Warrnambool's new artwork a shimmering success

There was no disguising the delight of budding artist Jacob Rudman-Reeves (left) when the mosaic Piece By Piece was formally unveiled in Warrnambool on Saturday.  Creative director of the project, Renee Broders, fellow artist Michael Hilder and member for South West Coast Denis Napthine shared his joy.
There was no disguising the delight of budding artist Jacob Rudman-Reeves (left) when the mosaic Piece By Piece was formally unveiled in Warrnambool on Saturday. Creative director of the project, Renee Broders, fellow artist Michael Hilder and member for South West Coast Denis Napthine shared his joy.

THERE were tears of joy and cries of excitement on Saturday at the unveiling of Warrnambool’s latest public artwork.

While the Piece By Piece mural certainly livens up the outer wall of the Optus Shop at the corner of Liebig and Lava streets, it also achieved its goal of empowering the people with disabilities who created it, said project co-organiser Andrea Lane.

“Those involved learnt new skills and brought out their talents,” Ms Lane said. A crowd of sponsors, participants, families and supporters turned out to see member for South West Coast Denis Napthine unveil the work, which is a depiction of what Warrnambool means to the artists involved.

“It was brilliant,” Ms Lane said of the launch.

“The feedback was very good. A lot of people were in awe of the mural and afterwards everyone was going up and touching it because it’s also very tactile.”

Planning for the Piece By Piece project began in March 2010. Work started in March this year.

“Finally seeing it on the wall, I was just blown away,” Ms Lane said. “I went past it (on Saturday) night and it actually glimmers in the night light — if you go past, you can see it shimmering.

“It’s really a magnificent statement on the wall. On the way home from the launch I got a bit teary. It was quite emotional to see it come to fruition and I think everyone involved will look on it with pride.”

More than 100 people with disabilities helped create the mural, with many on hand to see it unveiled.

Jugglers also performed, including Lucie Mitchell who promoted the project earlier this month by handing out fliers while covered in body paint and not much else.