A whimsical mural is expected to turn heads on a quiet country road in Merino, but it's a school of just nine that the new installation is dedicated to.
Helen the school hen, having just laid an egg, floats on a flamingo in renowned Warrnambool artist Jimmi Buscombe's newest mural for the Merino Consolidated School.
Buscombe said students had kept a close eye as he worked to transform a water tank into a see-through aquarium in four days.
"The school has a resident chicken called Helen who hangs out when they're eating lunch and hangs around the gardens," he said.
"The kids were really excited to see her. There was one girl in particular who was painfully shy, but once I painted Helen, she was like, 'Jimmi, I can see Helen!' and was jumping up and down.
"I love these sorts of works because it engages kids in that really cute type of humour.
"There's something human about all these animals, like the wombat in a bikini swimming suspended in the water.
"On the right hand side, the glass is smashed and I painted water pouring out of it. There's a koala in a shower cap having a shower in the waterfall.
"There's a turtle wearing a surf lifesaving cap - it's all just cute and fun for the kids."
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Buscombe - who has installed more than 30 major permanent public art works across the state of Victoria since 2018 - said his wife and 12-year-old daughter helped to design the mural, which school principal Genevieve Hulin said was "everything (she) hoped it would be".
"The mural puts the animals in a whimsical setting which is really great for the school, it brings more fun and joy to the area," she said.
"I'm so excited - what Jimmi's brought to the piece will really connect the community with the school and create a focal conversation piece for everyone.
"It's a great addition to the town and for us as well.
"It's right at the gate and the road that goes past is one used by farmers checking their stock, morning walkers and the bus, for pick-up and drop-off.
"A whole manner of people will get to see it."
Ms Hulin thanked Buscombe.
"I'm just really happy with the artwork and think Jimmi's an awesome artist - we're very grateful and lucky he was able to come out and do it for us," she said.
The artwork is set to join the Australian Silo Art Trail's water tank collection.
Buscombe has a number of works on the trail, including the Murrumbateman water tank, Avoca Silo in central Victoria and the Lismore water tower.
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