Mythological mural to start laneway festival

A MURAL with an Irish mythology theme will be painted on the wall of Ozone Walk this Saturday for the first event in Warrnambool’s Hidden Histories Laneway Festival.

Local artists Gareth Colliton and Tom Pendergast will create the permanent mural in the walkway between Capricorn Records and Australia Post between 10am and noon.

Fellow artists David Higgins and Damien Macdonald will also demonstrate their art in the laneway from noon until 2pm.

The Laneway Festival aims to celebrate the creative vision of Warrnambool’s community and bring new life to the city’s laneways.

This Saturday’s celebration in Ozone Walk will also include a fashion parade featuring outfits made by local fashion designers and vintage fashions, live music from local musicians and an artists’ market. The fashion parade will start at 11.30am and include outfits from the local Sweezy label, Oranges and Lemons, Enique and Long Gone. Local musicians to perform will include Bec Sprague and Brady James.

This Saturday’s event is the first of 10 Laneway Festival events to be held between January and May, each with its own unique character.

The festival is supported by Warrnambool City Council, the state government and the local artist-run initiative, the F Project.

Warrnambool City Council business support manager Tanya Egan said that tapping the potential of Warrnambool’s laneways was an integral part of Warrnambool’s City Centre Revitalisation Plan.

“People use these laneways as thoroughfares every day and we are keen to explore other ways in which they can be used to attract people to the city,” Ms Egan said.

“The CBD renewal isn’t just about the council and policies.

“It’s about the community embracing the idea and helping with the change.

“Looking at examples of other cities that have successfully revitalised their CBDs, there is a common trend of engaging creative and artistic people early on.

“We are overjoyed to be working with the artistic community in running this festival,” Ms Egan said.

F Project vice-president Megan Nicolson said that Warrnambool’s laneways were the ultimate blank canvas.

“The laneways have so much potential and we are excited to be working with government, local businesses and local artists to help liven up the CBD,” she said.

In August last year the Premier and South West Coast MP Denis Napthine announced a $150,000 grant to help turn Warrnambool’s historic city laneways into popular visitor attractions and revive the flagging city centre. The pilot project involves RMIT professor Paul Carter, a world authority on urbanism, architecture and design, investigating the history of street names, to be incorporated into the laneways.

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