Bundeena art comes to life in community project to rejuvenate ferry shelter

Project refresh: Artists Toby Topham and Peter Whitton team up to restore some creative beauty to Bundeena.
Project refresh: Artists Toby Topham and Peter Whitton team up to restore some creative beauty to Bundeena.

This weekend will be all about suburban creativity at Bundeena.

Sutherland Shire Council is supporting community artists who are bringing two cultures together to deliver a collaboration of Indigenous art with bright and bold artistry - all to beautify the ferry shelter.

Artists Toby Topham and Peter Whitton will volunteer their time to bring the project together in the suburb from September 6-8.

"Peter and I will embark on a long awaited journey that this town has been on for years now," Mr Topham, a Bundeena resident, said.

"Our iconic ferry wharf shelter has been a hub for tourists and locals for years. It's been a place to escape the weather and it's what residents and visitors get a first glimpse of when they first get off the ferry.

"But over the years our shelter has been a hot spot for graffiti and vandalism to our greatest shame.

"Many solutions to resolve the problem have been a short term fix which leads us now to being fed up and just painting over the tagging constantly.

"This will benefit this community and bring joy back. Working with the council has been great. We have solved what we think will be a long term fix for the shelter and that fix is the power of art."

Collaborative duo: Artists Toby Topham and Peter Whitton ahead of the Bundeena art festival.

Collaborative duo: Artists Toby Topham and Peter Whitton ahead of the Bundeena art festival.

The part-time artist and muralist says the joint project is more than a great opportunity - it's an honour.

"My good friend Peter is a proud Wiradjuri man and a nationally recognised Indigenous artist," Mr Topham said.

"I've collaborated with Peter on projects, bringing my style of bright and bold street art and Peter's traditional Indigenous art together to form a bond and show the world there is no room for racism and separation in this country. Our whole aim is to convey the message that we stand together not divided.

"I'm really excited for this project as it's a huge step forward for not only me as an artist but for our town in Bundeena. Pushing the power of art to create a new beautiful bright space for the whole community and visitors to enjoy is something I'm extremely proud to be a part of."

The mural painting will be a live art event from 8am until evening.

Council mayor Carmelo Pesce says the event is a great example of uniting the community and celebrating talented artists. It comes before another similar shire art event later this year.

"Cronulla will see even more art flood our streets in November at our Walk the Walls event, which will not only contribute to making Sutherland Shire beautiful and a cultural hub, but will also help prevent graffiti in the area," he said.

Walk the Walls will go ahead thanks to a $75,000 investment from the state government (including $25,000 from the council). It builds on the success of the Walk the Walls festival at Caringbah to reduce graffiti vandalism in Cronulla CBD.

It will be conducted in partnership with businesses, community organisations and youth.

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