6 March 2024

Passersby create collaborative public art display at Shellharbour Marina

| Keeli Royle
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People working on mural at Shell Cove.

Community members contributed small works of art to create a larger collaborative piece. Photo: Supplied/Frasers Property Australia.

A colourful new mural has been added to the growing collection of collaborative artworks surrounding the popular marina at Shell Cove.

Illawarra artist Tegan Georgette, who is known for her bright portraits of non-gender specific characters which explore themes of inclusivity and joy, helped create the new mural by encouraging community members to contribute their own works to the public display.

“My role was to be there on the day and engage the community and encourage them to participate,” Tegan said.

“This one in particular was really cool because it was just people passing by, so anyone had the opportunity to create a little painting.”

She said there was a lot of creative anxiety from participants who were initially hesitant to engage and thought their skills were not good enough, but the experience ended up boosting their confidence.

READ ALSO Colour, creativity and collaboration: Shell Cove community celebrates inclusivity with marina murals

“We had all ages involved and all different types of people and most of them at first did not want to participate,” Tegan said. “They were intrigued but they thought, ‘I can’t do that.’

“But once I talked to them and told them that it doesn’t have to be a masterpiece, it can just be what you are capable of, they ended up getting right into their little paintings and you could see by the end how proud they were of it.”

The project drew on Tegan’s passions for creating a sense of belonging and community through works she creates and initiatives she facilitates.

“I truly believe that everyone is an artist and everyone is capable of making art,” she said. “Art’s not something just for the elite; art is a process that anybody can have and is beneficial to everybody,” Tegan said.

“So I’m really passionate about that and I think that’s what the mural shows is that art isn’t about a skill that some people have and some people don’t; art is an expression and we all have an expression and we all have a right to expression and [each person’s] is unique and none is actually better than any other.”

READ ALSO It’s taken three decades, but Tegan Georgette has arrived – and she’s brought an exhibition that’ll prove it

This latest piece is part of PromenART, a multi-year community art initiative by Frasers Property Australia and Shellharbour City Council launched in September, designed to involve the community in creating and engaging with a range of artworks, from sculpture to photography to performances.

And the work joins three other murals along the stretch which Tegan was also involved with along with a team from Shellharbour City Council’s Youth Services, Aruma Disability and artist ‘The Marker’ which were unveiled late last year.

“We’ve already seen residents and visitors alike stop, admire and chat about the existing works and we expect this latest mural to add to that sense of connection and discovery,” Frasers Property Community Development Manager Tina Britton said.

A further six murals are set to be created before the end of the year to help continue conversations and reflect the community.

To stay up to date on the murals and projects around Shellharbour Marina, visit The Waterfront Shell Cove Facebook page.

To connect with Tegan or see more of her work and projects visit her website or Instagram page.

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