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Percy Hobson mural brightens entry to Bourke

The artists hard at work on Tuesday - Bob Barrett, John Murray, Kasper and Brian Smith. Photo TWH

John Murray’s artistic colour blending on display. Photo: thanks to Aaron Davenport Photography

The long awaited and greatly anticipated Percy Hobson mural on the Bourke water tower is well underway, promising a spectacular visual welcome to the town from the Mitchell Highway.

Renowned Lightning Ridge artist John Murray, local artists Brian Smith and Bobby Barrett, Melbourne street artist Lucas Kasper and a crew of local young indigenous artists have been working on the mural since last week. The image across of the top of the tower will be of Bourke’s Commonwealth gold medallist Percy Hobson clearing the high jump bar, with red tailed black cockatoos on the other side of the tank.

The lower part of the tower will feature indigenous totems for the region – the sand goanna, the bilby, and the story of the Baaka Darling River.

The mural has been some time coming, with Councillor Victor Bartley the driving force behind the project. Victor was in hospital when John Murray put the first splash of paint on the tower.

“Victor was desperate to get out and have a look and he has been incredible with the work he has done to get funding for this art project,” John said.

“We have a great crew of people here, including young Lucas Kasper from Melbourne who will be able to show some of the younger artists how to go about creating works like this.

“I have the boys I worked with on the old Welcome to Bourke swaggie sign twenty-five years ago – Brian Smith and Bobby Barrett – and we had the background done over the weekend. We should be almost finished by the end of the week and the whole thing will be done with plenty of time left in the tourist season.

“It will be great for the town because there are people who are passionate about these water tower and silo art works, and who follow the trail around the country.

Bourke will now be on the trail and that means you’ll have the grey nomads and the people who follow these street artists visiting here, spending money in the town, and spreading the word.

“The area around the tower will be beautified with new facilities and it will be a great spot for caravans to pull over.

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