What began as a small sketch on the ground by a concreter on his break has turned into a 300-hour passion project by Gunditjmara muralist Levi Geebung.
Kyle Geebung was laying the foundation bedding for a retaining wall around a garden bed when his quick sketch of a turtle caught the eye of property owner Janet McLeod.
The decision was made to incorporate the turtle into a larger mural surrounding the garden, but the planned weekend project soon turned into a family affair when Kyle enlisted the help of his cousin and muralist Levi.
"Kyle was on break, mucking around and he sketched in a turtle on the ground," Levi said.
"He's a talented artist and Janet said she really liked it and asked if he could put it on her new wall. Kyle, not knowing much about murals said 'yeah sure I'll get that done in a weekend'. I remember him telling me that and I remember saying 'you've really put me under pressure here'.
"He realised he had to call me up and I definitely had to tell Janet it wasn't going to take just a weekend. It all started from a sketch on the ground and that was the most amazing thing.
"From there I've now done two stages on one section in the backyard and after Christmas Janet decided we'd make it go all the way down to the front of the yard."
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He said inspiration for the mural came from the themes of protection and equality.
"I sat down with Janet to go over some ideas going into this mural and once I had a rough idea, she mentioned this was her forever home," he said.
"This was the home she wanted to spend the rest of her life in, which was enough for me to go ahead and do a rainbow serpent. I wanted the rainbow serpent to be the protector for both the family and for everyone who comes into the house.
"When you come into the backyard, the rainbow serpent has wrapped itself around the house. I've done two sides, one side is facing north which is land and the other side is facing down towards Stingray Bay and the Lake Pertobe which is the ocean - it has both land and ocean themes.
"I wanted as many people as I possibly could to come and put their handprint on it, it's about equality, being together and being here forever. Once you've put your handprint on this mural, you've put yourself there forever.
"It's a part of you that you've left. I've tried to involve lots of kids - a group of young Indigenous boys came and all put their hand on it and they were very happy. They can come back and look at it in the future when they're older and maybe even with their children.
"I've had a baby during the process, so I'm looking forward to him coming of age so I can bring him here and put his handprint on the wall too."
Janet McLeod said she was thrilled with the display.
"It's something that happened by accident but our family can't believe how fortunate we are to have such a thing of joy and beauty in our backyard," she said.
"It's transformed our home and it's brought in a whole new group of people to include in our family. It's just the happiest accident I've ever had."
Discussions are underway on how to share the mural with the wider public.
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