Clunes kids paint mural to beautify public pool

TEAM WORK: Nine-year-old Ryan, ten-year-old Olivia and nine-year-old Grace all worked together to paint the mural. Photo: Hayley Elg
TEAM WORK: Nine-year-old Ryan, ten-year-old Olivia and nine-year-old Grace all worked together to paint the mural. Photo: Hayley Elg

Youngsters from Clunes got creative over the school holidays as they participated in a range of activities designed to spark their imagination and get them involved in their community.

Art Attack, auspiced by Clunes Neighbourhood House, is a two-year program facilitated by Asking for Trouble’s Christy Flaws and Luke O’Connor.

The pair received funding from the Victorian Government’s Future Makers for Change program earlier in the year, which aims to tackle significant social issues through artistic and creative engagement. 

PAINTING: Luke O'Connor, 10-year-old James, 9-year-old Purv, Kaffeine, Christy Flaws, 2-year-old Tully and 10-year-old Grace. Photo: Hayley Elg

PAINTING: Luke O'Connor, 10-year-old James, 9-year-old Purv, Kaffeine, Christy Flaws, 2-year-old Tully and 10-year-old Grace. Photo: Hayley Elg

The project encourages its young participants to think about their home town, Clunes, and how it could be better for young people.

Co-director, Flaws, said they had held consultations with young people between the ages of 12 and 25 to get ideas on what they would like to see programmed as part of the project. 

“We did some drawing and brainstorming sessions with different age groups of kids where they got to  draw ideas about what might make Clunes a better place for them to be,” she said.

The young people worked with well-known street artist Kaffeine, who was involved in the Silo Art Trail, to design a mural to be installed at the town’s swimming pool.

“Kaffeine took all the ideas discussed in the brainstorming sessions away and has re-interpreted them in designing the outline for the mural.”

The youth, along with a number of younger children, then painted the bright and engaging mural together.

CONCENTRATING: Five-year-old Oscar enjoyed painting the mural. Photo: Hayley Elg

CONCENTRATING: Five-year-old Oscar enjoyed painting the mural. Photo: Hayley Elg

Flaws said art projects were able to respond to the built, social, economic and natural environments shaping young people’s lives.

“Evidence shows that if you replicate these experiences enough they can create a pattern of hope and possibility, encouraging young people to question social determinants of health, develop skills and form connections across community, and most importantly, build esteem, resilience and mental well-being.”

“It’s given them a chance to have an opportunity to communicate their vision and ideas while working with a professional artist,” she said.