Organisers of the region’s street art festival Wonderwalls are finished with Wollongong, and have their sights on helping the revitalization of Port Kembla.
Ten giant murals will be spray painted across the industrial suburb from February 15 to 17 by local, national and international artists.
Run by Verb Syndicate, managing director Colin Blake said the free festival creates an opportunity for people to become more “emotionally connected to their community”.
“There was financial support coming for us to do it in Port Kembla this year which was a big factor, also an evolution to break up the routine,” he said.
“People that are familiar with Port Kembla will realise there is some momentum of change in that community, and we want to be a part of that.”
Mr Blake was proud the Illawarra had become very supportive of the festival in the past as there are “not many towns in the world who embrace public art.”
In November, a spokeswoman for Wollongong City Council said they were looking forward to seeing the new incarnation of the festival.
“The large murals created through this event have become landmarks in our city centre, and complement council’s plans and initiatives to create an active and vibrant space in and around the CBD,” she said.
“We look forward to seeing what the Wonderwalls concept will bring to Port Kembla.”
Some of this year’s artists include: Case Maclaim (Germany), Charles and Janine Williams (New Zealand), Sarah McCloskey (Perth), and Poncho Army (Illawarra).
Visitors can have a go by strapping on a virtual reality headset and painting a digital mural.
Artists will also be performing demonstrations for inspiration and festival attendees can discuss their own creations with them.
Established in 2012, Wollongong still boasts the remnants of the street art celebration from years gone by with larger-than-life portraits and abstract murals still splashed across many once drab building facades.
A grant from the NSW State Government Port Kembla Community Infrastructure Fund has made the 2019 festival possible.
Wonderwalls, Port Kembla, February 15 to 17. www.wonderwallsfestival.com