Warrawong mural brings nature's gifts to town

The wildlife design by street artist Thomas Jackson takes shape. Picture: ANDY ZAKELI

The wildlife design by street artist Thomas Jackson takes shape. Picture: ANDY ZAKELI

Street artist Thomas Jackson is working on a big canvas at Warrawong - one that spans several shopfronts.

Jackson, from Erskineville, will spend the next four days spraypainting a mural on the wall of the building that houses the Gala Cinemas and Oscar's Delicatessen.

The work came about through a joint effort from Wollongong City Council's Cultural Services and Simon Grant, who was a founder of last year's Wonderwalls project in Wollongong.

Mr Grant said the theme of the work was "transformation" and it tied in with the council's plans to revitalise the town centre of Warrawong.

The work would be a "photorealistic image of nature" showing a variety of birds, including black swans from the Coomaditchie Lagoon.

Mr Grant said a lot of planning had gone into the creation.

"There was a lot of background given to Tom on the Warrawong area," Mr Grant said. "That included information on the traditional owners of the land as well as the migrants that have made Warrawong their home.

"There was a lot of different groups that information was provided on as a brief to Tom and then Tom went away and came back with this design."

Debbie Simpson, whose father owns the building that is Jackson's canvas, said she loved the Wonderwalls concept in Wollongong and was keen to be involved in something that would brighten up the town.

"I just wanted to see it looking more alive," Ms Simpson said.

"You've got such a great community here and unfortunately, Warrawong seems to have a bit of a negative attitude towards it.

"They don't need to, it's still vibrant here and this can help get it back up to how it used to be. How people used to remember Warrawong being a vibrant community and a vibrant shopping and business area."

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