestrians.

More information about the ‘Reimaging Bottle Alley’ project is available on Shape Your Ipswich.

The previous mural that was in Bottle Alley was photographed in 2017 before its removal and has been documented through dozens of photos on Picture Ipswich.

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