Artist’s mural adorns Russells Creek underpass

Warrnambool City mayor Michael Neoh tries out his skateboard in the transformed Russells Creek underpass watched on by artist Scottie Neoh. 140801LP30 Picture: LEANNE PICKETT

Warrnambool City mayor Michael Neoh tries out his skateboard in the transformed Russells Creek underpass watched on by artist Scottie Neoh. 140801LP30 Picture: LEANNE PICKETT

ABOVE ground it’s just an unremarkable Warrnambool bridge but a splash of colour in the tunnel underneath has transformed the Russells Creek underpass.

The walkway, located under the Mortlake Road bridge, has been redecorated in an eye-popping display by former Warrnambool artist Scottie Neoh.

A range of birds, fish and other native animals has been depicted in the mural which took Neoh eight days to complete.

“Areas under bridges are usually left blank but there’s an opportunity there to do something artistically,” the Drysdale-based artist said.

“We had to work around the rain a little bit but most of the area is fully covered, so it wasn’t a big problem.”

Warrnambool Art Gallery exhibitions curator Gareth Colliton said city council infrastructure director Peter Robertson instigated the project in collaboration with the gallery.

Mr Colliton recommended Neoh for the culvert project, following on from his collaboration with fellow artist Mark Iddles in painting the Lake Pertobe maze 14 years ago.

“Arts projects such as the Bonsai mural offer an opportunity to transform utilitarian infrastructure into aesthetically pleasing areas of our city,” Mr Colliton said. 

“They can become places in which people can pause and reflect on life in this region, in this community. 

“What might have been a dreary concrete tunnel is now a place of beauty which will no doubt add value to our city pathways.”

Warrnambool mayor Michael Neoh, who is related to the artist but not involved in the commissioning process, said the artwork was a welcome addition to the area.

“A lot of people will walk or cycle around Russells Creek and this is something a little different instead of the old dark and dingy concrete,” Cr Neoh said.

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