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Monday, July 22, 2024

Murals bring town’s rich history to life

The Victorian town of Noojee’s rich timber history, unique natural environment and resilience through fire and flood are celebrated in three new murals commissioned by Baw Baw Shire Council.

The Noojee Community Hall, Bennett Street Public Toilets and Mt Baw Baw Tourist Road Public Toilets have been transformed thanks to the Noojee Resilience Art Project, with commercial studio 90 Degrees Art finalising works last week.

Each mural tells a different story of Noojee and surrounding townships – from the devastating bushfires of 1926 and 1939, after which communities were rebuilt, to the thriving timber industry, timber mill and historic Noojee railway line, and finally the town’s flora, fauna and iconic river and waterfalls.

The murals can be viewed at the following addresses:

  • Noojee Public Toilets, 22 Bennett Street
  • Noojee Community Hall, 7 Henty Street
  • Noojee Public Toilets, Corner School Road and Mt Baw Baw Tourist Road

Melbourne-based graffiti artist, graphic designer, and fine artist Dan Wenn (pictured), used spray-paint, rollers and large brushes to create the murals over a five-week period.

Each building is completed in a photo realism style with varying levels of colour to suit its surroundings, Baw Baw Shire Council said in a statement today.

To inform the mural design, Dan consulted the Noojee Heritage Centre to source historic photos of Noojee.

“We gathered a lot of information, did a lot of research, and trawled for images and stories. We had a good chat with the Heritage Centre and literally used their photos to create composite photo realism designs,” says Dan.

“I would like to thank the people of Noojee for their fabulous hospitality over the time I was working in the town. I got to know people and had a few regulars that would come visit weekly to check how a particular piece was progressing.”

Baw Baw Shire Council Mayor, Annemarie McCabe said public art was an important investment to connect communities.

“These murals celebrate Noojee’s rich history and cultural identity and invite residents and visitors alike to engage with their surroundings in a new way,” she said.

“Once relatively inconspicuous, these buildings are now an attraction, encouraging viewers to imagine life in the past in Noojee and to imagine the Noojee of the future.

“I encourage all residents to visit Noojee and appreciate the transformation these murals have brought to the three buildings.”

The Noojee Resilience Art Project was delivered by Baw Baw Shire Council and funded through Emergency Recovery Victoria’s 2021 Storm and Floods – Community Recovery Fund.

Council’s Arts and Culture Advisory Committee selected 90 Degrees Art in conjunction with Mt Baw Baw Tourist Road Community Recovery Committee following an Expression of Interest process.

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